Sunday, December 30, 2007

Newbie Ferrari Owner

Here is a bit of Ferrari trivia I bet you did not know. Let’s say you are sitting in a 1998 F355. You cannot see the outside world and you cannot hear any sounds originating from outside the cabin. You could never be sure you were not traveling at 10 MPH and the engine was not turning at 900 RPM.
When I was waiting in line at the DEQ I noticed that when sitting still the speedometer read 10MPH. I had one hour to ponder this. Once the car got moving the actual speed and reported speed seemed correct. The car did not seem to be reporting 10 MPH faster than it was going. I appreciate the car being optimistic and ready to go. But why? All the other gauges seemed to be functioning correctly.
When I got home and parked the car I noticed that the tach did not drop to zero even with the ignition switched off. If you just had the gauges to go by you would have to assume that 900 RPM is the slowest the engine can ever turn.
I did a bit of research and finally posted questions on the Ferrari Club technical forum and the Ferrari Life technical forum. Lots of people looked, no one answered. After two days of no responses I did the sensible thing. I used Google Images to search for “Ferrari speedometer” I found a picture of a 355 with the speedometer at 10 MPH and RMP at 900. Curious.
I used a shop light to illuminate my dash. You know the little pins on your speedometer that stop the needle? On the Ferrari the pin stops the needle at 10 MPH. Ferraris cannot stop. Same for the tach. This episode taught me a good lesson in exotic car ownership. Don’t worry about stuff that would be unacceptable in a Toyota. Just drive the car and enjoy it.


AlexB said...

Interesting indeed heh. Woul dnever guess that.

DavidW said...

My only experience with a Ferrari is with a 1994 348 that I rented for one glorious day when I was in Las Vegas. I, too, noticed the speedo discrepancy, but in that instance it seemed to be just off by 10 MPH. This was verified with a GPS unit that I rented with the car to be sure I could find my way home after tearing up the desert all day. At any speed, the speedo always read 10 MPH over the indicated speed on the GPS unit. I thought must be they do that so that you are less likely to get a ticket...