Spannerhead Dot

The Greensboro Car Expedition

August 11, 2012 by Matt

He wanted to see a Mercedes SLS AMG. Well, we saw one. And a few other gems.

Having dropped by our local Mercedes dealership, we heard from a salesperson there was an SLS AMG in the showroom at the Greensboro store. My son is very interested in car superlatives at the moment (i.e. the fastest, the best put-together, the most expensive, etc), and having got wind of the rumor that the fastest Mercedes lived just down the road, we had to make the pilgrimage. We also took the opportunity to visit the “Porsche store” (his word for it) as well—in reality a premium performance car dealership with a variety of makes.

With his beloved SLS AMG. The salesman opened the car for us and even started the engine briefly so we could experience its muscular German rumble.

The car was used—err, pre-owned, actually. 5,000 miles on the odometer brought the price down to an ever-so-slightly less stratospheric $170K.

The hot seat. A sumptuous interior.

The stick of dynamite under the a hood: a 563 hp, 6.2l V8.

After drooling over the SLS AMG for a while, we adjourned to Foreign Cars Italia, just down the road.

My favorite of the cars we saw (with a notable caveat): a ’97 NSX with 18″ BBS RXs. Beautiful.

Perfect year, perfect wheels, perfect color, but…

No! Why? Why, in the name of all that is holy, would you fit such a car with an automatic transmission? Horrible. Awful. Catastrophic lack of judgment.

A bit farther down the line, we had a nice GT-R…

…along with a very presentable GT500.

Ferrari Daytona Convertible

Up in the Ferrari area, the show piece for me was the convertible Daytona hiding out in the corner. Stunning beauty.

6 downdraft Webers sit atop this classic Ferrari DOHC V12. A real joy to tune, I’m sure.

There were more than a few 458 Italias on display.

Now in the Porsche area, I immediately gravitated toward the Carrera GT, a complete showcase of the German firm’s engineering prowess.

Took my son’s picture next to a 911 GTS. Still amazing to me that they manage to get 4 liters out of the classic flat 6 when the original 911 started out with half that.

There was a smattering of Aston Martins as well. My favorite was this V8 Vantage for the simple reason that…

…it was the only one equipped with a proper stickshift. An antidote to the NSX above, in other words.

The loveliest, without question, was this achingly gorgeous Virage.

Near the end, we scoped out some upcoming race details. All in all a good car day.

Filed under: Car Stories, Events


  1. Shawn says:

    Great pictures! Make sure your son sees these again at some point in his future. My parents used to take a lot of pics of me posing with cool cars at car shows when I was a child. I hated it then, but now that I’ve seen some of these recently it’s pretty cool. My mom passed on this one to me a couple weeks ago: age 6, posing with a Surf Blue classic Mini Cooper –

    Fast forward to now and I drive a Surf Blue MINI Countryman –

    …brand imprinting for later actuation in life, the marketers call it – and it works! :)

    • Matt says:

      Great pics, Shawn! Thanks for sharing those. And it does work; you’re right. To this day I hold opinions about certain car brands and models that I can trace back to first impressions when I was a kid.

  2. John D says:

    That must have been quite a day. Beautiful cars…a worthy way to spend the day, for sure. Thanks for the pics!

    BTW, what are the orange canisters at the front of the Daytona engine, on either side of the coolant inlet? They look like oil filters, but in the strangest location.

    How much were they asking for the NSX? (I know you looked!)

    • Matt says:

      You’re right on—they’re oil filters. Why Ferrari puts them there and furthermore, why their OEM brand is Fram, I’ll never know.

      You bet I looked. :) Here’s the listing. Way overpriced, especially for an auto, but hey, it’s a dealership.

  3. Ryan says:

    Too many goodies there for me to comment on but I will say that NSX is sharp! Along with needing a manual trans, a more easily fixable “problem” is a set of lowering springs.

    And AWD has spoiled me (Jeep SRT8)… I so badly want a GTR! :)

    • Matt says:

      Definitely would get springs. It does have a lifted look to it, doesn’t it?

      On a “lesser car” I would contemplate a manual swap, but an NSX just isn’t something you mess around with like that, you know?

      Funny thing about the GT-R, as I was standing there looking at it, the through crossed my mind that it’s probably faster than 98% of the (many, many) exotics at that dealership—and that includes the Ferraris, Porsches, etc. You just wouldn’t think so by looking at it, but I guess that’s part of its appeal.

  4. Cute kid! Reminds me of my son, though he (my son) is a bit younger and not quite there (yet?) in terms of level of interest in automotive matters.

    • Matt says:

      Thanks! He’s 8 and “on the path,” as they say. He’s getting into what his dad’s into in his own way and at his own pace. Although I’m happy to say these days he now loves to identify whether a car has discs or drums by looking through the wheels. With any luck, I’ll have him rebuilding engines with me by the time he’s a teenager. :D

  5. Oh, and with regard to this:

    No! Why? Why, in the name of all that is holy, would you fit such a car with an automatic transmission? Horrible. Awful. Catastrophic lack of judgment.

    My guess is that there are quite a number of auto NSXs floating around in Japan. The Japanese love their automatics. Which makes them not unlike Americans in that regard, funnily enough.

    • Matt says:

      Interesting. Did not know that about Japanese car culture. Is it an appropriate of an American mindset, or another cultural predilection?

  6. I honestly don’t know. I searched around online a bit on this topic but didn’t find anything conclusive. I’d love to know myself.

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