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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #88: It was easy to love exotics when we didn't know who was driving them | Hagerty Media

"No man is a hero to his valet." This proverb is older than its most common attribution and is likely as old as the profession of valet itself. It should go without saying that I'm speaking here of "valet" in the traditional sense, that of gentleman's assistant; the equivalent profession in the military was long known as "batman", after a long-obsolete usage of "bat" to mean "pack" or "luggage".
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-88-it-was-easy-to-love-exo...
21 REPLIES 21
mcs1000
Pit Crew

Loved the Nomi and Zack reference.
Unbalanced
Intermediate Driver

I wasn’t aware of the silly antics of exotic car drivers shared on social media. Because I don’t use social media. Works great. I don’t have to waste time on idiocy and I still get to like exotic cars. You might give it a try.

By the way, as far as I can tell, the main function of valets is to turn the light switch on your car from “auto” to “off.” Which is why leaving a well lit restaurant is followed by oncoming drivers flashing their lights at you. Or if the valet is more thoughtful, turning the light switch from “auto” to “off” when they park and then to “on” when they trade you your car back for cash, which is why when you leave the car in the garage on your return from the restaurant the lights don’t turn themselves off 30 seconds later but instead stay on all night so that the car won’t start at 5am the next morning when you thought you were leaving for a ski trip. I’m sure we’ve all been there, right?
OptimusPrime
Intermediate Driver

Porsche 965 was a development car, you know... not a production model. There's your pedantic comment for the day.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Fair enough, but the car that is NOT a 965 just happens to be chock full of parts that say "965" on them 🙂
SJacobT
Detailer

Oy, Ford v. Ferrari was the worrrrrrrrrrst....! If I had to watch another close up of a throttle pedal with yet another half-inch of travel - kill me. And everyone knows a racing driver MUST drive like a malicious tool around town! I wanted to watch McQueen’s Lemans as a corrective, but it is impossible to find - I made do with some Victory by Design.
MeJ
Intermediate Driver

You must be close to my age (52). Everything in this piece rang true to me and reminded me what a strange time we live in (referencing the social media aspect of it).
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Guilty as charged, I'm 49.
audiocage
Intermediate Driver

Quite a few thoughts came flooding in as I read this piece. One: the day many years ago when I suddenly realized that they would sell exotic cars to anyone who could come up with the money. Two: The first Countach I saw up close and realized what a piece of crap it was. Three: That the difference between the old exotics and the new (hyper-performance and hyper-driver-assisted) exotics is that when the driver runs out of talent in the new ones, he's going a whole lot faster than he was in the old ones, so the crash is much more spectacular.
KWK
New Driver

"... due to economic circumstances which have... allowed an unprecedented concentration of personal wealth."

I'm not so sure about that. In the late 1800s, when a flood of immigrants here simultaneous with the move from farms to cities combined to depress the relative cost of labor, conspicuous consumption was mansions and private rail cars. Today, the labor supply depressing the cost is overseas, and the rich choose to jet all over the world and drive Ferraris. Seems to me nothing is new.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

Sir, you have a point --- but think of the Biltmore that Jeff Bezos could construct, were he of a mind to do so!
Flashman
Instructor

Okay, Mr. Baruth. I've put up with your outrageous comments for lo these many months with barely a rejoinder, but when you slag Showgirls, you've gone too far!

BTW, my friend with a 944 Turbo calls it a 951.
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

I'm not saying I didn't like watching it!
Bmike
Detailer

"Fire you nose-first into a ditch" had me scrambling to Google to find the classic R&T PS: photo "Good tires, but certainly not great tires". Good times. Also liked to Radio IMSA hypothetical. That'd be me as well. BTW, FvF was a great movie.
Germanicus
Intermediate Driver

I get the feeling. My desire to own a fancy watch evaporated when I came across the online watch community, which is an insufferable world governed by Worthington's Law.
Olddavid
Pit Crew

I was fortunate to have a Father who saw the intrinsic value of Patek, Tudor, IWC and Tissot in the late '30's and left them to me at his passing.
el_zato
Intermediate Driver

I love high-end watches, but since I've seen you can have 90% of the looks and experience for 1/100 of the price, I turned away and never looked back. My most recent purchase is an Invicta Diver watch for $90. It's a Swiss brand but not Swiss-made, it has a Japanese-made Quartz Movement mechanism. I love it, I'm planning to get a Stuhrling mechanical watch (less than $100) and in the future another Invicta Aviator model (which costs a lot more, like $2,000)
Olddavid
Pit Crew

I want the Bentley version for its stealth ability. Owned one in 1999 for six months until a margin call On eToys wiped that recent windfall out. Would repeat the process in a second.
el_zato
Intermediate Driver

Uh, What "concentration of wealth"? That would imply that the number of wealthy people is decreasing while their personal wealth would be increasing, and that's far from the truth, today the number of millionaires and billionaires is actually increasing, it is higher than ever, and the "disappearing middle class" myth in the United States is probably due to the fact that so many of them are actually moving -higher- in the social scale becoming part of the upper class. (The actual numbers are not hard to find, they are in the US Census) and accusing every single rich person on YouTube to be undeserving of their wealth is unjust at best.

As for supercar owners, uh, I don't know why singling out PewDie Pie, he's not a supercar owner, and for what I've seen, 1) Social Media influencers aren't the #1 supercar buyers, although they're probably the loudest and 2) I have no idea who are the 75 lucky guys and gals who bought a McLaren Senna, they're totally anonymus AFAIK, the same for the 100 lucky buyers of the GMA T.50 who specifically requested it to have a manual transmission (!) and those who have bought track-only specials from Aston Martin and Ferrari... you get the idea. These people are far from loud social media rich kids, and to me, they represent the modern supercar buyer, different but slightly less annoying than 1960s and 1970s douchebags Enzo Ferrari hated so much.

As for me, if I won the lottery tomorrow, well, I completely and utterly refuse to drive an automatic supercar (except MAYBE the new Ford GT) If I had enough money I wouldn't go for the GMA T.50 either because that car scares the crap out of me, same for old manual supercars I love like the Porsche Carrera GT, so I'm basically out luck, I've never gotten the appeal of luxury cars... so my rich "kid" garage would likely consist of a C7 Corvette, a Ford GT, a 992 Carrera S (manual, daily driver) and some car that teaches me to drive fast like a Subaru BRZ. And they'd be all over Instagram and YouTube. Ha.
hyperv6
Technician

I find it odd how many vilify and decry people of wealth. If it was earned legally then more power to em!

To be honest when someone has gone from nothing to much they often have things we can learn from them and habits that can prove success is with in reach.

But having wealth is not always easy street either. They have their own temptations and fears just as anyone else. Many die from drug abuse, some fear things they have no control over like their health. I have seen some held prisoner to it.

Envy is just as bad as anything they are doing.

As for the cars I enjoy seeing them and reading about them. I will never likely own an exotic but never begrudge anyone that does own one.

If not for even some folks who buy them for the wrong reasons they create a market do the cars exist and we can see what really can be built.

 

 

CJinSD
Advanced Driver

I knew a guy who had more than twenty Lamborghinis and Maseratis about thirty years ago. He also had a number of Ferraris, which were obscenely valuable thanks to the timely mortality of Enzo. There were also rows of Iso Rivoltas, Bizarrinis, Toyota 2000GTs, and AMC AMXs, although hoarding the two-seat Javelins probably never paid off. Most of the cars had been produced in the '60s and early '70s, which means that today, or at least during a very-recent yesterday, they would be as valuable as eternal youth.

The weird thing about all the Muiras and Ghiblis, with their lounge-lizard color schemes and interiors, was that they were as used-up and spit-out as fifteen to twenty-five year old cars have ever been. They were Greyhound Bus Station ashtrays on flat tires, and the easiest way to fix them was the period 'over-restoration.' The idea that they should be put back to the state that disintegrated in eight thousand miles didn't dawn on anyone until modern monetary policy made fiscal responsibility a greater crime than child sex trafficking. The guy that owned them all is now a fascist in all but self-identification. He's moved on from EV-grant-leeching to COVID profiteering, and I suspect he isn't documenting his wealth these days, although he loved a good lifestyle feature when the people giving him money were volunteers.
Gary_Bechtold
Instructor

Maybe I'm off but I liked Ford vs. Ferrari. A good story (yeah I know it's not 100% accurate) with great sound and visuals. The sound alone was great in my home theater. It was fun to watch.

As for exotics and who is driving them, yeah I kind of know what you mean. Honestly meeting some of the people and seeing dozens of the same Lambo or Ferrari can make the sight of one oddly boring. Here in the Austin area we have tons of exotics. The younger ones tend to not be too friendly and only talk to their "monied" friends and at times seem like the only reason they have the car is to get hits on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. F/T/I is honestly the worst thing about car meets these days. It seems to lead to too many show offs who do stupid, reckless things in whatever vehicle they have so they can be "famous" or "infamous" on the inter-webs. Then there is the crowds that show up for this kind of stuff so they can get hits on their F/T/I page and it's a viscous cycle till the meet gets canned or you get sick of it and stop going. Honestly running into a rare exotic, sports car or anything else is more interesting than a dozen of the same car in a row. When I realized one day that Lamborghini's and other cars like it bored me I started to avoid those meets just so spotting one could be a treat again.