What does ‘High Mileage Exotic’ mean?

After reading so many Jalopnik articles and being part of the car scene in many forums due to the little collection of fine vehicles I own (well in my opinion they are indeed fine specimens), it still baffles me what the meaning of a high mileage vehicle is.

I mean in exotic terms. You know, like a Ferrari with 20,000 miles. Or a Lamborghini with 15,000 miles.

For most cars 50,000 miles seem nothing. Just look at a lot of the Nice Price/Crack Pipe posts. Some of the low mileage examples are the ones with 40,000 or 50,000 miles. High mileage in these cases mean 100,000 miles at a minimum.

But when we get into exotics for whatever reason, if the car was driven for more than 15,000 miles then oh-my-god you are now in super-high-mileage territory. This is what I am still trying to understand as I move along on my exotic ownership experience.

As of today I own and drive on a daily basis (except Winter due to the amount of salt on the roads up here in the cold north, a.k.a. Canada) the 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo seen on the picture above and just two weeks ago I reached the insanely high amount of 31,000 miles.

At first when the car rolled 30,000 miles I was certain it would explode. Obliterate. Kaboom. I even stopped on the side of the road to take a picture, 100% sure my Lumia 920 would survive the explosion and people would still have proof my car got to 30,000 clicks. To my surprise nothing exploded. Not even a little noise or click. So tying that fire extinguisher to the passenger seat and dressing up on my flameproof racing suit with helmet proved useless. And created some issues when explaining to the Police officer I was not racing on the streets but just had stopped to take a picture of the odometer.

The car so far has been as reliable as my KIA Rondo. Sure when things break you may have to sell a kidney or cut a finger for insurance purposes but you already know that is the case when owning exotics.

They do not make as many shifter parts as they do for the Mazda Miata (another car I do love). Plus adamantium costs money, so do trips to Mount Doom to forge these parts. That is why that one piece that broke on my Lamborghini this summer cost $800 (a 10” rod with a thread on top so you can screw the $900 ball on top - picture attached for your enjoyment).

What does ‘High Mileage Exotic’ mean?

[By the way before you ask how a piece of adamantium broke I can also post the picture of Wolverine driving my Lamborghini if you guys want]

Back to the topic, is that the reason why most people do think Italian exotics, or any other exotic for that matter, are as reliable as the Chinese ATV clones sold at Walmart? That any metal piece, or plastic (yes, they do use plastic on the Lamborghinis) will break easily, engine and transmission included? Or is it just the pre-conception that any exotic owner is an A-hole that does 100 on a 35 zone and does not know how to shift to anything higher than 2nd gear what sort of helps to reduce the lifespan of engines and transmissions out there?

Sure I do know examples for both cases listed above but on the other hand you can find so many ads selling these cars where the vehicles saw no more than 500 or 600 miles a YEAR. I am sure not all vehicles were driven like there was no tomorrow for these 500 or 600 miles. Or not (on a side note, buying exotics that were not driven at all over several years is also a bad idea for many reasons like seals and hoses drying up for example)?

If we look back at the Italian exotics from what I can see (never owned an old Italian exotic by the way) they were apparently unreliable. Just by thinking your car could break would actually break it. Like magic. At least that is what they say. But is that still the case today?

I am not sure and my experience says otherwise. The cars I own have been extremely reliable.

Maybe it has to do with the fact I do not wait until something breaks to fix it. I take a proactive approach, replacing things at certain mileage (i.e. a water pump, timing belts/chains, thermostats, sensors, etc) what may contribute to this sense of reliability. I got to the point where I buy parts upfront and store them in a shed on my backyard (along with brand new tires!) so when something needs to be replaced the parts are all there, ready to go.

But shouldn’t we treat any car like that, with proactive maintenance, for that matter?

I would love to hear from other exotic owners what they have to say about their cars and reliability. Would be awesome to hear about Paganis, Koenigsegg, etc as these are much harder to see around (but I guess most owners of these barely drive them).

What do you guys think?