It is not every day you wake up to a Ferrari in your garage, except at the moment, it is for me! I moved to my new house about 2 weeks ago and what better way to fill my new storage space than with a truly beautiful Rosso Corsa Ferrari F430 Spider. I am currently in the very fortunate position to be looking after this wonderful creation for the next few weeks and at the moment I feel like an eight-year-old boy on Christmas morning every day.
The car in question has been in my family since 2011 and it is now time for it to move on for someone else to love it, look after it, and most importantly (and hopefully) drive it! So where do I fit in to this equation? Well it’s simple really, I have a lovely new house with a nice big garage off the road and plenty of space to keep it protected and locked up at night. I also have made a bit of a habit of arranging sales and purchases of these beautiful beasts over the last few years. Starting off by actually sourcing this car for my Step Father back in September 2011 and then on to find and arrange purchase of several pieces of mechanical joy including a Bentley Continental GT and the sale of a fabulous 1967 MG B GT Coupe only a few months ago. It turns out I really quite enjoy the stress of it all as it’s a thing I have always done in my free time when I am playing the old “what if I won the lottery” game on a few famous car search apps… The Ferrari is, without doubt, stunning. It’s just jaw dropping to look at when its red paintwork shines in the sunlight and the noise it makes will make the hairs on your neck stand on end and your grin will go from ear to ear. It’s also a charming brute to drive. Surprisingly comfortable and civilised at both slow “around town” speeds and also on the motorways cruising 70. But when it’s not doing either of these two things, it’s pure mechanical pornography. The F1 gearbox builds all the way up to an ear piercing 9000rpm and the speed just keeps going up. I have had the pleasure of driving a lot of very special cars in my time, but the majority have been big heavy front engine V8s and so on. They are all equally as blissful when on full chat, but there is just something about that Italian V8 that makes you want to go round and do it again and again and again. I know the gearbox has taken some criticism in the past and it is in no refined like the new double clutch systems in the 458 and so on, but the way it punches you back into the seat when you change up at 7,500rpm is just awesome. Maybe I just like the rawness of it compared to quicker, smoother modern boxes.
I can bang on for days about just how much I love driving this car and how I would love to compare it to the 458 / 488 GTB one day, but my real fascination with the car has come from the social side of things since picking up the car last week. Driving the Ferrari has turned into a kind of strange social experiment where I have learnt so much about where I live and the mentality of people in the surrounding area. It still amazes me how we live in a country where the default is to be rude, impolite and uncourteous. Now before I go into too much detail, I am fully away that by driving about in a bright red Ferrari convertible with number plate FAST CAR is not the best way to make friends and influence people, but in my defence I did not choose the number plate (and never would) and if I was buying one for myself, it would be in that beautiful dark blue or yellow.
About 7 minutes after picking up the car, I experienced the most extreme case of this issue when approaching a roundabout, a young “lad” in a bog-spec Audi A1 diesel decided to perform one of the most idiotic overtakes I have ever witnessed, just so his mate could hang out the passenger window and give me the “wanker” hand gesture. I was so amazed by this incredible display yobbishness and moronic behaviour, I just smiled at him, gave him the thumbs-up and let him pass. The thought of closing the gap so he would inevitably disappear into a cloud of red mist as he hit a tractor head-on did cross my mind, but then I thought the tractor driver might be a nice guy, with a dog, and maybe a shotgun. I had another encounter just two days later whilst getting a haircut after work. I parked up outside the barbers, got out, locked the car and went in for my monthly trim. When I came out 3 men started shouting from outside the pub over the road “Oi mate, how f***ing old are you anyway?” I didn’t really understand the question as I am legal age to many including drink, by a lottery ticket, rent a van and most importantly drive any car covered on my insurance, and he didn’t strike me as the authoritative figure to question my age anyway. I politely responded with my age, got back in the car and headed home. My question here is really why do people in this country feel it is completely acceptable to display their negative views and feelings towards others they have never met? I have been to many places in my life and seen many supercars in these places and they are even met with admiration and compliments by people wielding camera phones and the like, or people just ignore it and move on with their lives. It is only this country that seems to great pleasure in putting their fellow man down. My brother was also a victim of this a few years ago when he came back to his Porsche to find someone had climbed on the roof while he was out for dinner and the number of times someone has come up to me a petrol pump and claimed their mates Vauxhall Astra VXR is quicker, better on fuel quicker round the ‘Ring is astonishing. I don’t understand why people can’t just turn the other cheek and move on.
I know this is more of a rant than anything else, but it just fascinates me and I really can’t be the only one, I’d love to hear about some of the things other supercar / sports car owners have had to put up with over the years.