News

James May on Ferrari and F430

Discussion in '360/430' started by AlexO91, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. AlexO91

    AlexO91 F1 Rookie

    Sep 26, 2008
    2,719
    NW England
    Full Name:
    Alex
    If possible, shouldn't a chap own a Ferrari just once? When I am old and dribbling in an armchair somewhere, and cars have been forgotten, I will not regret that I never had a Citroen C6 or a Bentley Arnage or any number of other cars that I currently admire. I will probably have forgotten Mary-Lou and the carnal promise sensed but ignored in a moment down a green lane in 1988, and the size of my house will be irrelevant, because I'll have forgotten where it is. But I might wish I'd had a Ferrari.

    There is no rational reason I can think of for having a Ferrari, and that makes it all the more enticing. A Ferrari is a deeply and almost embarrassingly conspicuous consumer good, but driving around in one is an act of generosity, like appearing in The Sun's ‘News in briefs'. A Ferrari, flashing past or nestling in a grubby corner of an industrial estate, is a treat.

    There are plenty of psychological barriers to buying into the mystique of the Fezza - the Ferrari barbecue, for example - but all of that, and the paddock jacketed slobbering of fools, is swept aside by the experience of being in a good one. Ferraris are genuinely not like other supercars; not on a spiritual level. Someone at Maranello is gifted with the ability to take the sensation of driving and somehow make it feel keener, as if a steel has been run down all its edges to tidy them up. Something about every operation in a Ferrari is more crisply defined than it is anywhere else in life. What makes a Ferrari great is not, as some might imagine, a matter of heritage and brand image and all that prancing horse****. It really is something to do with metalworking and engineering.

    So help me, every time I step into an F430 I want one, quite badly. It stays with me for several days afterwards, like a bad hangover, before fading away. Other supercars fade from thought within a few hours, but with a Ferrari I still wake up on the third morning with the heart disease called love

    But I'm not sure I want this Scuderia version. The problems start on opening the door when, in a regular F430, I would be assailed by the whiff of Italian leatherworking and that warm, inviting ambience that a good pub has on a cold evening. The Scuderia, because it is trimmed with tiresome race-car materials, smells a bit like a pair of new trainers. This is not a smell that does much for me. There is no carpet and too much naked carbon fibre, which I find an ugly material.

    I'm also constantly staggered by the ability of Ferrari's designers to produce an artefact of such achingly good taste and then ruin it with baubles: the plaque on the fascia, the explosion of logos on the dash, the plastic Ferrari logo on the radio that wobbles about as you drive along. If I'd just spent £170,000 on a car I think I'd be able to remember who'd made it.

    And there aren't enough dials. Where is the ammeter and other stuff that, like the existence of the Women's Institute, I find faintly reassuring? Why is the fuel gauge an annoying graphic made up from bars that suddenly disappear when you're not looking? Why, when this car is equipped with the F1 paddle gearbox for serious drivers, does the software change gear for me when I was about to do it myself anyway? Honest I was. If it's my car and my engine, leave me alone to blow it up.

    My biggest gripe with the Scuderia, though, is that, like so many of these supposedly honed lightweight specials, it isn't as good as the regular version. In the normal F430 Spider, the performance is almost a happy side effect, the icing on the indulgence of owning and being in something so intoxicatingly special. In the Scuderia it feels like an obligation, and that somehow isn't proper. The tyres are twitchy and the ride, which is surprisingly supple on the proper version, is too crashy. The Scuderia seemed to end up driving me around, and if I wanted that I'd have spent the money on a butler.

    But I still can't help liking it. I like 510bhp, and I like the (actually rather pointless) flap that opens up in the exhaust system amplifying the engine note, which is like someone opening the door to a room where a band is rehearsing. A Ferrari is so magical that even Ferrari can't completely muck it up.

    I realise that I keep saying the same thing in this column. Normal supercars are better than the extreme versions of the same thing. In normal form, the F430 is my favourite car of all. So I should have one. I bet you a million pounds I never do.
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. RichardCH

    RichardCH F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 16, 2005
    4,641
    exactly get a 430 Spider and be happy and forget about the 16M
     
  4. RBK

    RBK F1 Rookie

    Jul 27, 2006
    3,052
    Calif and Nev
    Full Name:
    Bob
    Well said... The Scuderia is an "image", except for those who "solo" and/or do not have an opportunity to race "wheel to wheel". How much power is enough? There is the SL 65 with 661hp (turbocharged), but it does not "feel" as fast as an Sl 55 (supercharged) with a little over 510hp, the ZR1 with 634hp, but feels too "technical" as does the Porsche Turbo, and others. A "supercharged" Z06 is really fast (565rwhp) and "noisy" and "dangerous", if that is your cup of tea.

    A 430 is fast, but will lose to many in the 1/4 mile or 0-60. But, it is beautiful, smells great, drives great, reliable, with a great ride and the ability to be "driven" if you know how to drive.

    I chose it over the Scud although I understand "bragging rights" and discussions about carbon fiber, lighter weight, more horsepower. But when the camera's are off, the ride is harsh, seats uncomfortable, and no one in their right mind will drive the car to its limits on the streets. Great cars both, just my 2 cents. Best
     
  5. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    11,253
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Agreed. The Scud is really a decontented 430 with a little extra power and stiffer susupension. Is it faster on a track? Of course. I've tracked my 430 a fair amount, but it is a road car first and foremost and I enjoy it immensely. Very few 430's ever set a tire on a track anyway, including Scuds. Don't get me wrong, I think the Scuds are very cool. I just think Ferrari seriously overpriced them and it is not a model I want to own for driving in a variety of situations. I put 4K/year on my 430.

    Dave
     
  6. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,371
    Vegas baby
    There's a clear market for both of these cars so I don't understand what's the big deal.

    I like the standard 430 because it suits my driving style. For others, that's too tame. Fine. I have no more issues on this as to why some guys drink Budweiser and others drink Heinekenn. Both are right -- for them individually.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. F360-1386

    F360-1386 Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2006
    1,638
    Markham, ON, Canada
    Full Name:
    51216M
    How about upgrade the programme/chipset in the F430 Spider to make it have the same HP & shift/performance as the Scuderia/16M ? I think that would be perfect ! I think I am going to do it if there is any available. Does anyone know where I can get this done to upgrade the chipset to Scuderia Version.
     
  9. hardtop

    hardtop F1 World Champ

    Jan 31, 2002
    11,253
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Dave
    Agree with this too. It's just refreshing to hear someone actually say they like the normal, boring version better. Scuds receive such reverence (especially here) that it is nice to read an opposing view.

    Dave
     
  10. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 11, 2008
    83,371
    Vegas baby
    #8 TheMayor, Sep 20, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
    Well, depends on your idea of BORING I suppose!!! :)

    I like driving the F430 even in traffic. I like the way it looks. I like the way it sounds. I love the acceleration, the braking and the steering. I like the silly Carbon fibre details and the red stitching of the interior done in perfect percision.

    Shoot me for being a poseur. I freely admit it.

    I may be a poseur but I am certainly also -- a fan.
     
  11. FJS961

    FJS961 Formula Junior

    Jan 30, 2008
    869
    West Hartford,, CT
    Full Name:
    Frank
    +1
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
    1,924
    North America
    While I respect James May's opinion it has zero value. He's never owned a Ferrari and never will. His comparison of a 430 and Scuderia means zip. Or you could take Jeremy Clarkson's opinion who has never liked the standard 430. Then he drove a Scuderia and proclaimed "finally a proper Ferrari".
     
  14. FJS961

    FJS961 Formula Junior

    Jan 30, 2008
    869
    West Hartford,, CT
    Full Name:
    Frank
    Clarkson loved the 430 when he first reviewed it in both coupe and spider forms. That video gave me my first real look at the 430. He thought the 355 was the best car ever at the time and bought one. He said he never really liked the 360 as much. His only gripes were that it wasn't the prettiest Ferrari and the window switches were a bit of a stretch.
     
  15. AlexO91

    AlexO91 F1 Rookie

    Sep 26, 2008
    2,719
    NW England
    Full Name:
    Alex
    So if you don't own a Ferrari or have never owned a Ferrari your opinion has "zero Value"?

    Nothing you've written is true.
     
  16. AlexO91

    AlexO91 F1 Rookie

    Sep 26, 2008
    2,719
    NW England
    Full Name:
    Alex
    +1

    LOL......... Yeah! :)
     
  17. RSQP

    RSQP F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 25, 2005
    11,488
    California
    Full Name:
    Beaker
    The Scuderia will take your breath away. The fact that you aren't coddled in leather has yet to be a problem for me. It's more than a few pounds less and a few horsepower more. It's a complete package that you can't get with a flashed ECU and a revised suspension kit.
     
  18. The Ape

    The Ape Formula 3

    Feb 28, 2007
    1,758
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Ape
    I'm with bdelp once again. I like the standard 430 MUCH better for my purposes. I drove the Scud and loved it. Easily the most accurate, connected, track ready beast that I have had the pleasure of driving.

    The 430 is REALLY close in performance but so much better as a road car IMVHO......I miss my 430 everyday. When my 599 GHTE comes next month it has HUGE shoes to fill. If that car doesn't rock my world like the 430 I will end up back in a 430 until my 458 arrives............THAT"S HOW MUCH I LOVE THE 430!

    Why did I sell my 430?? The car had 27K miles on it, a replaced engine, and a pretty rough service record. I took excellent care of the car but it had a LOT of issues which is not the norm with the 430. I had a buyer who gave me within 2K of what I wanted for the car so it was a no brainer. That was 5 months ago.......I still wake up wishing it was in my garage.
     
  19. RBK

    RBK F1 Rookie

    Jul 27, 2006
    3,052
    Calif and Nev
    Full Name:
    Bob
    We agree. Whenever I find something that makes me happy, game over. If those who chose a Scud feel as good as I do when driving my 430, all is good. Two rights don't make a wrong. It will be interesting to hear about your personal experience comparing the 430 to the 599. Best
     
  20. jeff

    jeff Formula 3

    Feb 19, 2001
    1,924
    North America
    I should have finished the sentence with ... his opinion has zero value TO ME. Maybe for you his opinion has merit. If I were trying decide between a 430 and a Scuderia I would want input from owners who have experienced both cars. I want to know the pluses and minuses about each car. I would want to hear from owners who have lived day in and day out with these cars. I'm sorry but I cannot choose one car over another just because James May says the interior of the Scuderia just doesn't "smell right". How silly is that?
     
  21. AlexO91

    AlexO91 F1 Rookie

    Sep 26, 2008
    2,719
    NW England
    Full Name:
    Alex
    I agree with some of that, but it's his/their job to have the car for several weeks and live with it like it was theirs. Peoples opinions vary and I respect you for that but HE is the motoring journalist so he should know what he is talking about.
     
  22. RichardCH

    RichardCH F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 16, 2005
    4,641
    the truth is out ! long live James May
     
  23. msgm1

    msgm1 Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    435
    NYC
    When it come to Ferrari's listen to Clarkson or Tiff from 5th Gear, but please don't listen to Captain Slow...
     
  24. RBK

    RBK F1 Rookie

    Jul 27, 2006
    3,052
    Calif and Nev
    Full Name:
    Bob
    A thread like this interests me only because it provides "views". We all have them. Who is better than another to voice/express them? Clearly, if you want to buy a car, other owners "experience" is helpful. As someone who does not know (or know about) the op, I can tell you from personal experience, his comments reflect my own (and I have been in both a Scuderia and 430). The former is for one type while the latter another. Owning one of each would do little when there are so many other marque's to enjoy. Some of us are blinded by one dimension while others another. For example, the "feel" of the Scuderia makes some feel "powerful", while for others, as in my case, simply "uncomfortable". I can drive and do race cars (wheel to wheel), so the Scud does not intimidate me. However, on the street, I have no idea how to use it's power or suspension without taking unnecessary risks. The 430 is a "daily driver" , and does "smell good". Nothing good or bad about our preferences, and I, for one, am very grateful to be able to make the choice. Best
     
  25. Nashtyboy

    Nashtyboy Formula Junior

    Sep 8, 2010
    427
    Raleigh, NC
    Didn't May end up getting a 430 spider? I seem to remember Clarkson drag racing a 458 in a 430 that he claimed was May's... eating a chocolate bar in it and what not.
     
  26. Mattyrae

    Mattyrae Formula 3
    BANNED

    Apr 17, 2011
    2,032
    Bet Richard would take this back now since he owns a Scud?
     
  27. Mattyrae

    Mattyrae Formula 3
    BANNED

    Apr 17, 2011
    2,032
    It was a couple, not a spider. Funny video though.
     
  28. DoctorWill

    DoctorWill Formula Junior

    Jun 12, 2010
    757
    Playa Vista
    Full Name:
    Will
    I went to buy a F430 spider and ended buying a Scud. After owning the Scud for 5 months, now I finally realized I really need both cars....when I have more garage space, I will buy a F430 spider, too! So, there's your solution....make more money, get more garage spaces, and buy both!
     

Share This Page