With many different options available to fund a supercar, it’s important not to skimp on the maintenance to protect your purchase. Here, Bryan McMorran discusses the important aspects of maintaining a supercar.
With various manufacturers entering the supercar leagues over the past few years (Audi R8, new Honda NSX, arguably even Nissan with the GTR) funding options have brought these new breeds of 200mph machines into the financial reach of many more drivers. It is, however, not just the payment of the car one must consider, but also how to keep it operating in its prime too. After all, it would be a very expensive ornament for your driveway if you didn’t. So, what are the important things to consider when you do take the plunge?
- Servicing & parts
It may seem obvious, but when buying a car, find out the cost of servicing before signing. On many modern supercars, service intervals have been extended from what they were with some marques (Porsche are 20,000 miles for instance), but they can still be very labour-intensive operations, and hence the cost can be similarly high. If so, find out whether they offer a maintenance package. This usually involves fixed-priced services, parts & labour, for a period of time, or mileage limit. These are paid monthly, just like a finance plan, and therefore easier to budget for. Tyres can sometimes be catered for too, but not for too many trips to the Nurburgring remember. A stamped service history is also vital for maintaining a supercar’s value, so it’s not something to skimp on. Not only does it make a financial difference, but also a desirability factor when you are looking to sell or borrow against the supercar. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. With more choice out there, why should they purchase a car that has missed a few over one that has been serviced to the letter? Remember, prospects buy with their feet, and a car that has gaps in a service book will not have them hanging around.
All modern cars are painted with water-based paints for environmental reasons. The downside is that they tend to be thinner and therefore not as hardy to road elements. Many companies now offer a form of paint protection to buyers for maintaining their supercar. This can be something as simple as a transparent film that they can shape to fit the car in its vulnerable areas (nosecone, wheel arches, etc) to the very best of ceramic coatings that effectively seal the paintwork much like a varnish protects wood. The acidity in bird droppings, the harmful chemicals and brushes at a car wash and even the almost microscopic iron fillings that are produced from passing trains over nearby railway tracks all eat into a car’s paintwork causing irreparable damage over time. It’s always a good idea to spend a little bit of money on a good detailer. They will correct any paint blemishes already present, then set to work providing a protective layer that will not only make the car shine again, but keep its lustre for longer with minimal maintenance from you.
- Classic supercars
Up until now, we have been discussing the more modern and easier supercars to maintain, but how about the older generations, such as the now popular ’80’s Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches? Do they still need pampering? Well, yes really. The good news, however, is that there are now many reputable specialists who care for this age of car, in many ways, even better than the main agents can. As manufacturers move away from maintaining some of the older models due to complexity, these specialists are sometimes staffed by the people who looked after these cars when they were new, and now offer a vat of knowledge that is almost priceless. If you do own a classic supercar, or have recently bought one, find out who the reputable and trustworthy ones are. Owners club forums and classic car shows are a great way to find out who is trusted and offer you the best route to maintaining a supercar. Get to know them well and discuss any remedial work that is needed. They will probably be able to assist you and prioritise the work so you don’t have to spend heavily all at once.
Also, keep in mind that paintwork (as mentioned) and leather trim will be different in older cars than newer ones. Always seek the advice of those in the know before using a product that may cause more harm than good.
Summarizing the key points:
- Don’t skimp on servicing and use quality parts only.
- Inquire about a manufacturer’s maintenance policy.
- Details should never be overlooked – keep paintwork and alloy wheels looking fresh.
- Don’t assume that older supercars can be maintained by dealers; find a good specialist you trust.