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Have Your Say: What's Your Most Impressive Real World Drive?

Continuing our series where your comments are the real story, we want to hear about your interesting real world driving experiences.

For most of us, the cars we drive in racing sims are just a fantasy, and we won't get near them in real life. But with over 2,000,000 members here at RD, we know that many of you have had that fantasy become a reality, at least temporarily.

Let us know in the comments what the most impressive car you've ever driven is. This is not a contest, so whether your coolest drive was an open-wheel race car or a Lada, we want to hear about it.

Some of you have driven in real-world race series, or compete in weekend events with your hand-built track toy. Others may have a friend or know of a local rental agency that lets you feel the rush of an exotic car for a period.

Or perhaps it was a ride-along. Have a professional driver push a car to its limits, be it on or off road, drift, drag or otherwise, experiencing what a vehicle is capable of as a passenger can make for an equally riveting experience.

We want to hear it all. Let us know the type of car that's most impressed you to drive so far in your life, and the story behind how you made it happen.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

Comments

125cc Karting. Most pure driving on tarmac. After 15min you are like a ragdoll only "adjusting" the car to right direction, not actually steering lol. Make you exhausted and you only lay down on the tarmac like deadmeat after coming to stop. But everything is up to you. And damn already 120km/h especially while doing corner, makes you pray Jesus in your mind. But driving that thing on the limit.. Long turn while you go full throttle maybe around 80km/h and you are on the limit of the grip.. :ninja: Other most impressive drive's until today? Have managed to survive from normal traffic.. And pray's for Jesus, tomorrow morning, here i come..
 
Dream cars driven:
All awesome
Ferrari 360
Ferrari 458
Ferrari 488
Lamborghini Huracan
Porsche 911 Turbo S on Porsche of America in Atlanta track
McLaren 570 - FAVORITE
 
I am Simracing since 12 (now 38). And it was always a big dream to sit in a real race car.

The closest was some Street Bike riding, which was so dangerous or some motocross races - not less dangerous.

After some broken bones i decided to give it a go in real Formula Cars. Searched the Web about possibilities to drive or even race a Formula Car. I found Jo Zosso from Zosso Racing Services. https://www.z-rs.org/

He invited me for a Test in Bresse (F) and straight out of nowhere i was on the same Lap Times as the usual drivers, thank you simracing.

Then we went to one Race in Dijon where i got Pole led a race and finished 3rd twice and later that season to Hockenheim where i won all 3 Races https://www.motorsport-xl.de/news/2...-beim-FFR-FOR-Debuet-in-Hockenheim-43725.html

It was expensiv but my greates expiriance. i would recommend all the people to have a go in a real car. so much to learn so much immersion. do it at least once in a life time.

Here some action: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeVCpFlKlTXY-wMZ_P9oB6Q
 

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Most "impressive" vehicle: Yamaha TZ750... by impressive I mean utterly terrifying, especially a couple of laps I embarrassed myself on at the Springfield mile dirt track. Utter insanity that Kenny Roberts actually raced that thing on dirt, and won. You could see the forks flex as you rode... and the frame felt like it had a hinge in the middle... and what is still, at least in my memory, the fiercest acceleration I've ever experienced when you got the screeching thing in the tiny powerband. Don't think there's many TZ's still intact, I don't see them even in Vintage racing, but if you ever get the chance to ride one... don't. Best race bike, Honda RC30.
Most impressive car, my current RX-8 rotary, despite the relative lack of power; with just a couple of basic mods it is easily the best balanced and best handling street car I've ever driven, though I've never been near the Ferraris and Lambos and 911's etc. y'all have cited here (I am and have always been a man of modest means...).
Favorite tracks, the original Laguna Seca without the Andretti hairpin and "infield" section, Willow Springs which I never tired of despite just nine turns and having ridden it for thousands of miles, and the Peoria TT dirt track. Favorite public roads, Palomar Mountain in San Diego, either direction; almost any road in the West Virginia mountains or those in southern Georgia, and for the scenery, California Highway 1 all the way up the coast to Carmel and Laguna Seca.
 
I've had a few fun sports cars over the years such as an 89' 240sx coupe I owned for 22 years, the last 13 years with the japan spec SR20DET I swapped in myself. My 2016 370Z was good until the internal slave cylinder failed at 17,000 kms at which point the dealer towed it for warranty replacement. I was so unimpressed by that I traded for a 174 mph 2018 SS Camaro 6 speed (the 6th gen alpha platform shared with the Cadi ATS) that I special ordered. That car was incredible at everything from twisty 2 lane roads, track day events and even some solo car (tent) camping. That car shocked me at just how good the handling was and that 6.2L V8 with the 6 speed was absolute perfection. Sadly, I had to trade it in as I was not able to suffocate myself with a harmful and ineffective face diaper to earn a living, not even for my precious SS.
 
Having already done CASC autocrosses and ice races, it did not seem so at the time,
but early 1970s winter commutes thru the Adirondack mountains in a Pinto set up for autocross
may have been most impressive in retrospect, averaging over one spin per trip.

Any trip in my 1965 4.2L E-Type convertible could be impressive,
since breaking the rear tires loose was so easy.
1973 Lotus Europa twin cam drives were always impressive,
since it rarely ran well but was so instantly responsive.
My 1972 V12 E-Type always felt like 7-league boots,
no more so than on winding Blue Ridge mountain roads.

The most lasting strong impression was finally carrying throttle
all the way thru Road Atlanta turns 11 & 12.
To finally overcome acrophobia, I first had to endure several roller coaster rides.
The trailing arm rear suspension geometry on my 1985 BMW did not tolerate poor inputs near its limits.
TURN5.jpg

Most impressive ride was in the passenger seat of a 1957 Ferrari California 250,
pounding and skittering around Charlotte Motor Speedway at (traction limited) top speed.
 
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I have been racing for forty two years. I have driven many different classes of cars from production based machinery to built to race cars. Here are a few that I have owned and one I built (Gulf colors, OMS chassis from England).
 

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In terms of cars driven, a red Ferrari 430 Spider manual gearbox at the Franciacorta circuit in Italy: the emotion to drive a car made in Maranello was absolutely stunning.

In terms of driving experience, i would say... the double shot i had in August 2019: on Monday, 6 laps on the Nordschleife on a Honda Civic Type R (latest model) and on Thursday, 56 laps during a trackday at Spa on a Renault Mégane RS Trophy, both under a fantastic sunshine despite terrible weather forecasts... i had daysleep visons for many days ahah, such fun to drive there (even if i realized how much confidence could give to any kind of driver the asphalt areas beyond the kerbs on a F1 track).
 
Definitely it was the 22 km ride back from the Tour de Corse Special Stage in Aullène towards Petreto-Bicchisano in a stock Citroen C3 from the Bastia rental car station with my friends' Ford Mondeo and up to five competing Group N Mitsubishi Lancers behind me with absolutely no space to overtake.
It was clearly me who was setting the pace and I did my very best. :)
It was 2008, I believe.
 
Sadly... a used Mk.I GTi that I drove for about 2 minutes for a test drive. Made a big impression though.
 
Wow, some nice stories, especially from those with many years of experience. I wish I could get my dad into simracing because he loves driving, but has some prejudgement against sim racing I think.

As for me, only racing I have done was in off road competitions with different land cruisers. On the tarmac I have driven fast many different cars, I think closest to real sports car was BMW 135M. Also I had BMW 530D and is memorable because I spent allot of time with it. Oh and just a week ago I sat in Porsche 930 slantnose so that was the closest I got to real legendary racecar, so interesting to see and touch the cockpit for real.
 
Great to read all your stories guys! :laugh: I had a few years of fun with my old E30 318i until it gave up the ghost, and going karting with my kid is always fun. But my most fond speed memories are from my track day at (now old) Zandvoort a lustrum ago. I got it as a Bday gift from my GF and friends. It's the most fun I've ever had for sure, since the track was a little wet. It was also a quiet day and since we were in a small group of three, we were allowed to do a bit more than the usual amount of laps. :D A repeat has been delayed twice but it will come for sure 'coz I want to try the new bankings on the new open-wheel cars they have now. Agreeing with all previous remarks, a track day is def' worth every cent. :thumbsup:

Zandvoort-Trackday.jpg
 
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My father used to have one when in carrera brown when I was 10. Now im seriously trying to get one in drivable condition. Price tag starts around 10.000€ with less than 150.000km.
some years back, student of mine turned up in one coming to my English classes. He had found it in near mint condition in a farmer's shed and got it for a mere pittance, said farmer being his Dad's friend etc., lucky guy. Colour was orange, if I remember correctly. Only time ever I was jealous of a student's car ;)
 
My brother-in-law lent me his Pontiac G6 for me to go a 6 hours-long interstate drive. I didn't know that they were so worn that the tire cords were popping out in the inward faces of the tires. The car also had a re-salvaged title and the steering wheel was constantly shaking above 30 mph speeds.

It was going well until an extremely heavy rain started to flood the highways. I kept aquaplaning and trying to keep the car straight for about 2-3 hours as I had no choice of stopping somewhere as I was rushing to catch a very important appointment. It was the craziest drive of my life. It was very exciting in a sense.
 
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Cruising with my wife on any mountain back road or beach highway in my 2007 SLK 55 AMG with the roof down. She made me say it, but I would have said it anyway.
 
For me, there are several experiences that I will not forget in my life, even with Alzheimer's disease. The time at many rallies with many cars will always remain in my memory. But if it's just about one special situation, then that was definitely a drive on a frozen lake in Sweden with a Cross Buggy. The grip ... The sound and the driving itself were just crazy awesome. If you ever have the opportunity to test something like this then do it. An experience for life!


 

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Spa-Francorchamps in the mid 80’s with my Suzuki GS. Impressed not by my my lap time but being the most beautiful circuits to drive.
 

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