"It is an emotional visceral experience like nothing else," Lehmann-Haupt added. "One of the things I like to say is that we are in the entertainment business more than the automotive business. It's like taking everything you know about driving and cranking it up to the maximum."
The third program -- and one of the most-popular -- is called the Dream Car Tour. Six drivers and six cars head out for a drive and every 20 to 30 minutes the group pulls over to the side of the road at a pre-designated checkpoint and do a little round robin swap.
It's almost like a sampler menu or a flight of wines. And it costs less than a daily rental: $895 for five hours with stops, lunch and photo ops.
You're getting six different cars for less than the cost of renting one car. That's the upside," Lehmann-Haupt said. "The downside, if you consider it a downside, when you come on the Dream Car Tour, you can't go to your high school reunion. You can't take the car out to dinner on your anniversary."
Tom McDermott, a 46-year-old Florida resident who owns a high-end photography business. He used to own several exotic cars but has shifted to rental for practical reasons.
"I love them, but as a daily driver they don't make much sense." McDermott said.
That's why for the last two years he has rented from Gotham Dream Cars' Florida location. Despite the $18,000 or so a year he shells out, McDermott said it's still cheaper than owning and "being saddled with the payments and insurance."
Basically, he gets to "drive new cars and not get hit with the massive depreciation." Plus, the cars tend to be the latest models … and a break from his minivan, Rolls Royce and Mercedes CL coupe at home.
"I just realized that I am not going to drive the car all the time. I already have a couple of other cars that I like," McDermott said. "The club gives me the opportunity to drive what's hot and fresh and interesting and new. That's what's important to me."
George Johnson also uses Gotham Dream Cars to maintain his expensive hobby, and to save money and hassle.
"I use them for what I need and then I bring the cars back and don't have to worry about it anymore," he said. "The best thing is just to let it go when you are done."
Johnson, a New Jersey construction contractor, used to own a few Ferraris but said the expense is not worth it.
The car, he said, "sits all winter and then you are looking at $7,000 to tune it up to take it out for the summer."
Now the 40-year-old pretty much has the "option to choose what you feel like driving that day."
He said he'll often stop by at the last minute, pick up a car and take a long drive up to Connecticut or down to Atlantic City. But don't expect to see him cruising through the neighborhood in a Lamborghini.
"When you drive those cars, you don't want to drive them just to show them off. The fun of having them is driving them," Johnson said. "I could drive them all day. It's a stress reliever."