As a child, my father and I shared a love of cars, and we would talk for hours about cars in general and Ferraris in particular. He had missed an opportunity to buy an inexpensive one in the early '60s, and it was one of his few regrets of the era - but he was a young physician at the time and finances did not permit. As the years passed he remained a physician, and Ferraris became just a pipe dream; in the meantime I went into software.
Fast forward to early 2000 - the DotCom bubble was in full swing, and I was an engineering director at E.piphany, one of the hotter IPOs of late '99. My father was turning 60 that year, and as was my family's tradition, we assembled at Mama's fish house in Maui. I had been talking up the fact that there was an exotic car rental business on Maui which had a red 348, and that the weather was perfect for a little targa-top cruising. Thus was the seed of misdirection planted.
When in due course dinner was finished, I presented my father with three gift boxes. The first had a card which talked about it being his 60th birthday, and how he'd always loved Ferraris; inside the box was a Ferrari polo shirt. The second gift box had a card which expanded on the fact that Maui had a Ferrari rental business which had a convertible, and inside the second box was a Ferrari baseball hat.
The card on the third box said "Unfortunately, when I contacted Exotics of Maui, they had no cars available for the weekend of our visit. I then called Ferrari of New England [where he lived] to see if they could help me. They said that unfortunately they had just sold their last convertible, a red 1997 F355 Spider, to some kid in California who had bought it for his father for his 60th birthday. Happy 60th, dad - some dreams are worth waiting for." And inside the third box were his owner's manuals and the keys to his Ferrari.
For as long as I live, that will be one of the best days of my life. And so, Ferraris have a special place in my heart.