is shipped after the buyer collects his or her Corvette from its showcase in the museum.
The need for speed can be satisfied with machines like the Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe, the Maserati Trofeo, or the 400-horsepower Ferrari F355. Porsche and Audi sponsor one- and two-day driver education programs conducted by seasoned race car drivers, who employ slalom courses, high-speed lane changing maneuvers, and skid pad exercises that have broad application to everyday defensive driving. Airfare, lodging, and airport transfer expenses are not included in these packages, which can also host teen drivers and corporate groups.
AUDI: The Audi Driving Experience (www.AudiDrivingExperience .com) offers one- and two-day “skill enhancement programs” in Atlanta; Dallas; and Sebring, Florida that can be customized to your experience level. The one-day drive starts at $550; the two-day program starts at $975.
PORSCHE: The Porsche Driving Experience isn’t a racing school, although Porsche instructors say you will learn how to control and exploit the awesome power of a Porsche 911 Carrera at adrenaline-pumping speeds. Based at the Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, the one- or two-day 911 program costs $1,695 and $2,695, respectively. Courses are held rain or shine.
LAND ROVER: It’s
not rare for a Land Rover sales facility to occupy nearly 20 acres to facilitate an on-site, off-road course for prospective buyers. But this brief test drive merely hints at the vehicle’s boundless capabilities. To sample the ruthless terrain the Land Rover was bred to conquer, there is the Land Rover Experience Driving School and Land Rover Adventures (www.landroverusa.com). These off-road programs and courses have been hosted at 19th century palatial estates in Quebec; Asheville, North Carolina; Southwest England; BelÃze; and Malaysia. Drivers start on a dedicated “lesson” course peppered with turf obstacles before moving on to advanced “trails,” to navigate steep ascents and descents, majestic mountains, and thousands of acres of unspoiled nature. Rates run from $150 per vehicle for a one-hour lesson for one driver to the full-day adventure for up to three drivers, including lunch, at $700 per vehicle plus expenses for travel and lodging. The new LR3 will not be available until 2005.
FERRARI: The invigorating one-dayâ€“Red Driving Experience (www.RedDrivingExperience.com) is the Ferrari European drive Step 1 Program, now available in North America. It accommodates nine students per session using three cars on the Moroso racetrack near West Palm Beach. For $1,750, plus tax, program director Emmanuel Lupe says you get “breakfast, expert coaching, a little school but lots of driving, catered lunch, hot laps as a passenger with a professional racecar driver in a Ferrari 360 GT, and a graduation ceremony complete with champagne!” Advanced sessions with your own Ferrari F355 and coach (on the Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah, Georgia, or Sebring International Raceway in Florida) range from $2,625 to $6,000.
Ride & Drive Tours
The Detroit News reported that in May 2003 General Motors launched a marketing program to counter consumer perceptions that GM vehicles lack the style and high quality of other automobiles. GM already offered overnight test drives but decided