Ultimate Automotive Experience
While cars are a passion, and some say an obsession for us at MotorWeek, we know many of our fans feel the same way. And so, a few months ago we held the MotorWeek Ultimate Automotive Experience Sweepstakes, with the winner destined for an automotive adventure they won’t soon forget!
What better town than Las Vegas to live out your automotive fantasies? Drawing the winning entry for MotorWeek’s Ultimate Automotive Experience, Mike and Tammy Binder of Seattle beat the odds and came out on top. Mike and Tammy are no strangers to Vegas, but they’ve never experienced it quite like this!!
We kicked off their trip with a VIP greeting at McCarran Airport, and whisked them away in green luxury, a CNG-powered limousine from the clean fleet of MGM’s Aria Resort. I was on hand to greet our guests at Aria’s exclusive Sky Suites, and saw right away that MGM was up to the task of coddling our guests. But we were just as eager to get on with the true purpose of our visit, cruising Red Rock Canyon in a quartet of legendary, exotic sports cars.
JOHN DAVIS: Now have you ever done anything like you’re going to be doing tomorrow?
MIKE BINDER: No
TAMMY BINDER: No
JOHN DAVIS: We are delighted to have you with us and we hope you have a wonderful stay and thank you so very much for entering our contest.
MIKE BINDER: Thank you.
TAMMY BINDER: Thank you very much.
JOHN DAVIS: For this, we turned to the experts at World-Class Driving. Now based permanently in Las Vegas, World Class stages driving tours in a fleet of exotic cars from the likes of Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.
For the Binder’s trip, we selected the Ferrari 458 Italia...in red of course, along with a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, the Audi R8 and the seductive Jaguar XKR-S. Now, we’ve driven enough exotic cars to be familiar with how these cars perform, but it was interesting to experience these fabulous machines through the eyes of first-time enthusiasts.
World Class Driving is careful to ensure that their guests are comfortable behind the wheel before turning them loose, and with good reason, these four cars combined have in excess of 2000 horsepower on tap.
DARREN STRAHL: Usually the first thing we do is kind of tell a joke or something. Get them to laugh and break the tension a little bit and get them loosened up a little bit and we just walk them through.
DARREN STRAHL: They get into the cars and at first they’re not quite sure how things work and all of that, but we walk them through everything and get them comfortable with the cars and talk them through all the aspects of the drive. By the time they’re done, they really have a tremendous smile on their face and they really really enjoyed what they’ve done.
JOHN DAVIS: And joy was plain to see on the Binder’s faces. Our tour through Red Rock Canyon took in some spectacular scenery on some of the best driving roads in the country.
TAMMY BINDER: The most exciting part of today was getting behind the wheel of cars with that kind of acceleration....The Jaguar is cool to drive. It’s got all the acceleration, everything else and it’s easy to drive and a little bit closer to something that I might be able to afford someday. My favorite memory of the tour has been just driving the cars. It’s just been a blast.
MIKE BINDER: It’s a kick in the pants. I just love this tour. My favorite is the Ferrari behind me. I can tell you why. Because it’s a driver’s car. It gives you the options of running as hard as you want to run.
JOHN DAVIS: From modern marvels, we turned our attention to some classic wheels, with a visit to The Auto Collections at the Imperial Palace Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. This diverse collection is part museum, part consignment showroom, as many of these beauties are for sale. Mike and Tammy had no trouble picking out their favorites, but enjoyed seeing some of the car world’s less-popular models as well.
TAMMY BINDER: Mike, what’s that?
MIKE BINDER: It’s a Yugo.
JOHN DAVIS: A whirlwind tour, to be sure, but then… all good fantasies should leave you wanting for more. And we can’t wait for our next MotorWeek Ultimate Automotive Experience.