There isn’t much to say this time, other than my Ferrari 360 is finally off my parents driveway and properly stored away for the next few months, care of Rudler Car Transportation and Storage. Next up will be deciding where to go for a service in the spring. So until then, here’s a quick walk-around:
So it has been just over a year now since I bought my first Ferrari 360 Modena. There have been highs and lows, it’s been fun yet stressful, and I have learnt a great deal and met many wonderful people. I probably over estimated the number of events I would attend, when I was initially pondering my first spring/summer with the 360—dreaming of joining in with all of the picnics and being on display at every car show—but I have been able to show all of my friends and family, and perhaps more importantly: just getting used to driving a Ferrari on the road.
I’m a lot less nervous whenever I set off wherever I’m going, but still cautious if I have to drive into a town centre; I still feel proud and enthusiastic if someone stops to take a photograph or compliment how lovely she is (just don’t start on about whether she’s real or how I’d be better-off financially with a more economical car or some other rubbish!); and I am still impressed and excited every time I see another owner enjoying their Ferrari, even if I’m just walking down the street—despite owning one, the allure and mystique of Ferrari’s still exists. This seems to hold true for other owners too; whenever someone pulls up in their Ferrari (whether we’re at a show or just out for lunch) everyone descends upon the new arrival to not only see who it is but also what colour their interior is, if they have a traditional manual, whether their exhaust has been loudened, et cetera. We’re just as curious—if not more so—than non owners, maybe because we know what to look for but more likely because it’s clear we’re already Ferrari enthusiasts.
Now with the insurance paid up for another year, an MOT passed with flying colours, and a service scheduled for the coming weeks, not to mention the upcoming renewal of my Ferrari Owners Club GB membership, I’ve started thinking about 2016: where could we go? (Le Mans? A Grand Prix? The Italian lakes?) We’ll see, I have a few months to plan these things out and see who might be interested in coming along for the ride, but for the time being the 360 is tucked away and having a well earned rest.
A week is a long time. Although in my limited experience (of now two cars) it’s exactly the time it takes to go from paying a deposit and driving away. This is just enough time to sort out finance and insurance, however neither of these were as simple as my research had lead me to believe.
The first thing to sort out was the finance, as no matter how much insurance I had, without any money I would not be driving away in my own Ferrari. Before I had even been out to Slade’s Garage I had already started the process of moving my share of the funds from a longterm ISA to my regular current account, but I now had to convince somebody else to lend me the rest, which in these constrained times is easier said than done (even with nearly ⅓ of the price all ready and waiting). After going backwards and forwards with several lenders it was actually my bank who were willing to lend me the rest—perhaps there is such a thing as loyalty.
With my deadline of my 30th birthday rapidly approaching, and having surpassed my financial goal, the summer of 2014 was my time to buy. There were a handful of 360’s available that ticked all the boxes and so I arranged to view them all on a couple of weekends in the middle of September; I had two on Friday the 12th, one the next day, with more penciled in for the following Saturday. I was probably more nervous on that Friday morning than ever before or since—who knew that fulfilling dreams was so scary.
To keep me grounded and remember to ask the right questions, and because I had up to that point only ever bought one car, I had my dad join me. Armed with printouts of the cars’ details and lists of things to look for on secondhand 360’s, off we drove…
It was February of 2012 that I announced to close family my intention to actually buy a Ferrari. I don’t remember whether they took me seriously at that point as it was late and we were about to depart (yet again) for Verbier, so my ramblings about a Ferrari were likely taken with a pinch of salt. But from that moment I started carefully planning and researching: how was the price of Ferrari’s fluctuating, who was constantly appearing on AutoTrader as a trade seller, what were my options for finance, did I want a berlinetta or spider, standard manual or F1-style gear shifter, et cetera. A lot of the mechanical and cosmetic decisions were able to be delayed, the biggest hurdle was the money. First I had to answer the question of how much could I afford each month, and after that there was some reverse engineering to figure out how much that meant I was looking to borrow.
It’s probably best to start at the beginning, which in this case is actually back in 1999 with the release of the 360. In October of 1999 I turned 15 and was heavily in to Formula 1, and Ferrari were world champions with Eddie Irvine coming second in the drivers’ championship. I’m not sure why I gravitated to Ferrari, they had—within my memory—never employed a driver who I really rallied behind (a British driver for instance—Nigel Mansell maybe); perhaps it was all due to their success and prestige. Anyway, around that time I started to receive books on both the history of Ferrari and Formula 1 in general, and I remember the last chapter of the Ferrari history book taking a look to the future, and introducing the 360 Modena (as the Spider had yet to be unveiled). I suspect this is why I have always coveted the 360, and make it my mission, my dream, to own one.
So six months ago I made the biggest commitment of my life, and accomplished a dream that I’ve harboured for slightly over half of my life: I bought my first Ferrari!
Through this blog, I will detail my experiences, covering the steps I took to get to that point, as well as the adventures I embark upon with my stunning 360 Modena. My intention is that over the next few days I will post how, over the course of two and a half years, I came to realise a dream, in addition to the couple of outings I made during this first winter.
I will (hopefully) remember to capture many photographs at as many car shows as I can reasonably attend, and perhaps some of what I go through will persuade and help some of you when you follow your dreams (whatever they may be).