Well, I did what I probably shouldn't have done... I tossed the trailer idea, and decided to drive the car back. I wasn't convinced that I'd be able to fit the vehicle in the trailer, and didn't want to trust the rest of the journey to a shipping company. Recognizing that this was likely irresponsible, I convinced my mechanic to fly out with me and drive back - reasoning that having a capable hand aboard would be helpful. Not sure why - I can't imagine him removing the engine on the side of the Coquihala freeway, but it seemed logical at the time. He was thrilled to come along.
Frankly, it couldn't have turned out better. The car was running when we arrived (the crew at the depot were just rearranging some cars), and the staff there were friendly and very careful. Getting out of the taxi and hearing the rumble of those 12 cylinders reduced the anxiety somewhat.
Unfortunately, the car had been damaged in shipping - the Pininfarina emblem had been knocked off the passenger side of the car and there was a small scrape along the bottom trim. Clearly, somebody loading the car overseas didn't read this thread, and didn't expect the rear of the car to be so much wider than the front! Obviously, I was irritated by this, but in balance, if there was to have been a scrape anywhere, this is likely the least difficult spot on the car to repair without too much difficulty. The cargo yard in Canada was eager to give me a video showing the container being unloaded, and the video footage shows that the damage had already occurred by the time the container arrived here. I'll be making a claim against the shipping company, with no idea as to its prospects of success...
The drive home was incredible. 1200 km on the highway, through the Rocky Mountains. The car handles so beautifully, and was frankly far more comfortable and civilised than I expected. I've done the same drive and been rattled by the suspension on my Porsche 964 - this was entirely more refined. How the engineers manage such wicked handling without rendering the car race-track-undrivable is beyond me, but I'm grateful to their Maranello genius.
The power is breathtaking, and while the gated shifter took some getting used to, I didn't really encounter any driveability issues. I was pretty ginger with the car, though did encounter some convoys of trucks on the undivided highway, and had a blast downshifting to 3rd and powering past them. The handling was excellent, even when we encountered a couple of hours of rain, and both my mechanic and I were amazed not to feel any wind from the logging trucks passing in the opposite direction. The aerodynamics are clearly superior to anything I've driven previously. The gas mileage was, surprisingly, pretty decent. I'll have to get out the calculator, but I'm pretty sure that driving my half ton down the same roads would have cost as much in gas (and it would have been a considerably longer trip...
The only 2 problems I encountered were as follows - the battery light flickered occasionally, usually at lower revs. I tightened both positive and negative battery terminals, and this did seem to make a slight difference, but the problem continued sporadically throughout the drive. I'll be checking the grounds now that the car is home. I also had a problem with the pop-up lights - they popped up without any trouble, but the passenger light would droop, then collapse, and then re-deploy. Generally this process would take anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes. Not sure how that system works - limit switch, maybe? Slipped a cog on a gear wheel somewhere? I'll investigate, though would welcome any input. The light problems made us err on the side of prudence, and rather than try to push the car through the night, we decided to get some sleep in beautiful Jasper National Park, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
I can't believe the reactions I've had to the car. Ferraris aren't exactly a common sight in northern Canada, the way they might be in Southern California, and I've had plenty of gas station chats already. I didn't even try to wipe the grin off my face.
I sure appreciate all of the help I've received from the online Ferrari fraternity I've encountered here, and will post pictures when I get some. I'm looking forward to the next stage (Ferrari ownership, rather than just Ferrari dreaming...)