First, we were talking about a V8 race car for next year at the shop today, discussing what we have and what we could get. Another new option is the 512TR we recently acquired. I really like the idea of using a Ferrari because only one other guy in the loca classic races drives one, a yellow Dino 246 (and another drives a 250 GTO replica). So we're talking, going over various strengths, weaknesses, and issues. A Colombo V12 is right out, the flat-12 is simply going to be a major PITA for parts replacement when things break, and they do because it's Italian. So, we're hashing and the new little fella walks up, and I mean little too, he's all of about 5' 3", and pipes up with "what about the F40?" We all laugh, one of the guys looks at him and says something like, "you don't understand, it's an F40
" Then it sinks in, I hadn't even considered it. It meets power regs with some adjustments, has a full rollcage and harness mounts in the frame, has superior handling and feel, it's already been fitted with those massive GTR intercoolers and other heavier grade drivetrain and chassis parts, it's fun as hell to drive, and will strike fear into the hearts of competitors (while giving people a chance to see one actually race).
I stood there and looked at Richard and we both had that "Eureka" moment, the little fella was right, and we hadn't really thought about it because, well, it's kind of like a holy relic. I don't so much drive it as venerate it. I've already decided to buy another F40, but that one will be all-original, as more of a road/show car. So, there you go. With that, we're going to convert the 512TR as a backup racer, as well, and I still have the Porsche and the MINI, so that's a 4, 6, 8, and a 12, and any can be setup for whatever we need. Woohoo.
I'm going to have to get him something for thinking of that.
Next, we got all the issues worked out with the 599GTB (clutch, transaxle, and fuel pump), including an ECU and some software adjustments courtesy of some friends in Bulgaria (of all places), HGTE suspension package, and now it drives like it was supposed to drive from the factory. Here's the deal, Ferrari didn't seem to care that manual 599s were "broken", probably because they sold so few of them and the people who did buy them squirreled them away as collector's pieces, so hardly anyone really noticed just how screwed up they were. It was designed for paddles from the jump, and essentially they slapped a stick into it to quiet a few purists. Sloppy, very sloppy, and really inexcusable. When new, this was a $350k car, for God's sake.
Anyhow, now that it works, OMFG what a ride.
It's fast, of course, but the road feel, throttle response, and shift feel are out of this world. Easily the most balanced and dynamic front-engined car I've ever driven.
With the software rework, we were also able to get another 30 hp and torque out of that NA 6.0L V12, up to 640/472 respectively, which sounds like a burning lion/bear mutant running down the road, and 0-60 happens in 3.2s flat with a good launch. With all that grunt, heel-toe shifting is tricky, like with the Carrera GT, but definitely doable with practice, which I've been working with the last few days (I drove it all the way to the coast and back this last weekend, and that was a serious hoot), and quite rewarding. A guy in a 996 turbo tried to keep up, but I could just leave him at will. He kept motioning me to pull over, like I didn't have anything else to do.
Looks more angry now, too.(TBC...)