Over the weekend I traveled to Fort Lauderdale, in the ever-fruitful tree of interesting happenings that is the Sunshine State. Every cliche you are currently thinking about Florida the state is mirrored in an interesting fashion by it’s automotive culture. There’s far too much to discuss in a single article, so I’ll be starting off with some terribly-shot car porn, courtesy of The Fort Lauderdale Collection South, a high-end dealer of used exotics, and my shitty old phone camera.
Perhaps not surprisingly, used exotic lots are prevalent throughout a state that rates very high on millionaires per capita and also homeless per capita. Many of these used exotic lots are representative of this, 7 year old Bentleys, Rollers, Ferraris, and S Class AMG cars sit outside surrounded by a barbed wire fence, exposed to the punishing UV rays of the sun. The only building on the lot is an ex Taco Bell or Payday Loan shark tank converted to a “sales office” that might have 3-6 of the best cars inside it, if there’s enough room.
The Fort Lauderdale Collection is different though. There are only a handful of cars outside, which are either to be detailed, or not prepared for sale yet. Everything is sparkling clean. The receptionist is beautiful. The cars don’t even show scratches under the brightest sun. Stepping inside is a jaw dropping experience. Most of the inventory are the Bentleys and Rollers, because this is South Florida and they do need to make money, but the real gems are proudly displayed in the windows.
At this point I must apologize, because I had limited time here (I had a flight to catch), and much of it was spent on discussion and getting around to everything. I should have taken more pictures, is what I’m trying to say.
We have to start this off with the South Florida Special. There are a few cars of questionable taste, namely a Mansory Rolls Royce Ghost, and a Signal Green Ferrari 599 Coupe (with an interior to match), but one stood proudly above the others. A car worthy (and possibly at one point owned by) Birdman. How do you take a Modena Yellow Ferrari 430 Spider and outdo every Range Rover on spinners on your cruise down A1A? You know you can’t get dubs under those arches, and you can’t annoy the shit out everyone you drive by more than him, because you can’t fit a million fucking subwoofers in a two seat convertible.
Wait a second....
So you get a fucking CROC SKIN INTERIOR. That’s right. This Ferrari has seats trimmed with crocodile skin by Schedoni, the legendary leatherworkers of Modena, known for doing custom interiors on the highest end cars, even Ferrari’s F1 cars. They also make luggage. At $115 dollars an inch, croc skin beats out even the most expensive male stripper in Orlando, not to mention the labor cost that Italians must charge when they get a reputation behind them.
There’s a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, but meh. I’d much rather look at the real Shelby GT500E, number eight. This a 427 powered beast of a machine, of a limited run based off the best Nicolas Cage movie ever. It currently has an automatic in it, but would be swapped back to manual on buyer’s request.
Mandatory Mustang IRS shot
The parking lot is guarded by the most intimidating vehicle a private citizen can possibly own in this country. A Conquest Knight XV Armored SUV. Mind you, it’s not probable, there are only three in the country right now, and here’s why: My man on the inside had to be investigated for MONTHS for this car to be cleared for him to purchase. I hope this time wasn’t all spent searching through housing records for history of dwelling in a volcano lair, because you seriously have to be a good driver to deal with this thing. You wouldn’t know if you ran over a 350 lb drunk woman in this (which seriously could happen in Florida). It’s basically the size of a Freightliner, with an automatic transmission, 3 rows of seats, and an odd mix of luxurious features and parts bin Ford and GM switches (sorry, no whale penis leather interior option offered). It even has bulletproof tires!
In a way, the Knight XV is the perfect car for South Florida. I know Top gear did their whole thing with the Marauder in South Africa, which is only slightly more dangerous than Florida. Sure, there might not be as many carjackings, but you’re probably still more likely to die on the roads here. The Knight is the perfect answer to this problem. You’ll be impervious to gang shootings or just random bullets, your window sills will be taller than the homeless people, no one will dare cut you off, honk at you, and you probably don’t have to worry about lane position because everyone else is trying to not get run over. But where the Marauder looks like a military vehicle, the Knight XV has chrome, a metallic paint job, leather interior with massive amounts of room in the back, and many, many TV screens.
There are a few Porsche Speedsters here as well as a Lamborghini Countach, but I’m ashamed to say I can’t tell you anything interesting about them that you don’t already know.
Flanking the centerpiece of the entire dealership are two Ferrari 512 Testarossas, one blue and one Red. The blue beauty has a mere 2000 miles on its clock, whereas the classically painted red model has 5000.
But between these two, in the prime spot of the entire shop, right on the corner of the intersection, lies a real, honest to goodness in the carbon fiber flesh Ferrari F40. Many of us will go our entire lives without seeing one of these in person, a fact that brought a tear to my eye. It’s everything you thought it would be and more. It’s true that you can see the carbon weave through the paint, but you really have to squint. It is by far and away the most enrapturing car I have ever seen. It’s tiny 2.9L twin turbo V8 teases me from behind a thin glass cover, and all of my mental strength is consumed by forcing myself to keep my hands away from the car and my penis from becoming erect. It’s a much wider car than I’d imagined, but that only makes it sexier. The interior is spartan, but all you need is the beautifully crafted shifter gate and all you should be focusing on is the view out the windshield. I felt like such a fool for having such a connection with this car. I’ll only ever drive it in Forza, and all I’ll ever know about what it’s like in real life is what Jeremy Clarkson tells me. But I just know they’re right. I just know this is the best Ferrari to drive. No, you know what? It’s the best Ferrari. Fuck the Enzo. Fuck the 458, the LaFerrari. FUCK THE 250 GTO. Just kidding, but only about the 250.
I wasn’t able to get any good pics of the carbon weave, because my camera is terrible, as I may have mentioned.