Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.
Trained motor-buggy technicians at Thomasville Toyota examine and purify foreign and domestic vehicles during the one-hour 19-point inspection, which includes an air-conditioner sanitizer. Fluids such as power-steering, coolant, differential, transmission, brake master cylinder, and windshield-washer wait patiently for an inspection and the cool kiss of a liquid top-off, and air filters, exhaust systems, and hoses are inspected by a magnifying glass on reprieve from the doldrums of ant observing in the sun. Rubber wheels are then investigated for rough wear, and tire pressure is checked and adjusted to appropriate levels. Rid jalopies of mold, pollen, dust, and other floating particles with the air-conditioner sanitizer, and ensure that cars are allergen-free and smell as fresh as laundry that's been drying in a perpetual wind tunnel.
Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
Though already highly skilled, the repair and detailing technicians at Custom Cars are required to undergo additional training every year. It's all part of founder Don “Dee” Hargrove’s mission to reach new heights in customer satisfaction. Thus armed with knowledge of all the best and latest repair techniques, the shop's certified technicians restore busted windshields and fix dents and dings, backing each repair with a one-year warranty. They also install—and sell—amplifiers and stereos and outfit rides with new wheels, tires, and glass-encased sidecars for superhero sidekicks.
In addition to fixing parts, Custom Cars staffs a deft and thorough detailing crew. The team uses foam washes to loosen dirt and reduce swirls before giving paint a thorough spray-down using a two-bucket method and pH-neutral soaps to prevent scratches. Techs also tidy up everything in sight on the inside, including floors in need of vacuuming, driver's cockpits in need of dusting, and drivers in need of waxing.