Road Stories

A Possible Ferrari Convert?

A Possible Ferrari Convert?

Nights like this make it all worthwhile...

I let a friend, here on holiday, drive my shark last night. A lovely warm Australian night and perfect, totally traffic-free road, sweeping mountain road. Before moving (to London) he'd sold his first car - a 924Turbo (come on everyone... be nice!) for a new BMW 318 (oh dear!) and I was keen for him to experience some 100%-Porsche grunt.

Well, he liked it a lot, drove is smoothly, but being a polite sort of bloke, he wasn't exactly exploring its potential. I had to push him to find out what he's driving in London. He was a bit sheepish about it, so I was expecting to hear a "Ford Fiesta" or something. Finally made me promise not to hit him, and admitted to a '94 Ferrari 348TS. In Maranello red naturally. Hey, he's 27, it's very understandable.

So I hit him of course. "That's wonderful", I said, "now get out of my Porsche ... "

"... and swap sides." Whereupon I demonstrated (without being silly) the stickability and grunt of the shark. I won't crow about it, but he was very, very impressed with the car's effortless poise and predicable handling at the limit. 2nd and 3rd gear mainly. Slight understeer on turn in, control the rear with the throttle, and perhaps a little drift. He loved it, and admitted he thought he would have had some trouble keeping up, and would certainly have been working himself a lot harder to do so. He knew the 5-sp 300HP Ferrari had better acceleration over the 310HP Porsche (almost certainly true, I've got a tall-geared auto and 15 year old plug leads), but thought the handling at the limit was much trickier in his F-car for the same levels of grip. My car has got tired old tyres on its 16 x 7 light alloys.

Interestingly, he reckons wherever he drives the Ferrari people always go wide-eyed and always react in a positive way. Thumbs up, smiles... I wish it were always this way...

I'm sure his car is absolutely fabulous, but it's a daily driver, and when and if he tires of the already massive servicing costs and things like the 2nd gear that's unusable when the gearbox is cold, I've got a faint feeling he might consider another (practical) supercar ... if he can find a nice S4 or GT.

Stuart Greaves
'84 928S Auto mit Vorfahrt eingebauert

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