It’s no surprise that Victoria Vega, national director of business development for CulinArt in Plainview, N.Y., loves cars. Before her birth her father bought a red Cadillac after a conversation with Elvis Presley. That innate love of sports cars has led her to be the proud owner of some very impressive automobiles. She spoke to FSD about her favorites and what she does to combat her lead foot.
Victoria Vega, CulinArt“My love of sports cars started way before I was even a thought in my parents heads. My dad was stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany in the 1950s, and during his service he overlapped at the same German base as Elvis Presley. There was a lot of conversation with Elvis about a red Cadillac that he had. The first thing my dad did when he got back to the U.S. was buy himself the same red Cadillac that Elvis had told him about.
My first car was a 1967 Cadillac Sedan de Ville. It was a tank that my grandfather gave me for my 16th birthday. It was a turquoise convertible, and that was the last year they made fins on that car. From then on I just had an affinity for really nice cars. My next car was a red T-top Camaro Z28, which my parents gave me for my 20th birthday. It was totally ‘80s. I had huge hair to match.
The first car I actually bought myself was a BMW 325. I was just so proud of myself for just getting to that level. At that point, I knew nothing about horsepower and nothing about the size of the engine. When I got divorced my first reward to myself was a Porsche. Since then I’ve owned three Porsches. The great thing about a high performance vehicle like that is that it’s a passion and affinity that a lot of enthusiasts have. There is a Porsche Club of America. I joined in my region, and they have driver education classes, technical assistance programs and you can learn how that automobile was designed to perform. Those are very testosterone-filled events. I was frequently the only woman. It really gave me an understanding of uncompromised quality.
One car that is special to me is a 10th anniversary limited edition 2008 Porsche Boxter. There were only 250 made, and I had number 141. It only came in orange. I really loved the feeling of exclusivity. Just this year I graduated to a higher level of style, beauty and power by getting an Aston Martin. It’s a 2011 V8 Vantage Roadster that was hand assembled and has 420 horsepower. It can go from 0 mph to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. It’s got a maximum speed of 180. Now, I haven’t gone that fast on the New Jersey turnpike, but all my friends can tell you that not only do I have a lead foot, but I’m a very strong supporter of the New Jersey State Troopers in the sense that I pre-emptively give them money every year so I have shields on my car that “shield me” from really getting in trouble. I traded in two of my Porsches to get the Aston Martin. I like to have things that commemorate different stages of my life.
I love to drive, especially when you are on a road where you can really open up the engine and hear the car growl. I love to drive down on the Jersey Shore. I live in the Hamptons in the summer, so it’s very fun to have a really image-building automobile out there because that’s kind of the norm. For my next car I’m definitely thinking of getting a Maserati. In my perfect world I would really love a Bentley. I like that it’s a place where I can be aggressive and still feel safe. Certainly being in the foodservice industry for the last 23 years everybody talks about there being a glass ceiling and owning these cars was one of the ways for me to personally break through.”