Join Date: Aug 2007
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,130
Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with 212Export in the company of a close friend and one of his sons and daughters. Both my friend and his son's jaws dropped when they viewed the magnificent "D" and "F". They are both car enthusiasts. In fact my friend's son is about to embark on studies in automotive engineering, with the dream of joining an F1 team one day and maybe even producing his own super car. They were visibly moved by examining and sitting in the best of the best.
It had been raining in and off most of the morning and we retired to 212Export's lovely home to tea with his delightful family. The homemade marble cake was delicious! Two pieces each! Then the sun rays came through and 212Export excused us to take his mint F50 for a drive.
Roof off warm sun, dry roads and 212Export expertly bringing this fantastic Ferrari hypercar to life. Warmed up and onto the highway. Below 4000rpm and it reminds me of a 911RSR, a bucket of bolts rattling at the back overlaid by an angry fizz of V12 energy. Ride compliant, feeling of strong secure chassis. Soon 212Export plays up and down the gears and the symphony varies from fizz to manic scream. Amplified by the roof off and the mighty 4.7 V12 inches behind us. This is the best sounding car I have been in. This car moves faster than one thinks and the savage acceleration is matched by the savage scream of the magnificent motor.
We come to a halt, sudden silence when 212Export turns her off (uncanny the way the mighty engine dies instantly) and assimilating the recent sensory overload. "Your turn". My ears must be deceiving me. No, 212Export has left the driver's seat and is heading to my side of the car. Into the driver's seat, tilt the backrest and my 6 4" frame fits comfortably. Side bolsters hold me in place securely but not too tightly. Press the starter button and there's the fizz of the motor and inline gearbox. I can feel the vibrations yet there are far less than I expected, just enough to enfuse this beauty with energy.
Clutch is a bit lighter than the 550. Floor mounted pedals perfectly set up for heel and toeing. Give her a bit of gas, boy this motor spins up very fast. Happily I neither stall nor kangaroo along but make a fairly smooth pull off. All trepidation has left me, the magnificent engine, stiff monocoque and compliant suspension speaks to me loud and clear. I try to drive with confidence, straddling fear and arrogance, not allowing either to lure me away from respectful confidence mixed with awe. Incredibly direct steering, impression of being very wide (although it turns out to be of a similar width to the 550 as I discover once back in the bluebird). Firm brake pedal, lovely feel to the brakes, unserved I suspect, lots of feel. The road opens up, a short straight. Time to punch it to 6000rpm through the gears. The brutal acceleration is matched only by the savage scream of this magnificent motor. This gears click clack through the open gate with the flick of my wrist. The fastest and slickest gear change I have enjoyed in a Ferrari. In short the best gearbox I have had the joy to swap cogs with in a Ferrari. In the warm sun on the smooth roads in the verdent Swiss fields, I play tunes from gentle smooth cruising at 80km/h in fifth to brutal change of pace at will. Oil and water temperatures do not move.
All too soon we are home. This is the best sounding car I have had the privilege of driving. It has the best gear change. It has the most sense of drama. In short this is the finest motor car I have ever driven. I yearn to explore its handling and the upper reaches of its rev range. As I know it would take me years of driving this F1 Ferrari V12 for the road to be able to do this. Making me a better driver in the process.
212Export I cannot thank you enough for your incredible kindness, trust and generosity at letting me loose at what must surely be one of the best driving Ferrari F50s on the planet. I now have a glimmer of what all the fuss is about and I salute you for exercising her well and often. As well as for sharing her with this man living a boy's adventure tale!
Current: 365BB, 550 bluebird and a few 911's
Past: 246gt, 512BB, 308 GTB "Michalone" and a few 911's