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AN INTERVIEW WITH THE TEAM BEHIND SUPERCAR TOURS

Supercar Tours is an all-inclusive luxury driving tour organiser, allowing supercar owners and enthusiasts to drive their own or rent a car of their choice from an exclusive selection of supercars through Europe’s best driving roads.

For the supercar owners and respective fans, this company is for you. Supercar Tours is a company that specialises in ultra-luxury supercar driving holidays. First of its kind, the company arranges to take your own supercar on a driving tour through Europe, allowing you to experience the brilliance of your car to its fullest potential on stunning scenic roads. Their detailed and personalised SCT47-Tour begins in Marseille, France and then takes you across the border to Spain and back again, stopping at the most noteworthy cities, towns and villages along the way. As you drive through these roads, you will indulge in the finest hotels and restaurants, and experience exciting and sometimes heart-racing activities too.

Supercar Tours is a winning concept and yet, this supercar of a company has only just left the starting line. We spoke to company founder Tom and marketing manager Toto to find out more about the inspiration behind the concept, as well as what their guests can expect from the tour, how they transport a supercar from one country to another and, of course, their favourite supercar is.

Can you start by telling us a little about your professional background?

Tom: I have been organising corporate events for 18 years now, which is a very interesting and demanding industry. Back in 1992, I was organising motocross and motorbike tours in northwest Africa, which started in Morocco and went through Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and Guinea, all the way to Dakar. Originally it was just a private tour, but word caught on and suddenly we had organised 14 of these tours over a period of four years with up to 25 participants, which without GPS or phones or anything was both challenging and exciting. This was such a great experience for me and because I have always been car-crazy, I knew I had to get back into organising group driving tours one day.

Toto: I started an advertisement agency 21 years ago and for over 10 years I have gained experience in big events, often hosting up to 2,000 people. Tom and I met around three years ago after being introduced by my best friend whom he got to know on holiday several years before. We spent some time together and while discussing what we were working on, he explained his idea to create an event involving supercars, luxury hotels and good food. I thought his idea was great and that we should work on it together, since I too have an interest in cars.

What was the inspiration behind Supercar Tours?

Tom: Both Toto and myself have always loved supercars. It is in our blood and that kind of thing doesn’t just leave you – that’s why I came up with this idea. As well as driving cars and motorbikes, the tours I previously organised were about getting to know like-minded people. I think that is one of the main reasons so many people joined them, and another one of the reasons I started this company. Not only do we offer a beautiful tour through a few beautiful countries with fantastic accommodation and Michelin-star restaurants, we offer an opportunity for like-minded people to get together, share their interest in cars and make lifelong friends. This aspect of the tour is probably even better than the luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Finally, in 2018, we started putting pen to paper and organised our first trip and test drove the routes, hotels and the racing course. Now, we are ready to go. We are very excited; there is only one other company who offers something like this – it’s a Spanish company and they only offer their tours in Spanish. With our company, people from all over the world, including Europe, Asia and the USA and Canada, can come and join us with their own car; we ship it from their location to Marseille, where the tour begins, or alternatively they can rent one through us.

How do you ensure the safety of the supercars that you move from country to country?

Tom: I have been in logistics for 32 years, so I know a lot of people that work in specialist logistic networks for car transportation. It’s a really simple, straightforward process. A container is brought to the cars’ pick-up location, or the car will be brought to a cargo company’s yard. We then secure the car with binds and belts into the container so that it doesn’t move, so even if the cargo ship is on rocky waters the car will not move – it’s all done very professionally. The cars are then brought to Marseille on a Carnet – a special declaration for customs – that allows them to be driven abroad for the declared time-frame without having to pay duty or VAT. We obtain cargo insurance too so the car is protected during loading and transportation. In today’s world, logistics like this are all standardised and the technology used to secure the car in the container is excellent – in only an hour and a half you are good to go.

Toto: Some people don’t want the hassle of travelling with their cars to another country, but would still like the experience of driving it abroad. Since Tom has a lot of experience with logistics and transportation, he is able to do anything that our customers want.

Are there any limitations in terms of distance with the ability to transport the car overseas?

Tom: No, definitely not. Most transportation will take no longer than two weeks, except Southeast Asia which can take up to four weeks to reach Europe, but it’s all a matter of being organised. Our tours are arranged well in advance to ensure there is plenty of time to transport the car from one place to another. We also have a safe space in Marseille where we can keep the cars if they arrive before their owners, and there are mechanics on hand to do any maintenance the car may require upon its arrival.

Can you tell us about what your supercar tour is and what clients can expect on a day-to-day basis?

Tom: Upon arrival in Marseille, France, guests will receive a briefing and a booklet that details the schedule of the entire tour, and provides information on driving routes, hotels, restaurants and other experiences involved in the tour like wine-tasting.

From Marseille, guests will drive to Montpellier and enjoy lunch at the beautiful yacht club, before crossing the border to Spain and spending the evening in Cadaqués. The next day we head to Barcelona where we will enjoy a lunch and cava tasting and then to Andorra where we will experience a typical Spanish-style barbeque. Then we have a very authentic night in the remote Pyrenees with the locals. Their culture and way of life is very different to the rest of Europe, so we will get to know what their beliefs are, as well as what their cuisine is like.

After that, we will stay in San Sebastian (the place with the most Michelin-star restaurants per capita) for two nights in a quaint antique hotel right on the water; it’s a beautiful village that many people are still unaware of. Here, we host the racing day. During the day guests will watch the races, play games and eat a fantastic lunch in their personal box, and we will have drones and a photographer capturing the whole event. Each guest will receive a photobook of this event after the tour.

Next we will drive to Biarritz, crossing back over the French border for lunch and some activities before driving to Bordeaux where we will have a French wine experience and a meal at Gordon Ramsay’s two Michelin-star restaurant. Then, on the way to Carcassonne, the final stop, we will visit a wine castle, which is a beautiful setting for our wine tasting and lunch.

Finally, we will head to Carcassonne for some sightseeing and then back to Marseille for a gala dinner with a special prize-giving challenge. Every place we visit is special for its own reason and I aim to bring that to the attention of the guests on our tour. I think it will be an amazing tour; the roads are fantastic, the hotels luxurious and we will have a lot of incredible food along the way.

You include a supercar race day on your tour; can you tell us a little more about that?

Toto: In late 2018, I met Tom in Barcelona and we drove the complete route from Andorra to San Sebastian. I had a thought while we were there that this would make a fantastic experience for people with supercars. We want to create a tour that shows customers mountain roads and really amazing landscapes, and we had the idea to go to a racetrack one of the days on the tour where the cars are very expensive but very fast. On the racetrack they can see how their driving skills differ compared to a normal road, since there are no other cars on the course and they have the opportunity to see what they can really do with the car.

Can you tell us a little more about the photobook that guests receive after the tour?

Toto: Throughout the tour, an experienced car photographer from Biarritz joins us and helps us to make a photobook for the customers once the tour is over. We wanted to go a step further with this and make it personal for each customer, including not just pictures of the group and location, but of their own car and their own special experiences during the tour. We wanted to make the photobook unique for all customers, and not give out the same book to each one. That is our aim.

Tom: People want to make sure we capture as many possible moments of their trip, especially with their own cars, so we will make a booklet with the photographs we take during the trip and send a copy to them upon returning from their trip. The photos are all of a professional quality and each one in the booklet will be coupled with a description about the moment the picture was taken. Around 30% of the booklet will be general photos from the trip, including group photographs and location photographs, rest will be specific to each guest.

Why did you choose south-western France and northern Spain as the location for your first tour?

Tom: We wanted to get away from the generic locations like the south of France, Monaco, Switzerland and Italy where 90% of supercar rental tours and other car-related events happen, and instead offer something new. We aim to do this with all our future tours too. We would like to do one in Portugal because it is such a wonderful country to drive through, as well as other lesser-visited places across Europe. Who knows where we will go next!

What makes a good driving road, and what makes it such a good experience?

Tom: I think a combination of fantastic accommodation, great food and organisation is what makes the tour a great experience. The ability to get your car from A to B easily is very important. You must not only consider where is nice to drive around, but where you can park upon arrival – it all has to be planned ahead of time to make it a smooth and enjoyable process without disruption.

As someone who has been organising events for many years, I know that detailed planning makes all the difference to the participants’ experience. Beautiful, scenic roads are also important; if you are driving a supercar you want to drive it in the best of locations. Of course, it is also about meeting new people, especially fellow supercar fans, and trying new things.

What is your favourite car and where would you most like to drive it?

Tom: I would have two – the Mercedes SLS GT and the Bentley Continental GT Convertible. I love to drive them around country roads because you have the freedom to drive a little faster without the eye of a speed camera or policeman. Curvy mountain roads are my favourite.

Toto: Wow. I really like the Aston Martins, although unfortunately they are a little bit too expensive. At the moment I drive a small Porsche, which I think is a great brand. Lamborghini’s are another of my favourites. I have been interested in cars my whole life, however I had never worked with them so when Tom told me his idea I saw it as a brilliant opportunity. I’ve also spent four weekends in Germany at different racecourses for the Porsche Supercup and that was a really great experience for me. The main point is that I absolutely love what I do; I get to combine my work in graphic design with my passion for cars, which is fantastic.

For more information on upcoming tours and packages, please visit https://www.ds-events.eu/en/ 

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