This was my first jaunt across the ocean to the mythical land of small diesel cars everywhere and socially acceptable smoking, and as such I felt I needed to do something car related that would blow my tiny mind.
Enter my lovely wife who found this tour online , and thanks to incorrectly listed pricing, I was able to drive this Ferrari for 90 minutes dirt cheap.
The California T is, for all intents and purposes, an “entry level” Ferrari. I use that term irresponsibly loose because sticker price is somewhere north of 150% of the value of my house. Take that, poors.
This was my first time ever driving a proper super car, the tension of which exacerbated by being my first time driving in a foreign country. I had ridden several sport bikes in the past, but the quickest thing on 4 wheels I had ever piloted was an F body trans am.
The car was only as intimidating as I let it be, much to my relief, and was perfectly content to spend a lazy afternoon puttering around Florence in light traffic. The dual clutch gearbox was perfect. I had never played with a proper dual clutch before, but I’m now a fan. I would gladly take any Ferrari with flappy paddles should my pockets not be deep enough to procure one with 3 pedals.
This car in particular had 33,000 Kms on the clock, most of which I can assume were hard won. The car was holding up quite well, save the outer bolster on the drivers seat, and some dings that needed a day with a good PDR guy.
I kept it between the lines, enjoying the scenery and trying to have as much low speed fun as I could. The cars performance as a daily is very nearly perfect, with a firm but not rough ride and handling that felt glued to the asphalt. It was insanely quick, I only opened it up one or two good times and barely got to 6K rpms before being sufficiently scared, er, reminded to respect the machine.
My only complaint would be that the steering was almost *too* light. Okay, classic Jalop whining I know. The California had an electric rack, which suited the grand touring vibe of the car, but left a smidgen to be desired in terms of feel.
This was the best day of my life. I can’t explain why I love cars the way I do, I just do. The experience was absolutely resplendent and I will be returning to Florence at some point to take a spin in one of their other cars.
Enjoy a photo of my instructor, the car, and 1/3 of my dopey face.