Monday, September 8, 2008

The long way home

I took the long way home tonight. For me the long way home involves heading in exactly the opposite direction I would usually go. Drive through what I would politely call a seedy industrial area, some would say it is in transition as it now has a vegan strip club. Follow Highway 30 along the Columbia River for a few miles then turn south and head up into the hills to Skyline Boulevard. There are many good roads up to Skyline, all have fantastic turns and are beautiful drives.

Skyline is a fantastic road. The scenery is nice with good views into the valley and over Portland. The speed limit is 40 MPH which is fast enough. Going 50 seems too fast, reckless, 47 is about perfect. You know that feeling when you go around a turn and the car leans to the outside as weight transfers to the outside wheels? The Ferrari does not deliver it. I can feel the car load up on the outside wheels but the car does not lean. It stays absolutely flat. Driving it on roads where the turns are spaced tightly is a joy. Without the body of the car rolling from side to side the transitions between the corners feel crisper.

I have not driven the car much since the wine county trip Barb and I took a month or so ago. I was a passenger when Dad drove it through the wine country but that does not count. I felt out of practice driving it today. My shifts were of, going in and out of the powerband. Further my shifts were too slow and I did a bad job of matching the rpms to speed. All my drives in the Porsche have made me lazy. In the 911 I just need to be near the next gear, it shifts easily and will forgive all but the worst baubles.

My time with the car is about up. I am pretty sure Dad will be the next steward of the car. If you had asked me a few months ago and really pressed for the truth I would have told you I was keeping the car. Who cares about the expense, the limited opportunities to really drive it and the inconvenience of finding a place to park it? Who cares that my plan was only to keep it for one year. It is fantastic, everything I thought a Ferrari would be and more. Barb has not problem with me keeping it, she likes having the car. We can sell the Porsche and easily afford the Ferrari. I am OK with selling the car. I had a conversation with a fellow who owns several Ferraris. I told him I was thinking about getting another but did not want to sell the 355.

“Why” he asked. “You will get the new one and never drive the older car again.”

I don’t want to get another Ferrari right away. I think I will pursue my idea of a track car for a few months.

On a completely different note. A car load of young women whooped at me while I was driving the car home tonight. All I can say is thank you.

2 comments:

Ricambi America said...

David -

Just saw your thread, and I suspect our paths have crossed along the way. I'm the owner of Ricambi America (www.ricambiamerica.com), the Ferrari parts company on the web. We're probably the ones who provided your A/C overlay.

Anyway, the blog is just fantastic and a joy to read. I don't drive my 348 as much as I used to (kids, and a busy life sometimes get in the way), but I absolutely concur with your assessment of these cars. We seem to love them, no matter what they throw our way!

Give us a ring when you're getting ready to sell/give your Dad the car, and I'd be happy to provide some 'freshening up' Ferrari parts or supplies at no charge.

Kindly,
Daniel
www.ricambiamerica.com

David said...

Daniel,

Thank you for your comment. I have been the happy recipient of many boxes from Ricambi. Your guys were able to get me my steering wheel column cover quickly after I made my original into a science experiment and your parts diagrams of the car really helped me figure out how things went together.


Thank you for your help.

Cheers.

David