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Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

Posted September 17, 2010 12:01 AM by CarDomain

Is there such thing as a "practical" exotic that you could run as a driver? Or, at the very least, do something with besides polishing it with a microfiber and driving 20 miles a year to snooty concours shows? For me, practical exotics are the only ones I'm even remotely tempted by. I mean, if it's so expensive and temperamental that you can't even drive it to work, what's the point?

I've been totally hankering for a Pantera. I've always loved the incongruous combo of a thoroughbred-looking Italian car with this burly American-muscle burble coming out of it. The run-of-the-mill Ford 351 is a snap to find parts for, the rear engine compartment offers scads of room for wrenching, and the entire setup seems unfussy and accessible.

Yes, I'm sure there are some hassles associated with owning a Pantera, but what do you expect? As exotics go, it seems infinitely doable. My runners-up for practical exotics would be a DeLorean (if that counts as any kind of exotic, it's got low maintenance costs and great aftermarket infrastructure) or a Ferrari 308.

What am I missing? What attainable exotic have you had an eye on?

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#1

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/17/2010 6:25 AM

"Is there such thing as a "practical" exotic that you could run as a driver?"

Yes.

I've done it now for over 3 years and 50K miles and I know many others that do the same; using their cars as daily transportation and racing it on the track.

Many modern "exotics" have become so reliable that they are quite acceptable as a daily driver - if you don't mind stiff rides, noisy interiors, and other attributes that come with a more beastly attitude of a true sports car.

Porsche makes their GT3, GT3RS, and GT2 series of track oriented cars. Lotus, Nissan, and a few others join the ranks for high performance, limited production supercars that readily tackle daily driving. I probably would have to discount the Corvette. Not because of its performance, which is great, but the production numbers are so high that they are more common, rather than exotic.

The downside is cost. I go through a set of rear tires every year and fronts every two years. I also replaced brakes and front rotors at about 40K miles. The cost is not cheap compared to other more sedate daily drivers.

However, after 50K miles the only mechanical issues I have had is one leaky oil seal and a sticky ignition key, both a warranty item. I live where there is no snow or ice, so every day driving is no problem.

The Pantera that the author cites sounds like another good choice. There is a real advantage when many parts are also used in normal commuter cars. This keeps older exotics on the road where they were meant to be.

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#2

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/18/2010 3:05 PM

Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

well heellllllooooo (said in an low baratone voice)

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#3

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/19/2010 3:55 PM

hOW about my BMW 850 i I had for 4 years drive when its reasaonble weather. went to North Carolina and ran 136.6 mph in the standing mile. Great car with a V12 and a 6 speed. Can get 25 mpg but not when your floging it ( gets run hard a lot) no major issues.

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#4

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/19/2010 4:27 PM

Aren't you talking about a Porsche 911 -THE practical exotic.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/19/2010 4:32 PM

a 911....practical....but with an attitude. ....come to think of it.....not so much practical.....no place to put your golf clubs......and if you get a rear flat by running over some s#it on the road, you have to use and remove your front tire to replace your back flat, and use the spare playskool tire for the front......and then leave your flat on the side of the road, because the only place it fits in the passenger seat....that is a big mark against practical..........no, a 911 is not practical....but, it still has an attitude.

p911

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#6
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Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/19/2010 7:42 PM

I have run my 911 for 3+ years and it is my only car. The GT3 has no rear seat, so there is a lot of room behind the front seats.

My girlfriend and I would take music lessons together and she had a full size cello and I an acoustic guitar. Both fit comfortably behind the seats and were easy enough to put in and out.

750 of the 996 GT3 cars were imported to the North Americas. The performance is about 4 seconds to 60 mph and 9 seconds to 100 mph. Top speed is 191 mph. Given the performance is reasonably high and the production numbers pretty low, that makes it exotic in most books. The fact that it is my only car and I put 15K miles on it each year proves to me that it is practical enough for almost all of my day-to-day needs.

While these cars were selling for north of $100K when new, used versions are half that or less depending on how fanatical you are about finding low mileage examples.

Practical is really a subjective term. I can't haul 4' by 8' lumber, but most of my friends with trucks have a hard time with that, too, because their trucks, SUVs, and vans are more like mobile storage sheds.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/20/2010 12:47 AM

Your mention of pickup trucks brought a(another?) sick and twisted though to my head. One of the engineers, that I used to work with, has a tweaked SRT10 Dodge Ram. Picture this, a 600Hp Viper V10, 6spd manual tranny, relatively limited production, and a 6.5ft bed to boot. All for around 60K new. It may not hold up against a 911 or a vette in the twisties, but it would give them both a hell of a run coming out of the turns.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/20/2010 8:04 AM

I've got $4k now in an old BMW 750iL V12..... Screamer!

I'll take my Studebaker over it any day for ease of maintenance, however....

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#9

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/25/2010 10:57 PM

I have been driving my Ferrari GTO for seven years now and have only had to fix or repair normal things such as belts, hoses, and tune-up parts and have driven it for 68,000 miles with great pleasure!

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Would You Buy a "Practical" Exotic Car?

09/26/2010 6:31 AM

What year?

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