�When asked, � What most impressed me with the car ?� my answer related to the fact that not only did I purchase the car, but also commissioned modifications solely by telephone.�
-Ron Busuttil, M.D., Ph.D.
"Doug, your reputation is beyond reproach. I have bought several Ferraris in my lifetime, and I know when I buy from you I am buying a car from a reputable person."
"The exhaust and engine work you did are spectacular! The car sounds completely wonderful - I can actually hear it swallowing air, and I have no doubt the bad headers were causing all kind of backpressure issues -- the increase in power is kind of breathtaking. Obviously the timing correction has a lot to do with that as well. I feel pretty sure the car runs better than it did when it was delivered new to Sonny Crockett back in 1997. And it sounds like a Ferrari again, not a landscaping truck!"
"The engine compartment is vastly improved as well, and the resurfaced console etc. looks most excellent."
"None of this was cheap, but it was all well worth it. A job really, really well done!"
This Issue's Trivia Question!
Last Issue's Fun Fact and trivia question:
To mark Berlinetta Motorcars' 30 years of dedication to the cars you know and love, this issue features a trivia question worth $150!
The first person to submit the correct answer to the following question will receive a $150 gift certificate to the establishment of their choice. Good luck!
What is the year and model of the Ferrari on this page, 6th from the bottom,"Our Work Included: Metal fabrication, paint work, major engine service and tune up." ?
ANSWER: 1967 (Dino engine) 166 F2
Our Fun Fact winner is:
Ed Kuryluk! Congratulations, Ed! A $150 gift certificate for Adorama Camera is in the mail!
Runners up include Justin H., Stuart Schaller, and Teritius Fortune. Congratulations, gentlemen! Your Berlinetta Motorcars caps are in the mail. We wish all of you the best of luck with this month's trivia question.
Now for this issue's Trivia Question...
In the abbreviation 'TRI', what does the 'I' represent? E-mail your response to email@example.com.
Even as a little kid, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I recall the
first short story that I ever wrote - it was my own morbid version of
Sleepy Hollow. I realized the power of words when I showed it to my
father who, in a good mood at the start of the read, was wide eyed and
goose-pimpled by the last paragraph.
But I credit my grandfather with my decision to continue writing and become a writer, after an informal challenge he probably didn't even know he posed. He was an ornery old man with an eighth grade education after dropping out of school to join the service and fight in the war. But despite his limited academia, he somehow managed to garner both wisdom and knowledge along the path of life. He believed that kids should be seen and not heard, and made no bones about reminding me of this belief. His wife, the more loving of the grandparental duo, believed the same; but managed to effect these desired results with an unctuous efficacy that only a learned woman could manipulate. Whenever we visited, she would give me a dollar and tell me to follow my heart; with a gentle smile, she would tell me to disregard the raspy words of her husband, and to go on my way and play. Far more effective than the penniless scolding of "Beat it, kid!"
But it was indeed my grandfather's inability to treat me like the child that I was, that brought me down this path that has led to today. His irreverent adult tones weren't appreciated at the time - especially those oft profane words - but I'm thankful now. In a flash of sophistication, he explained to me that a writer wasn't a writer until he or she could successfully describe something to someone who had never before experienced it. Chocolate, was his example, was something he thought couldn't be described in words; and couldn't be successfully interpreted or comprehended by a reader who'd never tasted it.
In some ways, I think he's right. I'm still not ready for the big leagues; still not comparable to the likes of Jeremy Clarkson or David E. Davis. But it is my quest - spurned by my grandfather's inadvertent challenge - to achieve this goal. Recently, I had the privilege and pleasure of piloting a Scuderia Spider 16M. And if you've never driven one, I aim to make you feel like you have by the end of this story.
The owner wishes to remain anonymous, so we'll call him 'Max' - thank you, Max. Max contacted me a few weeks ago, as he usually does when he gets a new car. While I'm hopelessly obsessed with Ferraris, I love all things automotive. And so Max calls me regularly, with all sorts of car updates. Sometimes he'll call me to go check out a slight modification he's rendered to his BMW M3; other times I'll receive a vague e-mail soliciting my company at his 'humble abode', at my convenience. When it says something like that I know to rush over; I've learned that the vaguer he is, the more intense the update.
So a few weeks ago, Max sends me an e-mail:
"Carbie [a nick name of which I am not fond], If you're available over the next few days, stop by. I'll be here."
That's it. That's all it said. Naturally I fled my house like I just robbed the place, and made a bee-line for Max's. When I arrived, I simultaneously knocked on the door and rang the bell, to emphasize my excitement. When he opened the door, he greeted me calmly.
"Come on in. What took you so long?" He's a real wisenheimer. "Can I get you something to drink? Wanna watch the game?" He could sense my anxiousness and was stalling on purpose. I couldn't hold it in any longer.
"WHAT IS IT AND IS IT HERE?!?"
He laughed and paused, then said, "It's in the garage."
I ran for the door to the garage, open it, and burst in. Between a black 599 and a red two-cam 275 sat a Giallo Modena Scuderia Spider 16M. I've seen the 599 before, and Max has had the 275 for a while. So I circled the 16M while my eyes fondled every detail. The curves stood out, even in a dimly lit garage. The single black stripe down the center of the car, dark gray wheels, and carbon fiber mirrors are a stark contrast to the wide yellow body. The interior was opposite the car's exterior appearance: black Alcantara with yellow stitching. The seats had mesh-covered yellow inserts. A yellow tachometer and an Alcantara-upholstered fire extinguisher completed the ensem.
"Carbon! Stay away from my serial number!"
Max and I both laughed and then he asked the as-always-rhetorical question: "Wanna go for a ride?"
My answer is always yes. Only this time, Max tossed me the keys.
I found myself tucked neatly into Alcantara-tailored race seats. The bright yellow tachometer behind the steering wheel stood out until I turned the key and the five red LEDs in the top of the steering wheel lit up. I sat patiently for a moment while the Scuderia went through all of its bells and whistles; I was excited and it seemed like it took forever. Finally, the lights stopped flashing and the beeps stopped beeping. With my left hand on the steering wheel, my thumb extended to that big red ENGINE START button. I pushed it in and held for a moment while the big V8 behind my head rumbled to life.
I backed out of the garage, down the driveway and growled into an empty street. A light tug on the right paddle and my index and middle fingers wrapped back around the steering wheel - and the gearbox went from R to 1 as I slowly rolled down the block.
"Head for the Wantagh," Max said, referring to the Wantagh Parkway. That's where we always went on 'test drives'. While warming up the engine, I got a feel for the car's steering, acceleration and braking. Perhaps it was because the top was down, but the engine sounded incredible. It was fierce and unyielding in its symphony. The sounds that emanated from the motor through the exhaust were sharply different when in correlation to acceleration or downshifts.
When I got to the parkway, we headed south. The Wantagh, south of the Southern State Parkway, is wonderfully empty at any time of the day. With a warm engine, Max told me to let 'er loose - and that's exactly what I did. Via the left carbon fiber paddle, I dropped down a gear, listened for the engine's yelp and watched the world on either side of me get blurry as my foot got heavier.
I apexed the parkway's curves, swinging the tachometer's orange needle up and around, letting it drop for only a fraction of a second before raising it like it was directly connected to my blood pressure. The 16M's steering was precise; surreal like a video game, but responsive and mouthy. I felt very in touch with the road. The acceleration was intense. Squeezing the throttle never broke the tires loose, but they dug into the asphalt beneath us and propelled us in a fast forward-like motion.
The chassis was rigid; not unforgiving like a race car, but stiff enough to sheer off what little body roll it could've inherited from the F430 Spider. The culmination of the car's performance characteristics had me blazing down the parkway. I was railing into apexes and rocketing out of them.
When parked, the big yellow calipers looked imprisoned behind the dark gray spokes of the the 16M's wheels. But when moving, the yellow calipers looked dirty as the spokes blurred around and around. To the uninitiated, the banana-like calipers seem ornamental and ostentatious. But when it's time to slow down or stop, the carbon ceramic setup seems to append the laws of physics.
Before we knew it, we were on the south shore of Long Island. A test of the car's grip, sling-shotting through the roundabout on Ocean Parkway, sent us back up the Wantagh headed north. The engine was warm, the tires were hot and I was more and more familiar with the car's basic capabilities. I accelerated, braked, up and downshifted and apexed my way home to my heart's content. As usual, my friend Max was happy to share his passion with a fellow enthusiast, and I'm humbled and grateful to have such a friend. Thank you, Max.
As for the taste of chocolate, I still don't know how to convey that. But I can say, that like a 16M, it should definitely be experienced firsthand.
The Ferrari 458 Italia
The following text and images are taken directly from the press release that Ferrari issued on 28 July 2009:
The 458 Italia is the latest incarnation of the mid-rear engined berlinetta and will be unveiled at the next Frankfurt Motor Show
Maranello, July 28th 2009 - While it's true that every Ferrari is innovative by definition, it's equally true that in the course of the Prancing Horse's history, certain cars have marked a genuine departure from the current range. This is very much the case with the Ferrari 458 Italia, which is a massive leap forward from the company's previous mid-rear engined sports cars.
The new model is a synthesis of style, creative flair, passion and cutting-edge technology, characteristics for which Italy as a nation is well-known. For this reason Ferrari chose to add the name of its homeland to the traditional figure representing the displacement and number of cylinders.
The Ferrari 458 Italia is a completely new car from every point of view: engine, design, aerodynamics, handling, instrumentation and ergonomics, just to name a few.
A two-seater berlinetta, the Ferrari 458 Italia, as is now traditional for all Ferrari's road-going cars, benefits hugely from the company's Formula 1 experience. This is particularly evident in the speed and precision with which the car responds to driver inputs and in the attention focused on reducing internal friction in the engine for lower fuel consumption than the F430, despite the fact that both overall displacement and power have increased. However, Ferrari's track experience makes its presence felt in the 458 Italia not only in terms of pure technological transfer but also on a more emotional level, because of the strong emphasis on creating an almost symbiotic relationship between driver and car. The 458 Italia features an innovative driving environment with a new kind of steering wheel and dashboard that is the direct result of racing practice. Once again input from Michael Schumacher - who was involved from the very start of the 458 Italia project - played an invaluable part.The Ferrari 458 Italia's Pininfarina design provides further evidence of the complete departure from the past that this new car hails. The Ferrari 458 Italia has a compact, aerodynamic shape, underscoring the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and lightness that inspired the project. As with every Ferrari, the car's styling has been very heavily influenced by the requirements for aerodynamic efficiency, as can be seen from the downforce of 140 kg at 200km/h generated by the new model. The front features a single opening for the front grille and side air intakes, with aerodynamic sections and profiles designed to direct air to the coolant radiators and the new flat underbody. The nose also sports small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and cut drag.
The new 4499 cc V8 is the first Ferrari direct injection engine to be mid-rear mounted. It has a very low piston compression height typical of racing engines which contributed to achieving its compression ratio of 12.5:1. Equipped with the traditional flat-plane crankshaft, the engine delivers 570 CV at 9000 rpm and, with an outstanding power output of 127 CV/litre, sets a new benchmark not only for the whole Ferrari range and the history of company, but also for the entire market segment. Maximum torque is 540 Nm at 6000 rpm, over 80 per cent of which is available from 3250 rpm. Specific torque is a record 120 Nm/litre. However, what is truly extraordinary is the amount of torque available while still maintaining high levels of power at low revs.
The car's soundtrack is also typical Ferrari, with an exciting, powerful growl emerging from the engine before it channels through to the exhaust's three rear tailpipes.
The 458 Italia is equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which increases performance whilst providing very smooth shifts even at full throttle. The engineers have developed specific, sportier gear ratios to match the power and torque curves of the new V8, guaranteeing high torque even at lower engine speeds and allowing the car to reach its maximum speed in top gear.
This new Ferrari is also a major leap forward when it comes to cutting emissions. Despite the fact that the new engine is significantly more powerful than the V8s that preceded it, the Ferrari 458 Italia produces just 320 g/km of CO2 and fuel consumption is 13.7 l/100 km (combined cycle), the best in the entire segment.
The engineers also focused on weight reduction during the design phase for similar reasons. Consequently, the Ferrari 458 Italia has a dry weight of 1380 kg with a power�to-weight ratio of 2.42 kg/CV. Weight distribution is also optimal with 58 per cent over the rear axle. The result of the engineers' endeavours can be summed up in to two simple statistics which together perfectly encapsulate the Ferrari 458 Italia's exceptional performance: 0-100 km/h acceleration in under 3.4 seconds and a maximum speed in excess of 325 km/h.
For the new chassis, once more in aluminium, Maranello's engineers incorporated various types of advanced alloys along with aerospace industry-derived manufacturing and bonding techniques.
With regard to vehicle dynamics, the Ferrari 458 Italia's suspension features twin wishbones at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear tuned for maximum roadholding and superlative handling. Along with a more direct steering ratio, the 458 Italia thus offers extremely rapid turn-in and body control whilst maintaining superior ride comfort.
The integration of the E-Diff and F1-Trac (now controlled by the same ECU) and their respective mappings is even greater, resulting in a 32 per cent increase in longitudinal acceleration out of corners compared to previous models. The evolution of the control logic, with even faster and more accurate calculation of levels of grip, ensures even greater roadholding, better handling and ease of control on the limit.
The same ECU also governs the high-performance ABS, providing even more precise control over the logic threshold and greater efficiency. The brakes also feature a prefill function whereby the pistons in the callipers move the pads into contact with the discs on lift off to minimise delay in the brakes being applied. This combined with the ABS has cut the 100-0 km/h braking distance to a mere 32.5 metres.
The Ferrari 458 Italia's interior is another area of the car that exalts its sporty personality. The driver is welcomed by a new layout and a revolutionary ergonomic interface where the main controls are all clustered on the steering wheel.With the Ferrari 458 Italia, Maranello has brought a highly distinctive new car to its 8�cylinder range. The company now offers two models that share a common, race-derived DNA, both exceptionally sporty and fun to drive in true Ferrari tradition, but aimed at two very different kinds of client. While the Ferrari California was created for owners requiring a more versatile sports car with a practical edge, the 458 Italia is designed for owners for whom the priority is uncompromising on-road performance with occasional track day capability, but who still demand a car that is useable in day-to-day driving like all Ferrari's recent models.
Ferrari 458 Italia - Technical specifications
Length 4527 mm (178.2 in.)
Width 1937 mm (76.3 in.)
Height 1213 mm (47.8 in.)
Wheelbase 2650 mm (104.3 in.)
Dry weight 1380 kg (3042 lbs)*
Weight/power ratio 2,42 kg/CV (7.16 lbs/kW)
Weight distribution fr/r 42%/58%
Type V8 - 90�
Displacement 4499 cc (274.5 cu in.)
Maximum power 570 CV (425 kW)** @ 9000 rpm
Maximum torque 540 Nm (398 lbs/ft) @ 6000 rpm
Specific power output 127 CV/l
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Front 235/35 ZR20 8.5"
Rear 295/35 ZR20 10.5"
Maximum speed >325 km/h (>202 mph)
0-100 km/h <3.4 s
Fuel consumption + emissions
Fuel consumption*** 13.7 l/100 km
Emissions*** 320 g CO2/km
Dual-clutch, 7-speed F1
E-Diff3, F1-Trac, high-performance ABS
Formula One Report
Insurmountable odds continue to stack up on Ferrari this year. During
qualifying in Hungary, Felipe Massa sustained a crash after a damper
spring from Rubens Barichello's Brawn car came loose. The spring came
loose and hit Massa's F60 right in front of the cockpit before hitting
the left side of the cockpit and finally whacking Felipe in the helmet.
Needless to say, he didn't race in Hungary; he
suffered a concussion and a fractured skull. Massa is in stable
condition after being placed in an induced coma to aid his recovery.
With Felipe out for the race (or the rest of the season?), it was up to Kimi Raikkonen to pick up the slack. He both started and finished the race in second place, scoring eight points to bring Ferrari's season point total to 40. Formula One 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton clinched his first win of the season, further defying any predictability the 2009 season may have established.
If that's not enough, Renault will be suspended from the upcoming European Grand Prix because Fernando Alonso was allowed to leave the pits with an unsecure wheel during the Hungarian Grand Prix. Adding to the mayhem, BMW has announced that they will quit Formula One after the 2009 season.
And lastly, the FIA recently issued the following press release concerning Max Mosley, the 2010 and the fate of Formula One:
"Following the completion of negotiations with FOA and all 13 Formula One teams by FIA President Max Mosley and FIA Deputy President for Sport Nick Craw, the members of the World Motor Sport Council have been sent a copy of the proposed new Concorde Agreement for their consideration.
"Subject to the approval of the WMSC and on receipt of confirmation that a satisfactory cost reduction agreement is in place, the new Concorde Agreement should be ready for signature at the end of next week"
I'll believe it when I see it.
But the biggest news in Formula One...
...IS THE RETURN OF MICHAEL SCHUMACHER!!!
British and German sources - as well as Schumacher's own Website - confirm that he is returning to Formula One, to drive for Ferrari, in the absence of Felipe Massa. At the very least, Schumacher will compete in the upcoming European Grand Prix - but wouldn't it be nice to see him finish out the season and rack up some points for the Scuderia? One can only hope.
More on this as it develops!
This Issue's Featured Ferrari Sale
|Here we have a beautiful 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS. Liveried in silver
with black leather, this stunning convertible is an excellent candidate
for Ferrari's Classiche certification. Additionally, if entered in
competition, it is a wonderful choice for Class and Preservation awards.
This 275 GTS is a totally original, unrestored car that comes with tools and a tool roll; 36,000 miles. Call Berlinetta Motorcars today to inquire about making this dream come true.
|In my restless and unrelenting pursuit for all things cars (mainly
Ferraris!), I am moving to Newport Beach, California. California is
irrefutably the car culture capitol of the country. I will do my best
to cover events throughout the state, and bring you stories and
adventures that will no doubt validate my cross-country move. If you
ever find yourself in southern California, let me know. Wish me luck
and stay tuned...
1979 to 2009: Thirty Years of Renowned Ferrari Restorations,
Service and Repairs
For the August 2009 issue of The Berlinetta Letter we have some cool stuff lined up for everyone, including the answer to this issue's trivia question and the announcement of our lucky winners.
Do you like the new look of The Berlinetta Letter? Well, it mirrors the new look of Berlinetta Motorcars' 100-point, ground-up, freshly-restored Website. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out now - at BerlinettaMotorcars.com!