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Most drives in a Ferrari find me drinking in the drama and thanking my good fortune. Some of my best drives:
Kyalami 1999 - epic duel against a 365BB from the driver's seat of my Dino Azzurro 512BB. Closed up on the bends, watched as the 365BB used her extra 1000rpm to pull away on the straights.
Magaliesberg 1998 - hitting 280 km/h on a quiet back road early one Sunday morning in the country. In Dad's 512BB. Haven't told Dad about that one yet.
FLED 2, Swiss Alps, June 2009 - learnt how to drive the Michalone quickly through the passes without losing the brakes. Simple really, just listen to her, ignore your head telling you that you are entering the bends too fast and follow your heart. We danced together in the glorious June sunshine!
Stromberg to Nuremburg, 9 March 2013 - having collected the bluebird a few hours earlier and heading south to escape the snow heading down from Berlin. Not dropping below 180km/h for an hour, perfectly legally, while chasing Onno in the nightbluebird on a quiet derestricted autobahn in the dry after solid rain on the drive down through the Netherlands. Arrived at our hotel that evening in a high with the magnificent Maranello impressing and thrilling in equal measure.
FLED 2 again - 212Export generously tossing me the keys to his new Scuderia. What a thrill to be behind the wheel of this raw, fast and thrilling Ferrari! On the Swiss Alpine passes. In the sun under the deep blue sky with azure lakes, verdent mountains and white snow on the peaks. The speed, violence and music of the Scuderia and I was probably only accessing 20% of what she had to offer.
FLED 6, Scotland - that road to Mallaig in Onno's 365BB. A great morning of meeting the Scottish contingent, taking the wheel of Barry's sublime 308 GT/4, blue skies and sunshine. And the main feature. Being let loose behind the wheel of a sorted 365BB while the generous owner and good friend savoured the thrills with me. On a dry deserted road with bends twisting over its smooth surface. And the smoothness, power and comfort of that flat 12. Not to mention its music.
Netherlands, sometime in 2011 - at the wheel of Onno's 330 GTC following Onno in his 365BB. Having had the privilege of driving the magnificent GTC a few times, it really clicked this time. The well oiled precision of the steering perfectly matching the rifle bolt gear changes in turn perfectly matching the weight of the pedals. While drinking in the music of the Colombo V12. Enjoying the agility of the small and light GTC with its big torquey engine. All coming together with well oiled quality and precision.
 

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I spefically recall starting up in the mornings, crisp slightly damp weather with the sun peeping through the clouds watching the F cars in front of me. Priceless!
That memory deserves some pictures.... what a great trip that was... :thumbsup:
 

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Wow Barry, those are epic photos to go with the great story! Look at all those Maranello's. :thumbsup: you have my number for the next one!

My best drive in a Ferrari, could be the last one..............but will probably be the next one!:crowngrin:

Cheers
Michael
 

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Hurtling through the mountains of WVA in the Testarossa with the FCA region, passing a Lamborghini Gallardo, then being pulled over by a WVA state policeman in a SUV. He was traveling the opposite direction in a SUV and did a U turn to pull me over. I drove on for another ten minutes before I could find a safe place to pull over.

Since it took him awhile to catch up to me, my wife and I wrote a short essay
"Ten Things You Should Never Say to a WVA Trooper"

#1 I used to date your sister until you married her.


We read the entire list to our group of Tifosi after dinner.

Maybe not the best drive, but certainly memorable.
 

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1. November 2000, drove my brother's new P&J, a 328GTS, Muiderberg, Netherlands. My first time behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Unforgettable.
2. 7 May 2010. My 40th birthday. Second day of the first Mille Miglia Tribute, Italy, driving my 330GTC. Drove Imola circuit to wake up, then an amazing drive through Le Marche, up through San Marino, through snow in the Sibellini mountains. But that was not all yet, because close to Rieti, I shared around 1 hour of empty roads with a 275GTB. Both of us pushing our cars, V12s wailing, all the way to Rome in glorious sunshine. To round off my birthday, Luca di Montezemolo was very complimentary about my car, and my brother and I had a great dinner. It was an 18 hour, 600 mile, high.
3. The drive from Mallaigh to Fort William, Scotland, 3rd May 2012, 365BB. Having watched Vitalone drive my 365BB so well on the way in (see above), I decided to really test her mettle on the way back. So many things clicked on that drive, I had an epiphany on how to properly drive a 365BB. The car was barely under 6,000 rpms for the whole stretch of 30 miles or so, the noise was glorious. I took a good look at every corner, shifted down and dipped the brakes, unsettled the car and steered in. As the rear mass of the engine was on the edge of gaining momentum in the wrong direction, I was nearing the apex and applied power just before it. She would immediately settle down and rocket me out of the corner. In later sections with two bends following each other I could even use this inertia moment to gain me an advantage in the second corner, the weight in the back already being in the right place if I timed it well. It was a near religious experience to be so in tune with the car, using the weight but never close to breaking out the back. The BB is so compliant it you listen well. Don't use a strong hand, but use quick and light hands. The last memory I have was that the oil temp was on max as the 365BB is not built for such long periods of high revving. I gave her a good cooling down as a reward.
4. 9th of June, 2009. FLED2, Switzerland, first mountain pass in my new-to-me 330GTC (212export, cn you remember which pass it was?) on the way down. Having followed Boxer's well driven 360 Modena with ease up the mountain (surprising him but certainly myself, revealing new depths to classic Ferrari driving), on the way down things weren't going so well. I was running out brakes half way down. Thinking about slowing down, I realised that people like Mairesse, Gendebien, and Frere had pushed these cars (at least the sister car 275GTB and predecessor 250SWB) much harder than I was, back in the day. I was thinking: how did they do it? And suddenly it hit me: stop driving like a modern driver and stop using your brakes all the time. Trust the chassis to carry more speed through corners, anticipate the corner, predetermine the ideal gear to be in, use compression braking, only use the brakes once and hard just before the corner - minimising the time for the pads to warm up, maximising the time for them to cool down, use the friction of the tyres to help you get 'round the bend, accellerate before the apex to help the car squat down and wiggle its butt. All of a sudden my brakes came back, and I was going much faster with less pain. She and I started dancing, it was as if it was a different car. I was a better driver at the end of the day than I was at the start. Thank you, GTC.
5. August 2007. 550 Maranello, San Bernardino pass, Swiss side. My first drive into Italy in a Ferrari, but the drive up to the border was even mrore memorable. My first mountain pass where I pushed my Ferrari (would not do that now in Switzerland, the law is not flexible there). I did not take any risks or endanger anyone, but I did exploit the full 485bhp of that glorious V12. The butt wiggled a few times on open corners with a good view. There was hardly any traffic and it was a glorious sunny day. Just magic.
6. August 2007, Innsbrück Austria to Amsterdam, 550 Maranello. In 6 hours. Didn't break the speed limit but averaged over 100mph including two fuel fill ups. What the Maranello was made for - but I will never better that average, the roads are too busy now.
7. 12th May 2012, Hilversum, Netherlands. Drove my brand-spanking new 458 out of the showroom.
8. 16th May 2012, mountain pass north of Lucca, Italy. Pushed my 458 on a bumpy, hairpinny, road and really connected with it. Such a well balanced machine, she talked to me like the 330GTC and the 365BB, only she spoke much faster...
9. 11 June 2012, Spa Francorchamps circuit, 458 Italia. Felt nervous about driving Spa in my uninsured 458. And now it was raining! But I need not have worried. In RACE mode she is glorious, so communicative. I applied the same light touch - small corrections, trying to keep the car in balance, feeling around the limit but not applying brute force. I had a fantastic time, but the track was very greasy. It was tyring work, and I decided to skip the last session after the excellent but heavy lunch. Still think that was a wise decision.
10. All the drives (the vast majority) where it wasn't about pushing the car but being with my friends who share this passion. The wonderful drives with FerrariLifers on the epic FLEDs, the holidays in Italy visiting the Mille Miglia, the drives with Vitalone through Holland, the visits to Goodwood Revival. These 6 years of Ferrari ownership have been absolutely amazing, and far surpassed anything I had imagined beforehand.

Onno



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Fantastic write up Onno.

A wonderful top 10. I can picture each one!
 

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Hurtling through the mountains of WVA in the Testarossa with the FCA region, passing a Lamborghini Gallardo, then being pulled over by a WVA state policeman in a SUV. He was traveling the opposite direction in a SUV and did a U turn to pull me over. I drove on for another ten minutes before I could find a safe place to pull over.

Since it took him awhile to catch up to me, my wife and I wrote a short essay
"Ten Things You Should Never Say to a WVA Trooper"

#1 I used to date your sister until you married her.


We read the entire list to our group of Tifosi after dinner.

Maybe not the best drive, but certainly memorable.
Al I remember this drive. It was a good one.... and not just for comic value on your part. Or watching Buddy in a drunken state eschew the virtues of his hand caught fresh water salmon.

I remember all of us in the fast group up in the front in our line of cars, running switchbacks through the West Virginia mountains. I remember chasing Tommy Closs in his 550 while he was duking it out with a guy on a sportbike. Not only amazing driving on Tommy's part but watching his 550 hug the road as the sportbike struggled to match him turn for turn was awesome..... Good roads in WV.

Most memorable drive though was the drive home when I first got my car. My father and I decided it would be backroads all the way up through Richmond from South Carolina. It was chilly for late February but I had the roof off anyway. Blasting through Rt. 17 with it's two lanes and twist and turns kept me grinning almost the entire way home. It was intoxicating and made for one of the best road trips ever! Think Geddy Lee singing Red Barchetta! :) Having my Dad run interference in a Land Rover chase vehicle while we enjoyed "more than prudent" speeds made it that much more enjoyable. :crowngrin:
 

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@ Robert, what a cool picture. I always imagined that the city of Oakland was rather beautiful in its industrial peak. To see an officer tearing along in a Ferrari a cooler sight to be sure. I grew up very close to Onizuka Airforce-based aka Moffet Feild.
 

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Mine was probably last night... 80 degrees, top down, my beautiful wife next to me, and an open shot through the midtown tunnel which was deafening :)

 

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Hard 2 believe

This might sound crazy but I`ve never driven one YET. Even though the avatar ( left ) is sitting in my garage waiting like a `prancing horse` to perform, due to cherished transfer issues etc. it`ll be 3 weeks yet.
Indeed last Friday was my 1st blast as a passenger during demo upon delivery. The breed obviously has the look, performance, history & testimony from the likes of yourselves to sell itself without even the need for a test drive imo! :yikes:
 

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Best drive for me was track day of 5X30 minute open sessions at Thunderhill with only 7 other Ferraris on the track.

The first couple of sessions were for learning the Thunderhill track. I'd done track days in 911s, Vipers, Boxsters and motorcycles at Laguna Seca, but it had been a while and first time in the Ferrari and first time at Thill.

Learning the car at speed on the track came next. Accelerate, brake, ease off, turn in-rotate, hit apex, accelerate to track out. Rinse and repeat. Track driving is so different than the street - at least the non-autobahn streets I drive with my low level of bravado on the street. The Ferrari was confidence inspiring and responded perfectly as I increasingly pushed the limits throughout the day.

I'd driven my motorcycles on the track, but only ran Skip Barber's cars. This was the first time I ran my own car and the Ferrari seemed unfazed by the track time. No mechanical issues whatsoever.

I left the day feeling great that I was able to drive my car in the way it was intended - well not as if Fernando Alonzo was behind the wheel, but as well as a dubber like me can drive.
 

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Track driving is very different to autobahn driving too. It is possilbe to go very high speeds on the autobahn but nothing compares to cornering, accelerating, and braking. 200mph on the autobahn is fun to do once or twice but that's all.

Driving your Ferrari as it was intended to be driven is amazing. Glad you enjoyed it and kept her in one piece.

Onno



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Discussion Starter #37
Track driving is very different to autobahn driving too. It is possilbe to go very high speeds on the autobahn but nothing compares to cornering, accelerating, and braking. 200mph on the autobahn is fun to do once or twice but that's all.

Driving your Ferrari as it was intended to be driven is amazing. Glad you enjoyed it and kept her in one piece.

Onno
Agree, once you have done the autobahn a couple of times, it is done. Driving on a track is a bit of a different category. Normally highly enjoyable and each track is different.

My most memorable day on a track was my first at Spa. Just an amazing place to drive. So many great corners and combinations. Putting in a good lap there was immensely rewarding.
 

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My most memorable day on a track was my first at Spa. Just an amazing place to drive. So many great corners and combinations. Putting in a good lap there was immensely rewarding.
At the end of the month (30-31)I'll be back at Spa for two days at the Modena Motorsport Trackdays. Anyone who loves Ferrari should be there, if only as a spectator. Truly amazing what Uwe Meissner can gather - old F1 cars, recent F1, classics, youngtimers, modern, 250GTO, everything will be there. Visitors can just by tickets for the paddock at the entrance. Can't wait to drive Spa again, the 458 made the track most memorable.

Onno



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Memories from Hell!!!!

Back in the day I was a SCCA racer in F2000 and decided to take my just purchased Ferrari GTS 328 to Waterford Race track in Michigan for an Italian Happening Event. Had a great time running the track. Naturally, my best friend and good racer came along for support. Being the stand up guy that I was I said take a spin. Well, he sure did. After many hard driven laps he lost it re-entering the home stretch and started to spin & spin. He missed the guard rail, by inches and crossed the finish line exactly backwards for a great lap time! The track photographer got a great picture of my Ferrari correctly crossing exactly over the finish line in reverse. The only hint of this trauma is the very long skid marks and smoke in reverse. Later, when he stopped shaking I asked Larry what he would have done if he clipped the guardrail? He answered.....rather than have to sell my house to repair your car David, the car would have been torched in downtown Detroit. Just another day at the track!
Ah, the plot thickens. After being lovingly covered to avoid the Michigan Winter it was finally Spring and a wedding was planned in Grand Rapids. Perfect for a nice Ferrari drive. Tuxedo, insurance and top removed the drive was memorable....but not as one might perceive. About a mile from the church while I was proceeding through a green light my "red love" was t-boned by a 21 year old stripper running the light at speed. The Ferrari came to rest after spinning and damaging all four corners. Got to say, sure drew a crowd. Half with sympathy and half with envy or jealousy. As this occurred just after Mr. Ferrari died, car prices were spiking and my insurance company elected to repair the car. Later I found out it was the most expensive one car payout my it at the time. So the car was shipped to the east coast and finally back to the factory. After visions of it being used by the shop sweeper for lunch duty I got it back some 18 months later. Everything was replaced. The car was dismantled to the frame and completely restored. Way to go Ferrari! As luck would have it the car was drop shipped to my door one week before the August Ferrari Concourse at the Ford Estate in Dearborn, Michigan. No track time this year. Learned that lesson, but the show entry was a must. Took first prize and the judges could not understand how a car, street driven, with miles could be so well maintained. Not even a stone chip or road dirt near the engine. My response was...actually the car was hardly driven over the past year & a half!!!!
Follow-up, eventually racing took over my passions and the car was purchased by the Architect of the Smithsonian. Wonder if he enjoys and loves that car as I did and still owns it?
 
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