Driving a Ferrari

People who read my earlier blog on the Montblanc Meisterstuck would have read of my stupid desire to own a Ferrari. Naturally a pipe dream and we all agree with that. But well, hear this now. I got to drive a Ferrari two weeks ago. My cousin owns one and we had a go at it, while at Cleveland Ohio.

It was an exhilarating though short-lived experience. I did not really let rip on a highway since I was new to Ohio roads and since I had no plans of making close encounters with animate & inanimate objects. And of course, I was nervous and worried about insurance and other mundane matters. Behind the wheels, it felt great revving the engine up and speeding up to 60-70 mph in a flash (Less than 7 seconds is what the specifications state). The steering was hard (trying a U turn took an effort), the cornering reasonably tight. The 6 position stick shift was a bit tight, the engine took 10 minutes to warm up initially and putting the car into reverse required pressingdown the shift to engage it. Above all, the sound from the quad mufflers, when you pressed the gas pedal ensured that all around the Barrington community took notice; as you sped by with the top down and the wind tore through your hair, your back firmly pressed to the seat, shoulders up, and that stupid grin on your face… well at least I ensured that the local community took notice and my cousin gave me quaint looks, wondering if I would tear his car apart. Actually, he looked quite smug… The Ferrrai he owns is a classic ‘family man’s Ferrari’ or the Ferrari 3.2 Mondial Cabriolet (Silver not Ferrari Red). I can only agree with what this owner had to say.

A Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet owner remarks - When you drive this car, especially with the top down, almost everyone will look and admire. The sound that emanates from the 4 exhausts is one that a Porsche could only imagine. I've had Porsches, and when you have stepped up to a Ferrari, especially one with a 348 engine or better, it is music to your ears. Women stare and wave, men weep in their practical Hondas or family mini-vans wishing to have a second chance at life. When you are feeling a little depressed, just turn the key and your problems vanish... it is that simple. The sound, power and handling will make any driving enthusiast smile as it does me, even on the darkest of days.

Ferrari introduced the Mondial in the early 80’s as the top model of their V8 DOHC series. In 1983, the Ferrari Mondial got an upgrade, its engine size was increased to 3.2 liters, and the car was renamed the Mondial 3.2. Things got even better in 1984 with the unveiling of the Mondial Cabriolet, the first convertible Ferrari. The horsepower increased to 260 and top speed to 155 mph. It featured more electronic accessories than any Ferrari before it and was a showcase of new technology throughout its production. It was the first V8 Ferrari to feature fuel injection, electronic ignition, automatic climate control, anti-dive suspension, ABS brakes, cockpit-adjustable suspension, power steering, t-type transaxle, and an automatic clutch. No Ferrari polarizes enthusiasts like a Mondial. You either like them or hate them. There’s defensible logic on both sides. Around 630 were produced during the mid 80’s.

Ferrari is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and high-performance sports cars formed by Enzo Ferrari in 1929. At first, Scuderia Ferrari sponsored drivers and manufactured racecars; the company went into independent car production in 1946, eventually became Ferrari S.p.A and is now controlled by the Fiat group. The company is based in Maranello, near Modena, Italy.

And I did one more thing that I had always wanted to do. I drummed a real Chenda with real Chenda kols (my cousin also has a collection of all kinds of musical instruments including triple drums). I must say here that while I have tapped on a Chenda as a kid, doing a quick rat- a-tat while at the temple (with the Marar was away for lunch or something), but this was me with a Chenda on my shoulders, hammering away tunelessly in a basement, all by myself. I did not have the faintest clue what tune I was drumming, but well, it did make a lot of noise and it transported me to memories of the ‘ulsavam’ or celebrations at the Thrippallavurappan temple at Pallavur and Appu marar.

Later that evening while I was answering an official call on my cell phone, my colleague told me – I don’t know what you are upto, but vacationing in Cleveland Ohio is not something I have heard many people mentioning. If I had explained what I was upto, she would still not have understood, I guess!!!


Nanditha Prabhu said…
you seem to have had great time fulfilling ur dreams!so women waved at u ? and u mADE THE MEN JEALOUS?

chenda melam i think is a dream of evry keralite who has experiencd the ulavams of kerala.i am missing the onam rt now as there is ulsavam at trikkakara temple next to my home in kerala.
diyadear said…
wow owning a ferari sure is sumthing.. wish i was ur cousin he he.. oh appol chenda melavum okke irippuvasahm undalle.. bheshaayii he he
Maddy said…
nanditha, diya - unfortunately it was too short, a ride, before the women of that community woke up, i was done.. and the men were out playing golf..so it was not a well witnessed event..

righto...i miss the ulsavams and melams too - onanam, sadya....
Anonymous said…
Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
anyhow thanks for the good read!