Robert Simyar — Fast, Faster, Fastest

  • story by David M. Brown
  • posted on 12/2010
  • posted in: Great Garages

A go-kart to a Veyron: Rob Simyar is taking a fast ride to his dreams.

Born in beautiful but cold Montreal, the Paradise Valley resident had posters of Porsches, Corvettes and Lamborghinis on his bedroom walls. “I’d play Pole Position on the computer or Outrun in the arcade,” says Rob, who graduated from dental school in 2000 and moved to warmer Phoenix, where he began work as a dentist.

His first sports car, after the go-karts, was a Mitsubishi 3000GT, but he dreamed of supercars such as a Lamborghini Diablo.

Today his tiled garage is full of high-rpm dreams, including one of the world’s “super” supercars, the Bugatti Veyron. On one wall is a mural of the Veyron drifting in the desert, taken from an actual test car shoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats. On another is a photo of his former Lamborghini LP640 on a desert road.

His cars are all silver. “They look radiant in the Arizona sun,” Rob says. “With silver, they look immaculate all the time, and silver really accentuates the sexy lines of these cars.” He has them washed about once a month at Danny’s Family Car Wash — even the Bugatti. The detailing he does himself.

No modifications for him: “I’ve always believed in keeping the cars stock,” he explains. “I prefer longevity and reliability over a few extra horsepower. I tend to keep cars for a long time, not flip through them several times a year. And, I think the Bugatti is fast enough!”

Let’s start in Germany, travel to Japan and France and end up in Italy:

•2005 Mercedes SLR McLaren — “This was my first purchase — bought in 2006 used with only 600 miles. I had traded in an SL55 at the time, which was my daily driver. The SLR, believe it or not, became a daily driver and now has more than 20,000 miles.

From the first photos I saw of the SLR in late 2004, I fell in love with it. It has a look of class, sophistication and style, without being over the top. With an impressive 618 horsepower, it is a ‘luxury’ car with a powerful punch.

It looks like a speeding bullet on the road, which does draw officers’ attention, of course. With a complete carbon fiber chassis, it can withstand some serious damage. Classic example: A lady turns into a coffee shop to park next to me with her monster-sized Ford Expedition. She cuts in too close and hits the passenger side rear of my parked SLR. The whole car shakes from the impact — but not a scratch!

Even more impressive is how it hasn’t given me any trouble in the five years I’ve owned it, even with all the hard driving and track time. A flawless and timeless supercar.

One funny moment though: When the car hit 6,666 miles, all the warning lights fired up, and the car stalled in the middle of the street. I turned the car off, turned it on again, and everything was fine. A practical joke from an engineer?”

•2008 Nissan GTR — “Incredibly fast, amazing handling, lots of interior space (also decent 2+2 and trunk) and practical ride height: It has what you’d find in a sedan and what you want in a sports car. It’s a car anyone can drive in comfort but can make a winner at the track at the same time. Today, it’s my new daily driver. I even lend it to my mom.

Still, surprisingly, after two years of owning it, it’s interesting to see how rare it is around here, and the car draws a lot of attention and respect. On the downside, the transmission seems fragile, and the aluminum body can dent real easy, so watch out for door slamming SUVs!”

2008 Bugatti Veyron — “The Bugatti is my true pride and joy — the ultimate dream car. For me, there is no other car in the world that I’d give this up for. It’s more than its horsepower and top speed. Most know of its top speed (253 mph) and its horsepower (1001) but very little about its technology and how it’s built. With a price of $1.7 million (plus $105,000 for shipping/tariffs, $50,000 for the two-year extended warranty, $40,000 for the insurance and registration), many feel it’s an overinflated engineering showcase, not a car.

But as a driver who has experienced 250-plus mph in the car several times, I can tell you how stable and unnaturally smooth it drives at these speeds. While most supercars have extreme difficulty achieving 200 mph and feel like they’re going to shake apart, this car is just beginning at 200.

How does it handle on a track? Well, as proven on shows like Top Gear, it handles just as any other sports car even half its weight. It really shines on long, winding mountain roads, as you can sustain 130–160 mph on twists and turns, while in other supercars it would be fatal.

What’s more, the fit and finish of the car, the reliability, and the personalized service with the people at Bugatti is beyond exemplary. I was one of five owners lucky enough to drive the 253 mph on their track. It’s the closest one can come to flying without a pilot’s license.”

Next up for Rob? The new “top secret” Lamborghini LP700, to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and delivered to him sometime in July 2011. “The next-generation V-12 Lambo was so ‘secret’ that they put you through a metal detector, took your cell phones and watches and had you fill out a nondisclosure agreement,” he says. “All I can say about the car is that it looks like a cross between a Murciélago and a demon.”

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