Italian Style: 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour De France

During a recent visit to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, my personal star of the show was the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tour De France.

Designed by Pinin Farina, with a powerful V12 engine, strengthened chassis and aluminium body, this car has breathtaking looks and is also arguably the greatest and most important Ferrari road/racing car ever built.

It delivered four victories in the 10-day Tour De France plus two category wins and a second overall in the Mille Miglia.  It also triumphed in its class at Le Mans.  The example above is one of 45 built between 1956 and 1960.

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How they (really) drive in Naples

A girl puts a camera in her grandfather’s car to see what he says as he drives through Naples.  You don’t need to speak Neapolitan to get the gist as he speeds along, sometimes even with a hand on the wheel.  

The video’s payoff is that we spend on average 7 years of our lives stuck in traffic, six of them angry, and we should all go by bike.  Fortunately there is the new Bike Sharing Napoli now to get you out of the car and get around the city in a calmer manner.

As long as you don’t meet Gramps coming the other way.

Sunday Italian Cool: Lamborghini Aventador

Is there anything more Italian than a Lambo?  Dramatic, noisy, flamboyant, operatic, bonkers.

The Aventador, only the fifth flagship V12 that Lamborghini have ever produced, is like a stealth fighter on tyres, powered by a massive 700 horsepower 6.5 litre engine, reaching a top speed of 217mph.  0 – 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds.  Jeremy Clarkson said of it that:

‘It’s a brute of a car. You don’t drive it. You wrestle with it. It’s more refined than Lambos of old and less inclined to want to kill you. But when you open the taps you are no longer driving. You are hanging on.’

Official video below.  And yes, Orange is the new Black.

The Ultimate Ferrari

I love Ferraris, especially those from the early days of the marque. There’s a lot of excitement today in car circles over the official launch of LaFerrari, the ultimate Ferrari driving machine.

The statistics are amazing. Top Gear says that, ‘with a total combined output of 950bhp, LaFerrari will get from 0-62mph in 2.9 seconds, hit 124mph four seconds later, and top out ‘in excess’ of 218 miles an hour’.  NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY BHP….And it’s got KERS in that.

A direct rival for the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918, LaFerrari is designed and largely built in-house at Maranello. Looks are a bit ‘meh’ (it’s not got no Pininfarina styling at all) but apparently it’s so fast that it ‘warps scenery‘ and is ‘violent, visceral, synapse snapping, and utterly, utterly addictive‘.

Yours for over 1 million pounds (should you be one of the lucky 499 owners selected by Ferrari). Listen to the noise of the V12 on the video.