These days, the car-sharing market is booming. In fact, according to The Wall Street Journal, more than a million people around the country participate in car-sharing schemes like ZipCar, a number that UC Berkeley researcher Susie Shaheen told the Journal is triple what it was in 2008.
Consulting firm AlixPartners LLP expects that figure to jump up to 4 million people by 2025. In other words, this is getting to be a popular substitute for car ownership.
The ZipCars of the new economy are fine, but then there are operations like Fast Toys Club in Los Angeles, offering something entirely different. Founded this year by former telecom-entrepreneur Chris Carel with $US2.7 million of his own money, the Fast Toys Club affords members the opportunity to enjoy supercars and race car without the hassles of maintenance, storage, and — for race cars — hiring a pit crew.
Fast Toys Club was established out of Carel’s personal desire to own and drive the latest and greatest supercars without the annoyance and cost of buying new cars and selling old ones, he told Business Insider.
For an annual fee, members will enjoy 7,000 miles of driving that can be spread among traditional American muscle cars, European exotics, and full-on race cars. Membership fees range from the Gold Package, which costs $US32,000 per year, all to the way to $US74,000 per year for the Corporate Package.
After just a month in business, the Fast Toys Club already has 10 members, but is looking to expand its roster along with its collection of vehicles.
Membership also earns participants VIP access to car shows, races, chauffeurs, and even special track days. Who needs to own a mere car when you can join Fast Toys Club and drive some spectacular machines instead?
The Club's road cars are stored in a facility attached to its offices in Brentwood, Calif., while the race cars are looked after by a specialist company.
The Club offer a variety of options, but those who are inclined can choose the luxurious confines of the $US350,000 Rolls Royce Phantom. Even with its considerable size and oodles of luxury features, the Rolls is surprisingly sprightly, capable of sprinting to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.
Or members can tackle the world's most treacherous terrain with the Mercedes Benz G63 AMG. The G63, with its iconic boxy shape and beefy AMG V8, is every bit as home on the streets of Beverly Hills as it is roaring through the Mojave Desert.
The Club also offers a host of convertibles, including the 510hp Aston Martin DBS Volante. Drivers can soak up the California sunshine in the convertible version of James Bond's latest ride, which is powered by a 6.0 liter V12 emitting a truly intoxicating growl.
The driving purist can opt for the Club's Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. This open-top version of Porsche's legendary sports car can hold its own on any track in the world.
The club offers other desirable supercars, including Audi's gorgeous R8 V10. Powered by a 525 hp V10, the R8 can make the run to 60 mph in less than four seconds.
The club certainly hasn't forgotten about its contingent of American muscle car fans. The collection boasts a 640 hp SRT/Dodge Viper.
Television fans can relive the early 80s by renting out the iconic General Lee from the 'Dukes of Hazard.' With only 230hp under the hood, this '69 Dodge Charger is more about throwback cool than going fast.
What really sets Fast Toys Club apart from others is the inclusion of race cars like the Ford Mustang Boss 302S and a Ferrari 360 Challenge in the collection. The Mustang racer is powered by a 5.0 litre 440 hp V8 engine and has a reported top speed of 186 mph. The 360 is powered by Ferrari's signature high-revving V8.
However, the most serious racing aficionados can get behind the wheel of a Pescarolo 02 LeMans racer built by four-time 24 Hours of LeMans winner Henri Pescarolo.
The Club will be adding to its collection with the much sought after Lamborghini Huracan expected to arrive in the next few months. As the long-awaited replacement for the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Huracan is powered by a 600hp V10 engine.
In addition to the Huracan, the Club is also expected to take delivery this year of a 552 hp bi-turbo V8-powered Ferrari California T.
Founder Chris Carel will allow the Club's first 30 original members access to his personal multi-million dollar Enzo Ferrari supercar like the one seen here driven by Formula One legend Michael Schumacher.
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