Saturday, March 10, 2007

Buying a Ferrari


When I left Springfield, it was fifteen degrees and dreary. The line was long, and the plane was full. Luckily, I found myself seated with the Greenbergs, a delightful family from West Hartford. They were on their way south to embark on a cruise with friends from school.

The long flight wasn't boring at all, with interesting people to talk to. The Greenberg family business is the overhaul of jet engines, something a machine aficianado like me can relate to.

The weather down here sure is different!

Even at night, it was seventy degrees and balmy. After eating at a nice place on the water in Boca, I walked to the end of the fish pier. Then I walked a few miles down the beach, returning to the hotel at 1AM, happy but with sore feet.

I awoke to an eighty-degree sunny morning, and I headed for the Ferrari dealer. I looked at the car, which was very nice, and poked and prodded. I looked at the finish on all the body panels, looked at the motor, and looked over the service photos. The engines in these cars need to be removed every 15,000 miles for timing belts - a $6,000 job. The proof was in the photos.

After admiring the car in the yard, we took a test drive up Route 1.

"You'd better let me drive the car first," the owner said. "These Formula 1 paddle shift cars are tricky unless you know how to drive them."

Well, he certainly knew how to drive it.

The Tubi exhaust gave a marvelous bark as the motor wound up to 6,000 between gearchanges. The sound and feel was that of a race car. I glanced over the the gauges from time to time, but I could never see the speedometer needle. The right side of the speedo was obscured by the dash, and the numbers above 100 weren't visible. This is one fast car. I'll bet we hit five times the posted speed limit on some of those sections of Route 1.

Even sitting still, this car looks fast. And at 150, with the top down, it'll pull your hair right out if you bounce up on a bump. The F355 was the first Ferrari I fit comfortably inside, and the best driving car they had ever created when it came out ten years ago.

Back in the yard, the car cracked and ticked as it cooled. I handed over the money, collected the books and title, and bounced and squeaked out of the yard in my rented Grand Am. Oh well.

The car will be picked up by our hauler next week.

This is a Ferrari I could actually enjoy owning myself. It's a shame I bought it for someone else. But I'm sure he'll have fun with it.

No comments: