PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas September 2020

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88 G earhead is not a term most would associate with me. Sure, I appreciate a beautiful car, but the moment you start talking about V8 versus V6, my mind wanders to what I might be missing on Bravo. But when I was offered the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a McLaren GT (in a color I'm told is Argon, which makes it even more alluring), I thought: Why not take it out on the highway for a road trip. Seriously, nothing less would do, given that GT stands for Grand Tourer — and this new interpretation, with its stunning design and superlight material, is designed for distance. Hence, the larger storage space for luggage, both in the boot and under the hood. A lakeside weekend vacation seemed the perfect way to test the dynamic prowess of this sports car — to feel the McLaren purr down a long stretch of Texas highway. There's much talk recently of third homes in which to escape during the COVID-19 lockdown — a retreat that doesn't involve a plane ride. I chose to weekend at Long Cove, P H O T O G R A P H S T E V E W R U B E L a chic enclave on Cedar Creek Lake, an hour-ish drive from Dallas. A simple guard gate shows you've arrived, then beautiful meandering roads until the spectacular lakeside homes emerge on the horizon. At close to 1,000 acres with six miles of waterfront, the Cove has almost 100 residences, with plans for more due to high demand. Long Cove is the brainchild of Don McNamara, the developer and investor behind Cityplace and West Village in Uptown Dallas. Inspired by family- friendly and fashionable hamlets such as Horseshoe Bay and Seaside, Long Cove has waterside cottages and palatial lakefront homes alike. My editor in chief asked photographer Steve Wrubel to take my portrait with my purring ride, and requested that he make me look "sexy and heroic" — again, more words that would probably never be used to describe me. However, when you're in the driver's seat of a McLaren GT, somehow your attractiveness rises exponentially. Suddenly I was a distant cousin of 007. (Call me Fong. Bill Fong.) After all, this is a British sports car and is lovingly designed from the inside out and hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in England. The GT is marketed as an everyday car for the familia — one that's not strictly for the racetrack or a reboot of Cannonball Run. But, have no doubt: This sports car is pure luxury with its sumptuous cashmere seats and Nappa- leather-appointed cabin. In my GT, the caramel-hued seats sported double piping and intricate perforations and refi ned bespoke stitching throughout the exquisitely designed cockpit. The cabin cocoons like an utterly indulgent Cucinelli cashmere blanket. Music for this trip? Honestly, I could have gone the high-brow route and loaded my playlist with Wagner or Beethoven. But, no, I decided silky and profound '70s rock would be my soundtrack du jour. When you're harnessing this type of intense sound power, you need guitar riffs and drum solos to take advantage of the Bowers & Wilkins 12-speaker audio system. The drive fl ew by, as this car literally hugged the road. This is agility at its fi nest. Curves are made for this high- performance machine, which handles with inherent balance, responsiveness, and precision. The maximum speed of the McLaren GT is 203 mph. Alas, I didn't get to feel that warp speed, but at one point I did coax it slightly above 100 mph. Oh, in case you are wondering what song was queued up when I fl oored it for the first time, it was Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman." The words seemed appropriate: "I've had nothing but bad luck [damn annus horribilis] … She's gonna get you." And that's what this McLaren has done to me — enchanted me by wrapping me in its decadent spell. McLaren GT, from $210,000, at McLaren Dallas, 5300 Lemmon Ave., Long Cove, from $845,000, ZERO TO SEXY IN 3.1 SECONDS … THE 2020 McLAREN GT PROVIDES THE NEED FOR SPEED AND SO MUCH MORE. WITH LAUNCH CONTROL IN HAND, BILLY FONG HITS THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD. Badass Billy Fong and the McLaren GT THUNDER ROAD Billy Fong in the rear view

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