The hate surrounding the California reminds me of the Mondial affair: Not a proper Ferrari. Ugly. Underwhelming performance. A girl’s car. Not true of course, but why do people insist? Because they’re judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree. The California, like the Mondial, is an entry level GT. And a very good one at that. Fun, engaging... A great driving experience. It can’t be compared to a full blown, no compromise, supersports car. If you do compare it, not only you’ll frustrate yourself, you’ll also miss out on properly enjoying a great Ferrari. If you spend your entire time wishing the California to be something it isn’t and wasn’t designed to be, you’re looking at it from the wrong angle and that’s on you, not on the car or its alleged shortcomings. Also something that I’ve learned from the Mondial affair that pretty much echoes with the California: the vast majority of hardcore critics has never owned one. Owners generally are fans of the car and tend to be a tightly knit community. The California, unless I’m very much mistaken, is the most produced and sold Ferrari of all time. And there’s a reason: people liked it, demanded it, bought it. On a final and biased, personal note, sadly I’ve never owned a California but I’ve been fortunate enough to drive the original California, the T and the Portofino. In terms of looks and driving feel, my favorite is the California T, although I wish Ferrari had retained the exhaust pipes on top of one another, like in the original California. The Portofino is much faster I felt, and handles great, but it’s too “techy” for me. There’s a plus side to all the hate: brings prices down over time, and we’ll be able to find great models at very inviting prices, which also reduces part costs and labor costs. Generally the passage of time is just and fair, and the California will shake off its undeserved reputation. Like my 458, the California is a milestone car for Ferrari, representing a series of firsts and lasts. In a couple of years, when we’ll all be forced to drive electric SUVs, people will sigh and long for the California. In the meantime, enjoy it and maintain it carefully. Time, the pedal on the right and the wind in your hair will reward you. Kind regards, Nuno.