This really could be the gift for the dad that has it all.
Yes, yes, I know. “For the dad that has everything” is a tagline used all too often when it comes to father’s day. Seriously; just because my dad doesn’t need a new driver because his golf game is tip-top at the moment, or a new hedge trimmer because Mr. Scissorhands couldn’t have done a better job on the hedge out front doesn’t mean he needs a paperweight that doubles as a shaving-cream warmer.
However, there are some gifts that I’m fairly certain are for the dad that has if not everything, then many things. Especially if he happens to be a car enthusiast living in the Toronto area.
Exotic Car Tours, based in Oakville, could very well be the answer to many a man or woman’s dream (although 11 of 12 drivers during our tour were male). Pretty much any manufacturer of exotic cars—from Ferrari to Aston Martin and Porsche—is featured, and for a single price, tour participants get to drive every one.
We’re not kidding; it’s not some tease that puts you in some fancy metal for three minutes on a quasi-rallycross track made of traffic cones. We’re talking real, full-blooded sports- and supercars here, for extended periods of time, on real, open roads.
The routes themselves have been chosen by the ECT folks and while I’ve driven better, more curvy and challenging roads in my time, the ones chosen by ECT are impressive. Especially considering they’re scattered throughout an area which I always thought was populated by boring, flat roads between farms.
But the routes chosen offer a good mix of elevation changes, low-speed second- and third-gear corners and of course, some straights where you can open up.
And you’re going to want to open it up because some of the cars on-hand are truly glorious. How about a Lamborghini Murcielago, painted in a police livery (oh, the irony) and fitted with a motor from the LP640 version, and converted from all-wheel to rear-wheel drive? ECT has one.
What about a Nissan GTR? Yep. And with 700 horsepower to boot. I could go on; Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Ferrari 360 Spider F1, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche Turbo—ECT says that they even get truly special stuff like a McLaren MP4-12C and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren from time-to-time.
Those last two aren’t owned by ECT, but the others are, and they are maintained and fettered in an on-site climate-controlled garage (where you’ll find other automotive jewels like a Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0 and Dodge Viper SRT-10), so the cars are ready to give their best when asked.
Basically, once signed up, you pick a driving partner, whichever car you want to start in (we started in the Lamborghini Gallardo), and proceed to travel in convoy flanked by motorcycle outriders. Every 30-45 minutes or so (don’t worry–you WILL get to drive them all), you pull over and either switch seats with your partner or switch cars entirely. About half-way through your six-hour day, you get a lunch stop, and an opportunity to park all the cars in a row and watch as folks pass-by, often with looks that are one-part admiration, and two-parts envy.
Yes, there are companies out there that will loan you a Ferrari for a day to do what you please but a quick online search shows it’s going to cost you upwards of $1,000 to do so. The cost of your day at ECT? $699 for one person, or $629 each if you want to bring two or more along for the ride. And if that doesn’t suit you, there’s a whole host of different tours which you can see here.
A father’s day your dad won’t forget, I’m sure.
Have a look at the gallery below and stay tuned for a closer look at some of the cars on offer at ECT.