Sunglasses pushed against your brow, you extend your left arm in an affirmative thumbs up as collective engines rumble like a pack of hungry bears. Splashes of light whip through the treetops as your foot presses on the gas and the Pacific air whistles past your ears. The V8 engine roars beneath a slick exterior of Rosso Corsa as you expertly hug every curve to your final destination under the watchful gaze of a famous stallion.
With a sticker price of $295,000, a daytrip in a convertible Ferrari F430 Spider is not an experience that many are able to savour. Couple that with the pristine surroundings of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and you’re presented with a select list of reasons for your good fortune. Among these, your lottery numbers finally came through (congratulations), you blew out all of the candles for a successful birthday wish (happy birthday), or you’re currently traveling from Vancouver to Squamish on a guided tour with Scenic Rush. A trip to Las Vegas served as the fertile soil that sprouted the concept for this new venture, with Langley-based Thom Boecker and Bryan Kohare of Mission finding motivation in a first-hand exotic driving experience through Red Rock Canyon.
“The inspiration for Scenic Rush has been many years in the making, as we both share a passion for cars,” notes Boecker. “After some research and financial projections, we became more and more excited about the idea, and the response has been amazing.”
The company offers two custom tours, including the three-hour Sea-to-Sky Experience for $495, and the seven-hour Whistler Experience for $1,295. Both roundtrips include stunning views from the Squamish gondola, along with designated pit stops for scenic photo opportunities and the ability to move your way through some of the finest engineering that the world has to offer.
This impressive selection includes the Ferrari F430 Spider, a sleek Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 in orange pearl, the refined elegance of the Audi R8 4.2 FSI quattro, and a silver Nissan GT-R coupe – the fastest of them all, thanks to a twin-turbo engine that sends you from 0 – 60 in 3.5 seconds.
My Dad serves as my co-pilot on this holiday Monday. With a nod of his head, he guides the Ferrari out of the Thunderbird Marina in West Vancouver, with Boecker leading the convoy in the Lamborghini. Kohare takes up the rear in the Nissan, and checks in on the radios located in each car to keep the drivers on track. While the vehicles can be set to automatic, the true experience happens in manual, with paddles that make for a smooth shifting transition.
A wash of exhilaration moves over me the instant we hit the highway. As a tornado of hair twists around my head, my Dad presses on the gas, cackling maniacally as the sound of the engine thunders over the mountain face. The first stretch runs roughly 30 minutes, and soon we make note of the turn signal and follow Boecker to the first stop at a swanky country club.
In total, there are four breaks, which allow the drivers to move up to the next car in an effort to provide a well-rounded driving experience.
From the Ferrari, we move to the luxurious Audi, it’s engine humming with cool assurance as I sink my foot down to catch up to the Lamborghini. We cruise for a while and soon pull into the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.
With each stop, throngs of people swarm in our direction as we shift the car to neutral and raise the emergency break. Under a flurry of raised smartphones, we slide out from intricately stitched leather seats and speculate around the hubbub of celebrity life.
Kohare guides us to a waiting cable car, where we look over an expansive emerald forest as it fades into the distance. At the top, panoramic views prevail, along with an adventurous walk over a suspension bridge that is held in place by shiny silver cables. For those with a bit of extra time, you can also imbibe in a tasty brew and sandwich at the Basecamp Cafe. We’ve got a schedule to keep, so we’re back on our way.
After stating my intent to abandon the Nissan for a double up on the Lamborghini experience, Kohare convinces me to reconsider with a quick blast in the GT-R through a deserted parking lot, which launches my stomach into my throat. Sold.
Heading back towards the city, we wind our way along the lush surroundings of residential West Vancouver, and move back into the marina in order to exit our respective thrill rides.
Boecker and Kohare note future possibilities around a guided classic car experience, along with ramped up visibility efforts that will speak to everything from holiday gifts to corporate client outings. These events can be organized for small or large groups, with custom options available upon request.
With a focus on safety, the tours are seasonal and are due to run next year from the end of March until late October. With this news, my Dad peers over the top of the Ferrari, noting that the relaunch coincides beautifully with his birthday – clearly, an experience worth repeating.
Words and photos ©Ehren Seeland