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This past week was a truly exciting time in my automotive pursuits. I had my first true experience with a virtual reality racing simulator - which I’ll tell you all about in an upcoming post – and I got to spend my Saturday putting my hands on a number of dream machines. In the process of trying to decide exactly what to focus on for today’s post, I kept coming back to a theme that presented itself through multiple avenues, a common element that I have long wanted to address but not been able to fully wrap my head around.

I’m talking about the acronym “GT.”

A grand touring automobile, from the Italian phrase gran turismo, is generally defined as a powerful and capable performance car with the ability to carry two passengers cross-country at high speeds with suitable handling. However, the GT moniker has become one of the most abused and misused descriptors in marketing history. It has been watered down and applied to almost any item that is a slightly improved or more-powerful version of the original.

For example, this past week I had to purchase a new laptop to replace my very old MacBook that finally decide to die. When I was shopping around for computer components that I wanted to add to my current machine, the selections for video cards – the component that makes all of the pretty visuals – were almost all designated with either an X or a GT. If I were writing this post 20 years ago, I would have taken issue with the egregious use of “X” to market something as an “extreme” iteration. That was an incredibly popular term in the 90s and early 00s, and apparently Apple still believes that it works. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have completely skipped the iPhone 9 and jumped straight to Roman Numeral X.

Perhaps most ridiculously, the video card that I ended up choosing uses the designation “GTX.” Yes, it’s incredibly powerful and allows me to chew through a variety of applications with ease, but by no means is it taking me on a grand tour of anything extreme.

Anyone with more than a passing interest in cars can name at least a handful of vehicles with a GT badge. However, for the sake of reclaiming the grand touring concept for only the most deserving of vehicles, I’ve compiled a list of five favorites from Saturday’s local Cars and Coffee meet that I would love to put to the test. For now though, my budget keeps me squarely in Gran Turismo on PlayStation.

-Trey Fennell

Top 5 GT's from my local Cars and Coffee

Mercedes AMG GT Coupe

Ferrari F430:

Dodge Viper GTS:

Noble M12 GTO:

Nissan Skyline GT-R:

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