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Old 19th February 2008, 12:46   #1
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Default Driving a Ferrari

As a kid I always lusted after Ferraris, ogling at them in pictures and movies and in my mind an elaborate web of what this marque represents got built up over the years. The first time I saw one was in the US. It was a red 308 GTB from '81. I remember the owner always took her out on a Sunday, lavished a lot of care in shampooing the car and then took it out for a drive. Funny I never mustered the courage to ask for a test drive. Later in Dubai I had a chance to see F40's, an F50, many 308's, 348's and the 355.

One lazy after noon at work in Dubai a local showed up in a Testarossa...you can imagine the drool quotient. I waited 2 hours while he finished his work and then he offered to take me out on a drive. Although from a passenger seat what struck me most was the feel of the car. The Testarossa felt like a racehorse...very sharp edged, very direct and crisp, the whole feel of the car was one of nimblefooted movement. Not to mention the delicious bark...yes Ferrari's have a barking sound to their engines..resulting in a magnificent howl as you go up in revs. It was a short drive but one that remains forever etched in my memories.

Many years later, last year, out of the most inexplicable twist of fortune a 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS came into my home for a month!!! The owner had bought this car and left it in a garage gathering dust. When I offered to clean the car up and return her to her past glory the owner happily obliged and sent the car to our dealership where I had an army of technicians completely transform the old lady into a stunning beauty in a week. We meticulously wetsanded out all the old grim and orange peel of many years of careless painting and polished it to a level that when the owner saw the car he couldn't believe it was his. He was so bowled over by the job we did he asked me to keep the car and use it.

Now as much as many of us don't like using what's not ours...do you seriously think I could have refused???? No way Hose!

And what a car it is. The smell of the leather, the whine of the motor as it barks into life, the rumble of the V8 and this one had four double barreled Webers. Yes Sir...a carbureted Ferrari is something you have to hear. The induction howl is something I rank as the most deliciously spinetingling sounds any thing alive or inanimate can make.

I had always read that Ferrari gearboxes are very unforgiving and had read countless tales of nasty crunches as you miss gears...well perhaps it was all the years of driving vintage cars and ambassadors and fiats it was such a natural thing for me and I found myself going through the gears like butter (some advantage to growing up in India..hahaha) The mechanicalness of the gearbox, the directness of its feel as you engage the cogs and the ratios give the car an amazing character as using the gears is one of the most important aspects of enjoying the most out of a Ferrari.

I did 500 kms in the beauty on 3 early Sunday mornings, with a dozen superbikers around me for company...what an experience. Being a targa the experience of the 308 was simply mindblowing. With wind in your hair, the smell of leather, the howl of an amazing twin cam 4 weber tractable V8 good for 250 bhp, a razor sharp steering and the most amazing feel of a gearbox as I blasted down winding roads lined with 200 year old trees, the Indian landscape seemed transformed and I rank that experience as one of life's greatest. I stongly recommend to all petrol heads, whenever possible, even if we can't afford to buy one, one should rent a Ferrari abroad and do a road trip. It simply is one of the greatest experiences you can treat yourself to.

Ferraris are an amazing creation. I had the pleasure of a 27 year old Ferrari and I was blown away. The feel, the looks the smells and the sounds of these cars invariably bring a wide smile to my face any time any place any where. Long live Enzo's legend.

I am told the V12's are an even more mindblowing experience!!!!
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Old 19th February 2008, 13:07   #2
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That was a great account. It had the passion of a Ferrari written all over it. Needless to say, your one lucky guy to have gotten that opportunity. It would be great if you can post some pictures to make the excellent write-up a bit more meaty.
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Old 19th February 2008, 13:12   #3
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wow- sounds like you were at the right place at the right time. I can just imagein the sound of a carb engine.. esp a V8..
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Old 19th February 2008, 13:26   #4
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Fantastic! This just keeps getting better! Any pics of this one Deepak?
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Old 19th February 2008, 14:07   #5
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Wow deepak. How many people are so lucky to have a ferrari parked in their house for a month? And getting the opportunity to look at it for long hours, touch it, drool, stare, fantasize just makes one so proud and happy and ecstatic.... like a kid in a candy store...

do post some pics if you have any. that would be a real bonus for us.

i agree with you the snarl, the growl and the scream of the engine through the revv's actually gives one goosebumps and is a hair-raising experience. I had the luck and opportunity to ride shotgun in a 360 spider in Paris 2 yrs back. Some ride that was... can never forget it.

Some day i hope i have the luck to drive one... probably even own one !

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Old 19th February 2008, 14:07   #6
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There are many pictures of the Ferrari along with my biker friends on HYDERABAD BIKE ZONE Please feel free to share pictures with friends as we need to encourage more people to get into group activities as it gives a totally different perspective to any activity or sport
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Old 19th February 2008, 14:23   #7
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You know the best part of the Ferrari at home was the many hours the entire family would spend in the yard ogling at it as I washed and polished it often.

When your 78 year old mother can say...do anything Deepak but for heaven's sake buy this car...says something about Ferrari's being works of art...they strike a chord with one and all!

I would urge all petrol heads to create activities in their hometowns whereby you get these amazing machines out on Sundays.

After the superbike group I am trying to get the supercars to gather too...albeit with not much success...a stunning M6 joins us on the bike ride often. Not much luck with the Lambo Gallardo and the Aston DB9..but I won't give up untill I have them all out regularly on rides.

By the way guys the full chat of an M6's V10 motor is something to hear...its like a couple of R1's ripping up the tarmac at the same time. Fabulous sound!!

And the heat its brakes generate is just ideal for hand warmers on a winter morning chill
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Old 19th February 2008, 15:09   #8
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i read both your accounts the ferrari and lambo
must say you have done it all

whats left
great ride
wish u had pics
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Old 19th February 2008, 15:21   #9
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Please view pictures of the Ferrari and also many of our bike rides at HYDERABAD BIKE ZONE
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Old 19th February 2008, 15:32   #10
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Great pictures Deepak. Never knew Hyd was such big on the biking scene, i can see almost every popular bike in the photo gallery, right from Ducati to R1 to CBR600 to 1000 to Kawasaki ZZR to even a Busa. Whew, thats some bikes

If i am not wrong, we have met briefly recently outside Haiking restaurant when you were driving your friends Subaru Wrx Sti ( a Tbhian's ex-car) Was it you?
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Old 19th February 2008, 15:39   #11
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Deepak, awesome writeup and nice pics as well. Man! I should say thats quite a lot of beasts in Hyd there. Looking @ the pics it shows that you guys are pretty active on that forum.
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Old 19th February 2008, 15:46   #12
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Thats a fantastic write up Deepak. Driving a Ferrari is always a memorable moment in a car enthusiast's life especially if you worship the marque. Be it driving the classic 308 or the 599. It is something to be cherished. I'm sure you will remember those moments for life

Congratulations. Not everyone gets to drive a Ferrari in their life
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Old 19th February 2008, 18:28   #13
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Quote:
Many years later, last year, out of the most inexplicable twist of fortune a 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS came into my home for a month!!!
Nows thats a thread to create on your first day at Team-BHP....Talk about luck! I couldn't agree with you more on the inexplicable sentiments that only a Ferrari can stir up. Well written account of the F-car experience. Our friendly moderator Ajmat has also been at the wheel of a Ferrari. Read more at this link.
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Old 19th February 2008, 21:37   #14
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Superb write up!
Nice pics..its something worth looking at for hours at end!
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Old 19th February 2008, 21:58   #15
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Congrats for attaining nirvana of driving!

That was an awesome experience!
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