A Ferrari Moment

I'm pretty sure it was a 599 GTB Fiorano.

It's Saturday and just barely dusk. I'm on I-40 East just outside Durham on the way to the Sam's Club in Morrisville. To jump start Son Number One's Honda. He's been there working his pick up job, cooking Little Smokies and offering them to passersby. Nine bucks an hour.

Anyway, I'm in the 335i (it's filthy inside and out) tooling along in the far right lane at about 65 mph. Sixth gear. Steely Dan's only live album, Alive in America, is blaring. If you don't have that CD you should get it, if you like SD at all.

My baseball hat is low on the brow. I check my left mirror, because the Buick in front of me is holding me up. I'm ready to change lanes, pull in behind the old clapped out Volvo with the Vegan sticker that just blew by me on the left in the center lane. But... But in the mirror I see something low to the ground coming up fast. It's not that dark yet but in the mirror I can't make out the marque. It's something unique, though. I stay in my lane. Suddenly, the Volvo on my left pops on the breaks strong because of something goofy ahead. I hear the downshift of a throaty engine and suddenly there is this beautiful, shiny corsa rossa Ferrari pulling even with me to my left. As I turn my head toward the beauty the immediate sight is the Prancing Horse crest with the "SF" ( Scuderia Ferrari) script emblazoned just aft of the front wheel well.

Instinctively, I raised my sight line, trying to see into the cockpit. Don't you like to see who's driving that sort of exotica? He was what I would guess to be a 30-something fellow, with longish combed back black hair. His Romanesque but handsome nose gave insight to his heritage.

We were looking at each other. I threw a thumbs up his way--the modern symbol of hello and camaraderie among autophiles. In my old college days when I was driving an MG B and another sports car came into view we would flash the peace sign. He smiled, pointed toward me, quickly moving his hand back and forth horizontally as if to confirm the legitimacy of my BMW before returning the thumbs up.

The Volvo moved back into my lane, giving the 599 just enough room to accelerate past us both and then zip to the far left lane. Gone. I so wished I'd taken the BMW by the car wash.

Oh, what a beautiful automobile. I don't think I would want one even if I could afford the total bill, but it sure does brighten the day when you have a Ferrari Moment on the Interstate.
Road & Track Review


  1. I love this post, especially the way you wrote it. I have having a conversation recently about how different it is for an automobile lover to have a nice car versus it being a status symbol for a rich guy. To the car lover you derive excitement and thrill from driving such an incredible piece of machinery no doubt crafted with incredible passion and attention to detail, versus the rich guy who derives excitement from it being expensive and flashy. Steve Mcqueen drove a brown ferrari lusso berlinetta. A brown ferrari, that's not flashy at all! A true sign that he cared for the car, not the status.

  2. Exactly! You nailed it with that comparison.
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