A tale of two Maranello's - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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A tale of two Maranello's

Life comes together nicely sometimes.

I met our dear FerrariLifer Vitalone (David) - virtually - on this board in 2007. At the time I was looking for my first Ferrari and I had a weakness for the 550 Maranello ever since I saw one in the flesh in 1997. I was working in Africa at the time but I had bought a house in Holland, in my old home town, the year before. David was a South African but living in Holland, having just moved there from Guernsey (one of the channel islands off the coast of France). I bought my nightblue 550 a couple of months later and David and I met IRL soon after.

We immediately recognised each other as people who appreciate things automotive as well as the other finer things in life, and with a common passion for disliking dispassion. Conventional wisdom, as David always calls it, is for the grey masses. Life is about learning from other people and keeping curious. Thus I was introduced to Porsche through his passion for that brand, and I learnt a lot from his previous experience with Ferraris in South Africa, where his dad had a 365 GT2+2, and he himself owned a 246 Dino and 512BB. I like South Africans - I've lived in their country for many years and I understand them well. Even David, although he does try and make it as difficult as possible to understand him on occasion.

Fast forward a lot of years, and a lot of Ferrari trips (some of which with other FerrariLife friends and some not), and in the meantime I have moved to Jersey, right next to where David used to live in Guernsey. David has become a Netherlands passport holder, moved to Bratislava as soon as he got it (cheeky!), but recently got a job offer in Jersey.

In September 2012 he bought a beautiful blue 550 Maranello - after his drives in my car he realised how well the car's philosophy fit with his own wants. A car that combined the best driving experiences of the past with the best technology to rocket out of the Millenium at 200mph... I've always found it great that my car was delivered in 2000. It's funny, BTW, that I was aware of Vitalone's 550 even before I owned my own - it is a famous car in Holland and has been photographed often.

So when David mentioned he was moving to Jersey using his 200mph delivery van, it was like the previous years all aligned to combine into a great road trip. My brother and I left from our home village to go visit our great friend and Ferrari specialist Alex Jansen, where both Vitalone and I acquired our 550's. After shooting the breeze for a couple of hours, we hit the road, Tubi's rumbling, on the way to France.

I've always seen my 550 as, what the English call, a Q-car. No idea what it means, but I do know what it stands for: a low-key fast machine, that people don't really notice. But this weekend, we got looks everywhere we went. I think most people do a double-take when they see a second blue 550 pass after they've just seen the first one!

We stayed over at a chateau somewhere in the neighbourhood of Amiens. A real rural village, where nothing happens. Just farmers and alcoholics (that's us). Since there was only 1 bar and only 1 place to eat (pretty dismal steak, we have to say), we were immediately identified as the owners of the two Ferraris. In my poor French I managed to raise enough credit for them to give us free wine and beer. I think one of us was elected mayor at the end of the evening, but it is difficult to remember if that was true, nor who it was.... What I do remember was the horrible blue neon light in the bar - what were they thinking???

The next morning we left fairly early, nursing mild hangovers, but although the forecast was for dismal rain all day we managed to have pretty lovely weather. The reason for the early departure was that I wanted to take some photo's of the Mont St. Michel with the 550's in the background. Unfortunately that didn't prove too easy but we did find a spot and I think the results are pretty good.

Then it was off to St. Malo for the obligatory (in this part of Normandy) moules marinières et frites (mussles in white wine sauce with fries) and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. The ferry crossing to Jersey was in lovely weather but the ferry staff was rather unhelpful and I only narrowly avoided damage to my car. Not too impressive...

But we arrived safely, and so here we are - two Blue Birds with clipped wings, captive on too-small an island with a 40mph speed limit, but satisfied after a phenomenal drive through 4 countries. I thought it was a great trip, if far too short, and a great way to relive the memories of the past 6 years. May we have many more together, and may you enjoy Jersey my friend - bring on 2014!


Onno



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Past: 458 Italia, 550 Maranello,
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Last edited by JazzyO; 09-30-2013 at 03:07 AM.
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 03:24 AM
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Onno, as usual, you guys are having way too much fun ! Full of envy.

Enjoyed your splendid tales of the two alcoholics anonymous in action.

Needless to say, spectacular photos of beautiful cars and countries.

I must mention of the new hairstyles of you two, much improvement from last year's FLED 6.

By the way, David looks perfect in his 550. After all, he is a big guy. Great balance.

Do not hesitate to divulge more stories.


w/ smiles

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post #3 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 06:34 AM
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Long ago when people pointed to the fast car that I was driving and told me that it was only a car, I would try to explain that it more than that, it was a way of life. FerrariLife proves my point perfectly. I no longer try to explain anything to anyone blinded by conventional wisdom.

The FerrariLife. Two weekends ago I flew into Dublin for 24 hours. Why? To visit Barry and to enjoy a fantastic time with his lovely family. A few months ago I visited 212Export for afternoon tea, that ended with me taking the wheel of his magnificent F50. Not to mention the driving adventures and growing friendships from our FLEDs through the years. I could write a book about our FerrariLife friendships and adventures. One day maybe I will...

And then when I mentioned to my great friend, Onno aka JazzyO, that I would be moving to Jersey this past weekend, he and his brother and my friend, Harald, moved a few mountains to join me. Instead of a lonely 800km drive in the bluebird loaded with my worldly possessions, another of our epic road trips was on! I cannot put it better than Onno's words and fantastic pictures to describe our fabulous weekend. It was the most fun moving that I ever add and indeed I look forward to many more adventures together. Merci mon ami!

David

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post #4 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 06:54 AM
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Onno- The Q-car name derived from Q-ships, which were heavilty armed merchant ships disguised to look like normal freighters. With up to 5" guns mounted and camouflaged, they were formidable opponents, especially to submarines that liked to do surface attacks and not waste their torpedos.

Taz
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Taz, fantastic to finally know where that came from! Great story.


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post #6 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 01:13 PM
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Onno & David,
I enjoyed reading the tales of 'Two great friends enjoying great journey in great cars'... which other greatness can beat that?

Gus

Quit work - Get some stuff - Go somewhere - Have some fun
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-30-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post

I must mention of the new hairstyles of you two, much improvement from last year's FLED 6.

Jimmy
?? Sorry to say Jimmy, but I'm not in any of these pics.....

@Gus: you're absolutely right.


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post #8 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
?? Sorry to say Jimmy, but I'm not in any of these pics.....

@Gus: you're absolutely right.


Onno


Onno, this just shows you that I am losing myself !

w/ smiles

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post #9 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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I thought it best if you said it yourself.


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post #10 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 11:20 AM
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Jimmy, being a bold guy (in terms of hair) I can safely state that Onno has a lot less hair then the guy in the pic...(his brother)
Sorry, Onno, just couldn't resist...

Jeroen

Italian bella's:
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post #11 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
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Jimmy, being a bold guy (in terms of hair) I can safely state that Onno has a lot less hair then the guy in the pic...(his brother)
Sorry, Onno, just couldn't resist...
I did not utter those words !

But then, there's always the possibility of hair transplant in myriad ways too !

w/ smiles

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post #12 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Guys, for crying out loud, are we discussing make-up next? Jeez.



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post #13 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 03:24 PM
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Onno, thanks for giving me some perspective back with your great post. I had a conversation with a dealer this morning which started out with me enquiring about an F430 and ended up with me trading the 575M on a couple of Fcars.......and I think I had convinced myself by tonight it was a goer until I came across your words and pictures. So thanks for the reality check....the MAranello stays!

Cheers
Michael

Current Fcars: 360 Modena
Gone but not forgotten: 360 Spider, 575M, F430.
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post #14 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 08:53 PM
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Another great write up. Seems sad to keep them caged on a place with a 40mph limit though. Where are you off to next?
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post #15 of 27 Old 10-01-2013, 10:01 PM
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Hi,
David & Onno,
thanks to share your great tour with your wonderful maranellos, pictures are very nice, I never went at S. Malo,that appear nice, lack to be filled in future ....
Guys, have you had any problem during crossing borders? People generally are kind with ferrari's owner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 575er View Post
Onno, thanks for giving me some perspective back with your great post. I had a conversation with a dealer this morning which started out with me enquiring about an F430 and ended up with me trading the 575M on a couple of Fcars.......and I think I had convinced myself by tonight it was a goer until I came across your words and pictures. So thanks for the reality check....the MAranello stays!

Cheers
Michael
Michael,
never trade maranello for a V8, but rather add a 430 if you like.
My think ....

Enjoy your cars at all .....

Fabio

PRESENT: 575 F1 HGTC ROSSO CORSA 2004' - MB CLS 350 CGI 2007'
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post #16 of 27 Old 10-02-2013, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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So thanks for the reality check....the MAranello stays!
Michael - I've got a 458 and I love it. Absolutely love it! I've driven it on the track and taken it to the limit and she's been one fine, amazing machine. But the 550 stays. For me, the 550 is the best fit for the things that I most like to do with a car: a decent road trip with a fast car, a car that has charisma, is practical, is huge fun to drive, is a bit classic but still modern, and looks fantastic. After 6 years and 55k kms, she is still giving me a smile and I'm still in love. I also like the fact that she's a bit undercover - a lot of people want a flashy Ferrari and this is not it (particularly in dark blue).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer View Post
Where are you off to next?
FLED Ireland in two weeks time!! Can't wait!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 550_Maranello View Post
I never went at S. Malo,that appear nice, lack to be filled in future ....
Guys, have you had any problem during crossing borders? People generally are kind with ferrari's owner?
Hey Fabio,

St. Malo is very nice. It was an independent state of pirates about 500 years ago. They built their fortunes by robbing everyone who came past, I think Bernie Ecclestone must be related. Just kidding Bernie...

Crossing borders is never a problem but sometimes you get asked a question. I've been taken off the road in Germany about 4 times to check my papers, and I've been stopped at a road block in Italy twice for the same reason. At the Slovakia border the Austrian officer asked questions about my German export plates. But it's never been a problem.

The general public is not always appreciative. Some people are just evolved enough to appreciate such exquisite pieces of engineering. But I've never had an actual problem (in almost 100,000kms, driving Ferraris all over Europe), and the far, far majority are very appreciative. I've had great conversations last spring when I was in my 458 in Italy. People wanted to know everything about the car and I had great fun practising my Italian and explaining how many cavalli she had! Driving a Ferrari in countries you don't know is a lot of fun, as you have a conversation piece. Before you know it, you've made new friends.


Onno



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post #17 of 27 Old 10-03-2013, 12:12 AM
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Hi Onno, I can't fault a single word you've said about the Maranello's, and I never intended to part with mine, just got my head turned and started using man maths. So now I'm refocused and hoping to swing a deal on the F1 V8 I originally enquired about.

As for FLED Ireland we're ready to roll and working hard on the weather gods as we speak.

Cheers
Michael

Current Fcars: 360 Modena
Gone but not forgotten: 360 Spider, 575M, F430.
Other stuff: '71 Holden GTS Monaro, '80 BMW Alpina B9, '74 Porsche Targa, Caterham, MB CL500, Land Rover Discovery.
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post #18 of 27 Old 10-03-2013, 08:06 AM
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Michael- What is traffic enforcement like in Ireland? Do the local fuzz have a sense of humor?

Taz
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post #19 of 27 Old 10-03-2013, 12:50 PM
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Hi Terry, well I've only had two speeding tickets in 17 years in Ireland so I'm probably not the best judge of the "fuzz". I think they're generally pretty good if you have all your doc's are up to date and leave your high speed stuff to the track.

As for the two speeding tickets, the first was driving Mrs 575ers BMW320i convertible of the day, with the roof down and her 9 months pregnant next to me, not exactly a recipe for spirited driving, and the second was in the Range Rover towing a trailer with a couple of tonne of bricks which again is a little underwhelming considering the amount of horsepower I had in the shed at the time.

So unless you're really pushing it, it's all in the timing.

Cheers
Michael

Current Fcars: 360 Modena
Gone but not forgotten: 360 Spider, 575M, F430.
Other stuff: '71 Holden GTS Monaro, '80 BMW Alpina B9, '74 Porsche Targa, Caterham, MB CL500, Land Rover Discovery.
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post #20 of 27 Old 10-03-2013, 01:34 PM
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Great story

This is my first post. I have wanted a 550 since they first came out and I finally purchased one on September 30, 2013. It is also Tour de France blue and has a cream interior. My wife and I travel frequently and now we have the best excuse to increase the frequency of our "Road trips". Your story has inspired us to take pictures during our adventures here in the US and post them as well. Here's to living well and making memories.
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