Tom’s new life with the Ferrari 458 Speciale includes hoons through the mountains (on a weekday), planning a European road trip, and time in the company of M3s, GT-Rs and V8 Vantages. Not a bad month!
|Date acquired:||February 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||984|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||Dunno|
It has been a relatively quiet month on the Ferrari front. Luckily, that is not related to the sound that is emitted from those double, Scuderia-like, high-mounted exhausts, but solely to the fact that I have been out of the country on multiple business trips for the majority of it. In between though, I somehow managed to squeeze in two trips to the Fujairah mountains, which explains the extra mileage racked up.
The first trip was done on a Sunday (one of the perks of working a Monday–Friday week) and turned out to be great, with virtually no traffic on the road. And the Speciale was behaving impeccably, conquering the corners with verve and eating up the straights like a madman with an eating disorder. The car was in good company, surrounded by a Porsche Cayman S, BMW M3 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, yet the speed difference with these other, very capable cars keeps on surprising me. The Speciale seems to be in another galaxy in terms of performance, yet it delivers that so confidently that you would be tempted to think it’s easy. But it isn’t. It’s just the car’s intrinsic chassis, engine and braking capability that baffles you. It’s fair to say that it makes ‘crazy’ casual. I like.
On the other tour into the UAE hills, my wife joined me and we experienced the two-faced character of the car. It comes alive when you’re giving it a boot-full, but is remarkably civilized when you’re not. My wife drove the car for a while in (her sort of) anger too and was surprised how easy it was to drive. Here’s to hoping that this recognition will cut me some slack next time I get another text message from the RTA informing me of another traffic violation.
In the meantime, my other fun-toy, the BMW 1M, is barely getting any seat time at all. Although sad, that does give me the opportunity to drop it off at AGMC for some well-deserved TLC after having bravely withstood a double-digit number of very spirited mountain drives in the last couple of months.
Speaking about TLC, notwithstanding the fact that Al Tayer cleaned my brakes again after the track day at the Dubai Autodrome, the squeaking noise they produce when approaching a stand-still are reminiscent of a nest-full birds being squeezed to death under an elephants foot. With another track day at Yas Marina Circuit approaching, I’m not taking any action at the moment, but I’m pretty sure that these pads need replacing soon. Let’s call them casualties of speed?
On a separate note, I’m busy trying to arrange a European insurance cover for the car, so I can fly or ship the car over for the summer holiday and enjoy it there. The UAE roads are great and a lot better than most believe, but nothing beats swinging up the Stelvio, conquering the Nürburgring or even driving slowly through small Italian villages with people shouting “Belissimo!” at The Speciale. I have done two of these trips before with the Nissan GT-R and enjoyed every bit of it, also because such a road trip really makes you build up a bond with your car. Notwithstanding my clean bill of insurance health here as well as in Europe and having successfully arranged this before, knowing the Ferrari’s price is in another league than the GT-Rs and our cars in the UAE don’t have a (sophisticated) alarm system fitted, the theft insurance might prove challenging. But I’m not giving up just yet!
crankandpiston.com Journals is a contributor-based section, the contents of which have been provided by site readers and enthusiasts. All thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the authors concerned and do not necessarily reflect the views held by www.crankandpiston.com.
– Shots courtesy of Exotic Streets Stars