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An audiophile and petrolhead's journal: Buckle up! - Page 513

post #7681 of 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I like the trooper in the Stetson - that's the real Texas!

Where's his horse? or is he a Walker?

post #7682 of 7694
His horse looks like this:

post #7683 of 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

His horse looks like this:

Not a Ranger then :smile:

 

ford-ranger-edge-plus-supercab-4x4-photo-9554-s-429x262.jpg

post #7684 of 7694
That could just be his disguise. He might also be:


post #7685 of 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

That could just be his disguise. He might also be:


:D

 

The image of him running after a P1 just made my day !

post #7686 of 7694
Thread Starter 
Last week I was asked to pick a 2014 car of the year and write a short-ish article on it. I'm not a journalist, I've not driven that many new cars, so I'm not sure how to go about making such a decision. Is the Singer 911 a 2014? I guess technically it is, but it isn't a production car, you can't just go buy one, in fact it's titled according to the year of the donor chassis. (Yeah, nearly a half million $ for a 1993 Porsche 964, what was I smoking?!?). Hmm... I like the 4C a lot, but its flaws are too egregious to just wave off, the worst being its woeful transmission. Alfa says it's "working as intended", and if that's the case then the gearbox is designed to be s*** on purpose, and that's unexcusable. It's so bad we've been talking about what we can swap it with, if that says anything. The C7 Z06? Nah, everyone else is already picking that and even though it is flat-out amazing, I like my choice even more.

So, without anymore fanfare, my 2014 Car of the Year is, the Ferrari 458 Speciale, the car I didn't even really want (at least not brand new). See, I didn't have a lot choice, to buy a LaFerrari I had to have a certain number of internal "points" with Maranello, and even though I owned enough legacy cars I hadn't bought them through retail channels. So, I had to buy a new car from them, and an expensive one at that, and my choices were the F12 (have one), an FF (bleh), or a 458. My hands were tied and if I wanted the big prize I had to pay up. confused_face(1).gif Since I'd rather be impaled in public than pay retail for an FF, I chose the 458 Speciale, despite having the regular 458 (I'd convinced myself that I'd trade the older car in or sell it). Yeah, depreciation... grrr... Anyhow, I placed the order and soon ran into a snag, they didn't have the standard stereo unit, apparently everyone else was ordering them with the satnav BS, if I wanted to wait it would be additional 4 weeks. No thanks, I'll just take the crappy satnav. Then it was "We need to make a small change to this", "we need to adjust that", pretty soon I was visibly cringing whenever I heard, "Federico is on line one for you".

Before too long the delivery day arrived, however, and both LaFerrari and 458 arrived together, all red and pristine, smelling of fresh composite, leather, and raw horsepower. I'll be honest, we essentially ignored the Speciale. rolleyes.gif Well hell, it was sitting next to a 1000hp* hypercar. Also, we'd all driven the 458 and its luster had quite faded from our eyes. I mean, it's just a lighter, faster version of the "old" car, right? How very wrong I was. After a few weeks of being ignored (I know, I'm stupid) I finally gave it a real shakedown, and YEEEOOWZERS, is it stunning. It's as much of an improvement over the regular car as the 458 is over the F430, if not more so. Despite the fact there's no stick, there's nothing about it that I would change, not a thing.

You know all the electronic settings that supposedly change the way a car handles and performs? Normally they don't do very much (McLaren), or worse they operate counter to the way they should (Lambo), but with the Speciale they honestly work, and not only do they work, they work in the way they're intended. "Wet" is for wet roads, Sport is for a sporty feel, and Race is for, you guessed it, racing. What a novel concept! Instead of looking for some odd combination to get the right setting, you just pick according to what you need. How about that? A while back I mentioned how the standard 458 was an awful car to drive in traffic, and it is, during stop and go driving in automatic mode it's like a bucking bronco, the whole time you're freaking out hoping that you don't plow the car in front of you, or stop too fast for the car behind. In the Speciale, if you set everything to the most sedate modes it's almost the same as driving a very low and throaty Camry. It's downright docile. But flip a switch and the blinders come off and it's a wild stallion on a leash again. Better yet, turn everything completely off and you get that now old-fashioned supercar feeling that it wants to kill you (which I very much appreciate). In fact not long after it was delivered they wanted me to take it back in under recall to upgrade its software. Why? Because all US cars are supposed to have some amount of ESC on at all times, but with mine, like the European cars, when you turn it off it's really off.

"Your car is potentially unsafe."
"but it's only unsafe when I want it to be, right?"
"Well, technically yes."
"Then no thanks, it's fine with me."
"Sir, it has to be done, it's the law."
"Then tell them that you notified me and I'll bring it back in when I can." (I'll make sure to schedule that the Tuesday after hell freezes over.)


I can't help but feel that the 458 Speciale is probably the last naturally aspirated model Ferrari will ever sell, there's talk its successor will be a turbo V6, and that makes me a little sad, because overall, it's the best car they've ever made.







*LaFerrari actually makes 1002bhp on our dyno, factoring the whp conversion (853whp).
post #7687 of 7694
I passed the test of Black Friday. I only went to two stores - the only two stores in town with any decent headphones: Frys & Guitar Center. I didn't buy ANYTHING. Guitar Center didn't have any good deals that I saw. The best deals were about the same price as normal online prices. For example, the AKG 240 Studio was $96 (available everywhere for $99). At Frys, they had one really good deal: The Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear (Green, Red or Pink) for $78. I actually picked-up the sole remaining green pair off the shelf, looked at it for a few minutes, then put it back. I want the Momentum Over-Ear, not the On-Ear, and they weren't on sale - and either way, I don't need another pair of headphones!

So, instead, I went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, had a margarita, and came home. tongue.gif

Magick: Why didn't you pick the LaFerrari?
post #7688 of 7694

Unsafe in America.

 

Normal in Europe.

 

That pretty much sums up the world driving ability talent pool.

post #7689 of 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

So, I had to buy a new car from them, and an expensive one at that, and my choices were the F12 (have one), an FF (bleh)

If I may ask, what about the FF irks you? I think its styling is rather pedestrian for what it is and that it's certainly not built in the vein of a traditional Ferrari of any sort, but it's still a mighty impressive car in my book. The fact that Ferrari promoted the car with a snow run video is something that would have been ludicrous to think of only recently, but they did a good just with the car to my eyes and I'd certainly take one over a regular 458.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

The Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear (Green, Red or Pink) for $78. I actually picked-up the sole remaining green pair off the shelf, looked at it for a few minutes, then put it back. I want the Momentum Over-Ear, not the On-Ear, and they weren't on sale - and either way, I don't need another pair of headphones!

I'm glad you didn't bother with the on-ears; you would've been disappointed. Honestly, to my ears, the new Urbanite on-ears sound much crisper than the Momentum equivalent.

post #7690 of 7694

The only on ears really in the high end running are the DT1350's. Pity that you have to put up with miserable build quality with them though.

post #7691 of 7694
The only nationalities who know how to actually drive are mostly the Scandinavians and the Germans.

Everyone else just pushes pedals and turns a wheel. Somehow doesn't translate into driving.

The American 458s might need those mods due to the fear of lawsuits instead of driving abilities.

Insurance might not cover an unflashed car but I am pretty sure Magick has self insurance so he should be alright.
Edited by gikigill - Today at 7:12 pm
post #7692 of 7694
I still think my 30 year old HD420 sound good. Psychoacoustics at it's best! tongue.gif
post #7693 of 7694
Thread Starter 
The mere thought of an AWD Ferrari shooting brake makes me to recoil a little. AWD on a Ferrari, that's also a wagon? Ugh.

I did try to make at least a tiny effort to consider value, and the LaFerrari isn't in any way $1.3M better than the Speciale. All the bits and bobs of the bleeding edge systems are very cool, it's all mighty impressive, but I think the "lesser" car does a great deal more with what it has.
post #7694 of 7694
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

The mere thought of an AWD Ferrari shooting brake makes me to recoil a little. AWD on a Ferrari, that's also a wagon? Ugh.

I did try to make at least a tiny effort to consider value, and the LaFerrari isn't in any way $1.3M better than the Speciale. All the bits and bobs of the bleeding edge systems are very cool, it's all mighty impressive, but I think the "lesser" car does a great deal more with what it has.


Now really. Why the hell is it that the only people to ever get the concept of a sport estate right was Volvo with the P1800 ES?

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