think F1 in-car camera. The red nose, the blurring verge flashing by,
and the symphony behind your head. Five seconds to a hundred among breaks
in Delhi morning traffic, real heady stuff. The steering too came magically
alive, balancing up superbly on the few actual corners I managed to drive.
Suddenly the 348 had lived up to all the Ferrari hype, all the expectation,
I wanted to head for the hills, disappear onto some meandering country
roads, let the 348 play but it was not to be. Work schedules, responsibilities,
Kenny’s not mine, meant dream time had to come to an end. That was
it, I thought, but “come again,” he said, “we can go
for a longer drive”. Truly a saint.
KEEPING THEM PRANCING
a Ferrari in India is a Herculean task.
Parts just have to be imported at an exorbitant cost, but the Internet
has made things much easier. Just type ‘Ferrari 308 parts’
for example in a search engine such as Google and you get links to numerous
vendors of parts with varying prices, as well as some ‘Do It Yourself’
However prices, as expected, are far from friendly. Try $125 for a 308
gasket, or $75 for each of the valves, sometimes 40 to an engine. Finding
someone qualified to work on the cars is another huge problem. A full
workshop manual in English is essential and even then, as can be expected,
it’s trial and error. And errors cost both time and money. Sadly
a number of cars are never nursed back to health.
Amazingly, there is one qualified Ferrari technician in the country, who
is trained at handling the more modern Ferraris. Kersi has trained at
Maranello and is equipped with specialised tools (like the SD1 computerised
datalogger) that are usually given only to dealers. Kersi insists on frequent
fuel filter changes as well as regular cambelt replacements. And while
regular service may sound simple, don’t forget you need to pull
the F355’s engine out to execute a textboox cambelt change! Of course,
nothing less than 95 Octane with a decent peg of octane booster will do.