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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tuna's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    V-Series Cadillac(s)

    '11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)

    Default Ferrari Test Drive

    I got a chance to drive a 2006 Ferrari 430 this weekend. Nice ride if you have a spare $200K in the bank.

    Basically, I did 3 continuous laps on an autocross like layout in a parking lot so I didn't get to go over every feature and option on the car - just a basic check out and discussion of the course then head out and have fun.

    It was fun too!

    This one had the F1 style trans - manual with automatic shifting or paddle controls. I drove it in full auto mode. There was a dial on the steering wheel to select different driving modes but the owner had taken the knob off but I'm sure it way in the "Please don't let me kill myself" mode.

    The seats were comfortable and the driving position was just what I expected. Unlike the Vette's auto paddles, the Ferrari's paddles were mounted to the stalk and did not follow the steering wheel around. Since I wasn't going to use them, that didn't bother me. Getting started was a bit of a concern since there were only 2 peddles on the floor - throttle and brake. I didn't find an obvious transmission selector lever either.

    When the instructor was satisified and I asked how to get it going, he told me to put my foot on the brake. I did and he pulled back on the right paddle. After checking the dash, he announced that I was in first and we could go anytime.

    Letting go of the brake didn't do anything but pressing the throttle sure did - off like a shot like pushing the gas on an auto car and not having a torque converter get in the way. I didn't feel any up or down shifts either as they were seamless. That was very interesting.

    The first turn is off camber but it's slow so not big deal. Through a set of esses and still feeling pretty good. Then to the turn the instructor called "over the moon" - an off camber left over a hill in the parking lot. First time was interesting the next 2 laps even more interesting as the Ferrari got light and didn't quite want to turn in. A 180 back toward the start point and it's a long slightly curved straight and I'm dead in it. It didn't feel like it was pulling nearly as hard as I thought it should be I chalk that up to the electronic nanny in the car. Still felt pretty good. Jump on the brakes and make a quick left to a very short straight then to the first turn and do it again.

    They took a few pictures also and one showing me in the braking zone at the end of the straight shows that the Ferrari barely drops its nose. I should have paid the extra cash for an additional lap but it's too late for that now.

    I'll keep my Vette though as the 430 and its latest sister the 458 have no luggage room and are not that good a daily driver or cross country car. Not to mention the $200K that I don't have for a car like that.

    Ferrari Test Drive-img_7924-jpg

    They made me wear a helmet while the instructor was topless.

    Yea Ha!!!
    Tuna
    New avatar - my latest novel
    Antiques To Die For

  2. #2
    Member mtrocket's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Montana
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuna View Post
    I got a chance to drive a 2006 Ferrari 430 this weekend. Nice ride if you have a spare $200K in the bank.

    Basically, I did 3 continuous laps on an autocross like layout in a parking lot so I didn't get to go over every feature and option on the car - just a basic check out and discussion of the course then head out and have fun.

    It was fun too!

    This one had the F1 style trans - manual with automatic shifting or paddle controls. I drove it in full auto mode. There was a dial on the steering wheel to select different driving modes but the owner had taken the knob off but I'm sure it way in the "Please don't let me kill myself" mode.

    The seats were comfortable and the driving position was just what I expected. Unlike the Vette's auto paddles, the Ferrari's paddles were mounted to the stalk and did not follow the steering wheel around. Since I wasn't going to use them, that didn't bother me. Getting started was a bit of a concern since there were only 2 peddles on the floor - throttle and brake. I didn't find an obvious transmission selector lever either.

    When the instructor was satisified and I asked how to get it going, he told me to put my foot on the brake. I did and he pulled back on the right paddle. After checking the dash, he announced that I was in first and we could go anytime.

    Letting go of the brake didn't do anything but pressing the throttle sure did - off like a shot like pushing the gas on an auto car and not having a torque converter get in the way. I didn't feel any up or down shifts either as they were seamless. That was very interesting.

    The first turn is off camber but it's slow so not big deal. Through a set of esses and still feeling pretty good. Then to the turn the instructor called "over the moon" - an off camber left over a hill in the parking lot. First time was interesting the next 2 laps even more interesting as the Ferrari got light and didn't quite want to turn in. A 180 back toward the start point and it's a long slightly curved straight and I'm dead in it. It didn't feel like it was pulling nearly as hard as I thought it should be I chalk that up to the electronic nanny in the car. Still felt pretty good. Jump on the brakes and make a quick left to a very short straight then to the first turn and do it again.

    They took a few pictures also and one showing me in the braking zone at the end of the straight shows that the Ferrari barely drops its nose. I should have paid the extra cash for an additional lap but it's too late for that now.

    I'll keep my Vette though as the 430 and its latest sister the 458 have no luggage room and are not that good a daily driver or cross country car. Not to mention the $200K that I don't have for a car like that.

    Ferrari Test Drive-img_7924-jpg

    They made me wear a helmet while the instructor was topless.

    Yea Ha!!!
    WOW!!! What an opportunity!!! Glad you had a GREAT time!!!

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