My wife puts a coat on the lion-rat (Pablo) in the winter, so that wouldn't be a huge stretch.
New article, by me, that's likely to inspire strong feelings from the Ferrari faithful in the club:Of Maranello and Monkeys
I really like Ferraris, I would say I love them, but well, that isn't exactly true. I'll start with what I find most appealing, and that's their form. There's a way it leads the eye; it's not that they're gorgeous from every angle (the Enzo), but there's an overall symmetry at work that's truly inspiring, like the arch a woman's back or curve of a hip. Perhaps that credit goes to Pininfarina or Scaglietti, I'm not entirely sure, but it's there and they work it better than any other in the business (except perhaps Pagani). Also, there's the engineering, it's all extremely clever and the look and feel of each part is special. You look at a panel, knob, or valve cover and you see there's some incredible engineering at work there. So between the design and development stages, they're peerless, for the most part, and the amount of man-years invested into each particular model is obvious. These men (and probably ladies, as well) know their craft.
Then, well, there's no easy way to say this, but, there's a severe disconnect.
Ferrari has quality control issues. No, not the materials, or the components, or even the way they're designed to work together; it's how they're actually put together and then setup. All of them I've driven, with the exception of our 360 Modena, seems like it was built by an ADHD orangutan, and if I have to be completely honest, I believe the 360 was professionally re-worked before I bought it (and so does my mechanic) so it was likely in the same boat. It's inexcusable, really, even the 458 was low on power and considerably slower in stock form than Ferrari claims, and that's because it was low on compression in 2 out of 8 cylinders. The greatest Ferrari ever made, the F40, looks like the interior was pieced together from scraps and then hot glued by blind convicts. With as much as they charge, you'd think they'd make more of an effort to deliver cars that are properly sorted and presentable.
For a while I've been looking for a 599 GTB with a stick, and this week I went and checked one out at the dealership in Long Island. It looks great, but I think it has the worst clutch feel of any sports car I've ever driven, the pedal is way too high and doesn’t disengage until the very top (it only has 4400 miles on it) and the throttle pedal sticks a little at 1/4 depression. Yeah, we can adjust all that, but that isn't the point, it never should have left the factory that way. Chris Harris is right, I don't think they give a damn how the cars perform in the real world, they send specially tuned “ringers” to the press, make the journalists use them in specific ways, and then follow-up with threats if they receive anything less than a glowing review. This isn't what Ferrari used to be, at one time they were the gods of the automotive world and they ruled due to brass balls and sheer performance, they weren't masters of bait-and-switch and shady marketing (yeah, Enzo was an ass and a bit of a shyster, but he cared about the quality of the cars that left the factory).
I suppose I don't get it, why don't they just build them properly out of the gate? Then they wouldn't have to resort to shenanigans, they'd simply be delivering the actual cars that the public perceives them to be in the first place (and they wouldn't be creating this animosity between them and the press in the process). Surely they aren't saving that much money using trained apes, rather than qualified labor, you'd think the savings in legal expenses alone would make up the difference.
And yeah, I did get the 599. Not because of what it is
, but what I believe it can be
(after my guys fix whatever the hell is wrong). Maybe I'm a sap, I don't know, but when everything is just right, there really isn't anything out there like a Ferrari... bananas not included.Edited by Magick Man - 7/16/13 at 1:52pm