It has been nearly a year since I last provided an update on my experiences with the Ferrari Daytona, affectionately known as "The Mistress" in my household. Today, I want to share the latest chapter in my journey with this iconic automobile.
The first part of the year was relatively uneventful, primarily due to the pervasive impact of COVID-19 lockdowns. Like many others, I found myself confined to the comforts of home, unable to engage in much beyond essential activities. However, I managed to find solace and excitement by immersing myself in the virtual world of Forza Horizon 4, where I could experience the exhilaration of driving a simulated version of the Ferrari Daytona.
As the lockdown restrictions gradually eased and the weather improved, a newfound sense of freedom and anticipation filled the air. The moment finally arrived when I could escape the confines of home and embark on an adventure with the Daytona. With a touch of anticipation and a twist of the key, the mighty V12 engine roared to life effortlessly, as if it had been eagerly awaiting this very moment.
The sensation of being behind the wheel again after months of anticipation was nothing short of exhilarating. The Daytona's power and performance were as captivating as ever, seamlessly merging with the open road. The symphony of the V12 engine echoed through the countryside, blending harmoniously with the wind rushing past.
This year's first drive was not just a momentary escape; it was a celebration of the joy and freedom that comes from being connected to such a magnificent piece of automotive engineering. Each twist and turn, every acceleration and deceleration, reaffirmed my passion for the Daytona and the unique bond we share.
While the past year may have been filled with unexpected challenges, the allure of the Ferrari Daytona remained undiminished. It served as a beacon of hope and anticipation, reminding me of the exhilaration that lies beyond the confines of everyday life.
As the world gradually returns to normal, I eagerly look forward to further adventures and experiences with "The Mistress." The allure of the open road beckons, and the Daytona stands ready to deliver a symphony of power, performance, and unparalleled driving pleasure.
After that, through the summer I took the car out reasonably regularly and when the particularly poor British summer weather allowed. For the most part I eschewed the local events in favour of solo drives on a Sunday morning. I did however repeat my drive of 2020 down to the Old Mill Cafe in Wisborough green in the company of my friend Richard in his Maserati Khamsin.
As the summer arrived, I seized every opportunity to take the car out on the open road. Of course, being in the UK, the weather wasn't always on my side, but whenever the skies cleared, I made sure to indulge in the sheer pleasure of driving the Ferrari Daytona.
Instead of participating in local events, I found solace in solitary drives on peaceful Sunday mornings. There's something truly special about having the road all to yourself, with no distractions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the driving experience. The hum of the engine, the responsive steering, and the wind rushing past created a symphony of sensations that I couldn't get enough of.
However, there was one memorable occasion where I decided to embark on a shared adventure. Joining me on this exhilarating journey was my good friend Richard, who happened to own a magnificent Maserati Khamsin. It was a sight to behold – two automotive enthusiasts, side by side, ready to conquer the open road.
Our destination for the day was the Old Mill Cafe in Wisborough Green, a place that held special significance for us since our memorable drive there in 2020. The anticipation was palpable as we embarked on the familiar route, relishing in the beauty of the countryside and the thrill of our respective machines.
The drive was nothing short of spectacular, with the Ferrari Daytona and the Maserati Khamsin commanding attention wherever we went. The engines roared in harmony, complementing each other in a symphony of power and performance. It was an unforgettable experience, sharing our passion for fine automobiles and enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiasts.
Arriving at the Old Mill Cafe, we were greeted with warmth and a sense of familiarity. The blend of great food, beautiful scenery, and engaging conversations made it a perfect destination for car enthusiasts. We relished in our accomplishments, savoring the memories of our shared journey and the joy of being surrounded by automotive excellence.
As the summer drew to a close, I couldn't help but reflect on the incredible experiences I had with "The Mistress" during this period. From the solo drives on tranquil mornings to the exhilarating adventure with Richard, each moment behind the wheel reminded me of the sheer joy and privilege of owning such an iconic machine.
Looking ahead, I eagerly anticipate new adventures, further exploration of scenic routes, and the opportunity to connect with fellow enthusiasts. The bond between man and machine is something truly special, and with every journey, I am reminded of the enduring passion that fuels our love for exceptional automobiles.
One event that stood out in my year with the Daytona was the Hope Classic rally, which took place in mid-September. The rally was organized in support of the We See Hope charity, and I had the privilege of participating thanks to a last-minute discovery.
It all began with a charity auction on Collecting Cars, where one of the featured items was the opportunity to drive my late father's old Ferrari 250 SWB. The moment I saw this unique opportunity, I knew I had to seize it. I promptly got in touch with the organizers, expressing my interest in joining the event, and they graciously extended an invitation.
The day of the rally arrived, and as I laid eyes on my father's beloved car, emotions ran high. The Ferrari 250 SWB looked as stunning as ever, evoking cherished memories of my father's ownership. It was a bittersweet moment, knowing that the car had found a new home and a new purpose, yet still retaining its remarkable beauty and legacy.
One particular detail that caught my attention was the registration plate now adorning the car - "250SWB." During my father's ownership, he had inquired with the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) about the availability of this special plate. Shortly after he sold the car, he received word from the DVLA that the registration was indeed available. He passed on this information to the new owner, who, I can only imagine, secured it at a considerable cost.
Seeing the iconic "250SWB" plate on the Ferrari during the rally filled me with a mix of nostalgia, admiration, and gratitude. It was a testament to the lasting impact of my father's ownership and his passion for this magnificent automobile. The car's new owner had not only preserved its beauty but also embraced its historical significance.
Participating in the Hope Classic rally with the Ferrari 250 SWB was a truly memorable experience. Not only did it provide an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause, but it also allowed me to reconnect with my father's legacy and the profound connection we both shared with this extraordinary car. It served as a reminder of the enduring power of automotive enthusiasts coming together for a greater purpose.
As I reflect on this chapter of my journey with "The Mistress," I am filled with gratitude for the remarkable experiences and encounters that have unfolded. Each adventure behind the wheel has deepened my appreciation for the rich history and enduring allure of classic cars. I eagerly anticipate the next chapter, eager to create new memories and continue the legacy of automotive passion that lives within me.
The rally itself was a fantastic experience, filled with fun and camaraderie. The route took us from Weybridge to the picturesque Wiston Estate in Sussex, covering approximately 50 miles of scenic back roads. These roads hold a special place in my heart as they are the very same routes I frequently take when I embark on drives with the Daytona. Navigating these familiar roads alongside fellow enthusiasts added an extra layer of enjoyment to the event.
The rally showcased a diverse and captivating collection of cars, each with its own unique charm. From vintage classics to modern marvels, there was something for every automotive enthusiast. I invite you to check out my previous post for a closer look at some of the remarkable cars that graced the rally.
One of the highlights of the day was the lunch at the Wiston Estate, where we had the opportunity to engage in insightful Q&A sessions with two industry experts. Richard Tuthill, a renowned specialist in historic Porsche rally cars, shared his wealth of knowledge and experiences with us. It was a privilege to learn from his expertise and gain valuable insights into the world of Porsche rally racing.
Another guest speaker was Thomas Reinhold, the Heritage manager at McLaren MSO (McLaren Special Operations). Thomas, whose day job revolves around caring for legendary cars such as the McLaren F1 and Mercedes McLaren SLR, brought along the recently unveiled McLaren SLR MSO. This stunning machine left us all in awe, showcasing the cutting-edge engineering and craftsmanship that McLaren is known for.
Looking ahead, I eagerly anticipate the next edition of the rally and hope to be available to participate once again. The event not only provides an opportunity to indulge in our shared passion for cars but also contributes to a worthy cause. It's a gathering of like-minded individuals who appreciate the artistry, performance, and heritage of automotive engineering.
In October, it was time for the Daytona to undergo its much-needed service. Due to the delays caused by the pandemic, the service was slightly overdue. Unfortunately, my usual mechanic was unable to accommodate the service, so I decided to book it in with my friends at Pendine Works in Warwickshire. Having worked on several classic cars, including Ferrari 250 Testa Rossas, I knew that my beloved Daytona would be in capable hands at Pendine.
The journey to Pendine, spanning over 100 miles, would typically be a breeze. However, on the day I chose to make the trip, the UK faced a fuel truck driver shortage, causing immense stress and nearly forcing me to abandon the journey. Fortunately, I managed to find a petrol station that still supplied the V Power fuel required by the Daytona, saving the day.
While a basic service and oil change were the primary requirements, I also asked Pendine to address a brake judder issue at high speeds and a slight steering play. It turned out that one of the brake discs was heavily warped, prompting the decision to replace all the brake discs and pads. This introduced a delay in the service as it took time to source the correct brakes from Ferrari. The initial batch had the correct part numbers but varied in finish, necessitating their return and the supply of a new set from the same batch. It's important to note that even though manufacturers establish their own classic certification programs, much of the work and parts they provide are outsourced, resulting in potential variations in parts supply and quality.
The steering play, which may have been a consequence of encountering a pothole last year, was resolved by tightening up the steering box. Additionally, twelve new spark plugs were installed, and the distributors received attention. The final bill for the service was substantial, primarily due to the cost of parts rather than labor.
Unfortunately, due to the delays in procuring the necessary parts, I couldn't retrieve the car until early December. Winter is not the ideal season for driving the Daytona, as it is not fond of cold weather and the roads are often covered in salt. However, we managed to select a clear and dry day, albeit chilly, for the journey back home. Before stowing the car away in the dehumidified and heated garage for the winter, a thorough cleaning was necessary to remove the salt residue.
Changes are on the horizon. As mentioned in previous articles, my work commitments will likely lead to an extended multi-year relocation to the United States. Unfortunately, it is not practical for me to take the Daytona with me, so it will enter a prolonged period of storage while we are overseas. Consequently, the car will experience shorter periods of more intense use when I visit the UK. I will continue to provide updates on my drives with the Daytona as and when they occur next year. To conclude this update, I will share a few more pictures of the Daytona captured throughout the year.