Challenge Stradale - End report - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-22-2013, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Challenge Stradale - End report

Those that remember the saga involved in me buying my CS last year may be surprised to hear that I sold it. Unfortunately a decision to move back to the UK from Switzerland (for many reasons) meant that it wasn't practical to keep the CS. I put it up for SORN at the same dealer I bought it from..and it went in 3 days! Not surprising as it was in perfect condition and have only 4000 km on the clock (I bought it with 800km).

I thought I'd give my views of owning it, albeit the ownership period was far too short.

After a few false starts I finally found my perfect CS (black with factory stripe, red and black alcantara interior, street seat belts and immaculate condition). I picked it up in April last year from a local specialist. It was my first Ferrari and also first mid-engined car.

The first weekend of ownership was awesome. When I picked it up with my daughter the sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was such a wonderful feeling to be sitting in MY Ferrari. And although it was 8 years old it was for all purposes a new car - from how it looked, smelt and drove.

I really got to know it the following morning when I went out by myself for an early morning drive over some more challenging roads. The CS isn't perfect and if you have sampled later Ferraris, like the Scud, or double-clutch cars then the gearbox is a bit ponderous in comparison. Perhaps it isn't quite as fast in a straight line either. But in isolation the CS is an amazing car. I found the gearbox to be no problem and really enjoyed it. Much more so that the double-clutch in the M3 I had a few years back (which often got left in automatic mode). In the CS I didn't want an automatic mode for the box as it felt right to have to change.

The CS was also fast enough, both in a straight line and in the corners. It felt a bit edgy and at times a bit nervous in the corners. However, that appealed to me a lot. It meant I had to concentrate all the time and be smooth with my inputs. It felt like I had to drive the car properly. One thing that I dislike about the most modern cars is that they are too easy to drive too fast and their limits are so much higher than mine (especially on the public road).

The noise. God I miss the noise. Especially in tunnels.

However, the flipside is that the noise was also one the few issues I had with the car. When I was out driving I was careful to slow down before passing through Swiss villages. But because the car is sooooooooooo loud they must have heard me driving whilst I was still miles off and quite a few occasions I would have Swiss peope shaking their fists at me or making other gestures whilst I pootled through the villages at the correct speed.

It only let me down once. Unfortunately that was about a week after I picked it up and was whilst I was taking a friend from the UK for a drive (making me feel a bit of a idiot when we had to be recovered on the back of a truck). The garage who sold me the car spent a couple of weeks pulling it apart to find the problem (a faulty throttle body). However, in retrospect it was probably a good thing because that meant that they had gone through and checked over the whole car. It didn't put a foot wrong after that.

I think the best day I spent with it was when I meet up with some members of Pistonheads (who live in or near Switzerland). They organise a meeting once a year to drive some of the mountain passes. They were a really nice, eclectic bunch with cars ranging from a Golf to a 993 RS. By luck the day chosen for the event had glorious weather. Unfortunately that meant the passes got quite busy but it was early in the season and we did find some decent stretches without too much traffic. However, my best section was when I had left the main group and was on my way home as got chased by a group of bikers. Had a really long stretch without traffic in front (or traffic easily dispatched). It was brilliant. Eventually they turned left but the lead rider gave me a big thumbs up before we split.

As well as selling the CS I finally offloaded my "excess" 993 and will be selling my other 993 in the next few months (although I want to hold onto it for a while, otherwise won't have anything fun to drive).

I'm not sure what to buy when we move back to the UK. I'm taking a break from work and will be doing some postgradute studies. That might lead to a change of career. Or I might carry on in finance. Whilst studying I can't justify (to my wife) spending lots on a toy car. If I could find something that would hold its value and not cost too much in maintenance then that might fly, although it could be costly in bribes Current thought is a 550/575 as I would love to experience a V12 Ferrari. Has to be a manual though.

Back to the CS. Overall an amazing car. I couldn't recommend it highly enough. And I still miss it.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-22-2013, 03:42 AM
champagne612's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: St Louis
Ferrari Life Posts: 10,022
Wish you nothing but the best in your new endeavor.

You owned the perfect Stradale color combination

Wonderful tribute!
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-22-2013, 05:40 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Europe
Ferrari Life Posts: 4,348
Great write up Schnellmann.

And great to have taken a wonderful car from being an unused ornament to a proper Ferrari!!

Good luck in your new endeavours. I 550/575 for college sounds the way to go

Ferrari's: 360 Modena, 550 Maranello
Ex's: Dino 308 GT4, 612 Scaglietti
The Rest: Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, Porsche 911 2.7s, Porsche 911 3.2 Carerra, Ducati 916... and the Land Rovers
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