Sunday drive - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-10-2012, 06:14 AM
Schnellmann
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Sunday drive

I know I have just posted a picture of a 911 on a Ferrari site...but bear with me, there is a Ferrari connection!

Picture is of my 993 after a really good Sunday drive a couple of weeks back. It was cold, initially wet and the roads were quite greasy. However, still have winter tires on the 993 and it wasn't a problem. Sometimes I think driving in the winter is actually better than summer: no-one else on the roads and no foliage so easier to see through corners.

If I could pick any 911 for a quick blast it probably wouldn't be a 993 (2.7RS, 964 RS, any GT3 would certainly be on the list). However, as an ownership prospect, especially if you only own one 911, the 993 is brilliant: last of the air-cooled 911s, modern enough to be usable at any time and comfortable for long-distance but retaining enough of the original 911 DNA to give that unique 911 feel.

I drove from my home near Pfäffikon, across country to the Rheinfall on the border with Germany. Included some of my favourite roads north of Zurich. The 993 was lovely. It isn't actually that quick (unless wound up properly doesn't feel much quicker than my 330XD) but the feedback from the car is very satisfying, the odd but lovely warble of the engine out back, the communicative steering and the way it floats over bumpy roads is brilliant.

So what has this to do with Ferraris? Well, as some on here know, I am just about to purchase my first Ferrari: a Challenge Stradale. There were some hiccups in the buying process but I am really hoping they have been solved and I should buy the car next week. It will then be serviced (with cam belts) and have all four brake discs replaced, so won't get to pick it up until the week after.

I am really, really looking forward to the CS. I am also really looking forward to it being completely different to the 993. I have had a couple of short drives in CSs but not long enough to really get to know it. My expectation is that it will be much more visceral, much more dramatic (and much louder!!) Also much redder too! I am really going to spoilt, having the 993 and the CS to look at every time I go down into the underground car park.

I plan to drive the same route in the CS and will post my thoughts (if anyone is interested!) Along with some pictures of course.

Do I have some reservations or concerns about the CS? Well, a few. I do wonder whether it will feel too wide. Most of my favourite roads tend to be the smaller, country roads (with more bends and fewer, mobile speed traps). Also, wonder how the stiffer suspension will cope. I think it should be okay as I don't remember my old 996 GT3 being too bad. I also wonder how I will cope with the attention. 911s are relatively anonymous: not something you can say about a red CS with an exhaust noise capable of waking the dead!

My other concern is that I really hope my Ferrari-owning experience goes well. Apart from the first day of Porsche ownership (which was an unmitigated disaster) the rest has been brilliant. So many great memories and I've never had any significant problems with any of my 911s. I am just hoping to be so lucky with my first Ferrari
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-10-2012, 11:03 AM
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Hi FastMan. Very nice story and drive. Thanks for sharing it

We have been driving in this beautiful region with the Swiss Ferrari Club and we passed by the Pfaffikersee. If I’m not mistaken, that was the Sternfarht of 2009.

I think that maybe you won’t drive on the same small mountains roads as you do with your 993. You’re right, the Ferrari’s are quite large and they don’t handle very well on such roads especially if they are not in a very good condition. I prefer to drive my F430 on the main mountain roads and mountain passes. A CS will have a much stiffer drive than your Porsche and you’ll have the feeling to brake your suspension each time you’re driving over a bump. The rims are also quite fragile and will get damaged easily when driving in a hole.

See, today I went for a drive on one of my preferred mountain roads nearby the Jaun pass and in a blind turn, there was a big rock (approx 15cmx15cm) right in the middle. Impossible to avoid it as an guy was tailgating me and if I stepped on the brakes, he would have been unable to stop his car. There was also another car coming from the opposite direction. Result: the rock exploded the front splitter arggghh. If I was driving a 993, I just would have driven over the rock, end of story. Morality, I shouldn’t have been driving on this road at this time of the year because with the melting snow, there is a high risk of rocks falling on the road. It’s just an example to show you the difference between both cars.

But on a positive tone, you’ll enjoy much more other mountain roads with your CS. Nothing is more exciting than hearing the engine echo against the mountains! One of my favourite summer rides is crossing entirely Switzerland from West to East through all the mountain passes. It’s a pure pleasure! And these cars climb so so fast, it’s just amazing. But careful with the radars there, it can cost you a life because it’s very easy to double overspeed on such roads.

Each time you’ll take the CS, it will be a thousand more satisfying than with the 993. You’ll see how fast you’ll get addicted to it !

Let us know you first drives once you get your CS
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 02:51 PM
Schnellmann
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Thanks Stef.

Bad luck with your 430 and the front splitter but thumbs up for getting the car out early in the year.

I was actually driving from Pfäffikon, SZ but i think my journey took me through Pfäffikon, ZH.

I certainly will post my thoughts and some pictures once I get the car. Should get the keys by Saturday at the latest and pick up Tuesday next week. Never knew a week could drag so much!!
 
 
post #4 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 03:48 PM
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Schnellmann
Thank you for sharing your thoughts pre ownership. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy your CS as much, in fact more, than your 993. But as Stef said, in a different way.

The 2 cars will make nice companions and offer something different dependent on your mood.

Now.... tell us, what happened on your first day of Porsche ownership?

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post #5 of 6 Old 03-13-2012, 10:44 PM
Schnellmann
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I wasn't always so fiscally conservative and when I was young and in the second year of my chartered accountancy training I bought my first proper car: a 944 Turbo. Borrowed the money from my father. My wife often says that that opened the flood gates and she should never have agreed!

Anyway, I bought the car from an OPC near Birmingham. I asked the dealer if the tires were okay and was told they were fine. Being young and callow I didn't check myself.

Picked the car up on a Saturday and drove it back home. Went out with the wife in the evening. It was drizzling a bit. When I later did my advanced driving test I found out that conditions couldn't have been worse as it had been dry for a couple of weeks and a bit of rain makes the roads really greasy.

Anyway, I was following a friend. We were not going fast but because of traffic he had got ahead. I came off a roundabout onto a dual carriage way and gave it some gas. A combination of lack of experience, unfamiliarity with the power delivery of turbo cars and rear tires that were barely above the legal limit (as I found out after th crash), led me to spin the car. Fortunately I didn't hit anyone else and my wife and I were not hurt (if you excuse the huge blow to my ego ). We did go through a fence by the side of the road ad I think I managed to ding every panel!

Car still drove so went to my local OPC and left it there. A few months later I got it back in pristine condition and really enjoyed it.

It was very painfull at the time but in retrospect taught me a valuable lesson about being sensitive with the right foot and with cars with rear-wheel drive and a turbo try to ensure all four wheels are pointing in the same direction before giving it some welly!

Ok. Confessional over!
 
post #6 of 6 Old 03-14-2012, 12:29 AM
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Nice stories Schnellmann, apart from the last one, sorry to hear that but glad it had a happy ending.

If you are a true petrolhead then there's nothing to dislike about Porsches. Thanks to FL member Vitalone I've been lucky enough to experience a few and that led me to buying a Cayman S which I thoroughly enjoy. I will always stay a Ferrari man, and I sincerely hate that Zuffenhausen is no longer a sportscar-only producer, but when they do it well they do it very well.

Although everyone is different, I have had never had any qualms about driving my 550 on Switzerland's roads. The width of the car has never been an issue for me. I find that Ferrari's tend to shrink around you, they don't feel as wide because you can place them well once you get to know them. Of course, the CS is 7cm wider on each side, there's no denying that, but when 7cm becomes an issue you can't drive fast on that road anyway. The great thing about a Ferrari, especially a CS, is that it sounds great even when you're crawling over a speed hump.

Looking forward to your comparison report!


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