I did hear a 458 whiz past me while I was in an open jeepney here in Manila back in high school.
[Above is how most jeepneys look like in The Philippines. Note the lack of sound deadening.]
The car flew by the first time I and the rest of the passengers with me saw it, but I knew immediately what that car was. I didn’t see it until the jeep and the 458 met again at an intersection
The driver recognized that I was eager to listen (as those on the side facing the exotic), as both the jeep I was in and the Fezza were at a stop. He revved the thing up and I felt goosebumps.
But nothing prepared me for the launch. He bolted off, and two blocks off that 4.5-liter V8’s soundtrack was still playing in ears and were head-and-shoulders above the rest of traffic noise until it stopped two minutes later, when the car is far away.
He was off, of course, never to be seen again until a week ago while I was tailing the car on my bike, the exotic negotiating the horrific traffic, with me almost always ahead to look at the cleanly-designed front. He didn’t mind me chasing him doggedly. In fact, he parked the car on a petrol station and let me ogle it and sit inside. Then I showed him my (then-fresh, now beat-up) yellow Hot Wheels model of the 458 and took a picture of both, the 1:64 car resting on the engine cover of the real thing.
I wasn’t able to get his Facebook name or some other contact info when he left (but he did tell me to be careful when biking in the city), though I’m in the Philippines, where late-model exotic cars are few and far between, so I can bet that if I do see another red 458 it’d be him.
The close encounters I had with the car pretty much validated many of the things I heard and saw in Jeremy Clarkson’s review, and even today I hold the 458 in high esteem, my own poster/PC wallpaper idol, my own legendary car. Not as high as a McLaren F1 or Jaguar E-type, but of my top 550 cars, the 458 is 12th.
Of course, to each their own, and I wouldn’t really be shaking someone’s convictions about the car (like you), but to me, the 458 did not disappoint.
To me, the Ferrari 458 rocked. And nothing, not even memes, can dissuade me.