The Corvette. Either you've always wanted one or you never understood the appeal. Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari aficionados may respect the Corvette's sterling performance and huge bang-for-the-buck ratio, but they seldom lust after one. Could the Mantide equal (or outshine) the best attributes of the other cars: the GT comfort of the 612 Scaglietti, the South Beach sex appeal of the Scuderia 16M, and the utterly dominating performance and presence of the McLaren F1?
I had similar questions about the other cars. Could the McLaren F1, for all of its performance reputation, serve as its designer, Gordon Murray, insisted it can - as a comfortable GT machine? Would the Scuderia 16M be worth its huge price leap from the standard F430 Spider? And could the relatively heavy 612 Scaglietti keep up on America's best roads?
The first hitch in our plan cropped up before we had even gathered in New York for our planned Sunday morning exodus. Bertone was supposed to fly the car to New York and deliver it in time for our departure. Unfortunately, the airline lost the paperwork, so the car was stuck in Luxembourg. It wouldn't arrive at JFK until Sunday and wouldn't clear customs until Tuesday, at the earliest. We decided to press on.
During our kickoff dinner at Rockefeller Center, we parked the three cars we did have on 49th Street, which attracted the first of the many crowds we'd see during our trip. Lacking the Mantide, we surprised Dan with a custom-made cake in the shape of the custom Bertone for dessert.