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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a friend who's got a 10,000 square foot warehouse for his toys. He's had many Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, and over the past several years, six Ferraris (328GTB, Testa Rossa, F12 Berlinetta, two 458 Italias, and a 458 Spider). Last year he took delivery of the Spider in the winter, so I didn't get to ride in it because of our MT winters. I got to sit in it, and start it up last year.

Fast-forward to yesterday. We'd been planning on getting me out for a ride in it since last year, but for various reasons it hadn't come together before now. I have ridden in all the rest but the Testa Rossa though. Anyways... we headed-out from the warehouse with the top down and I was enjoying my time as a passenger immensely. He opened it up a few times and the exhaust is just so heavenly. We spent about a half hour heading up a popular drive in the country with lots of hills and twisties. Once we got to the top he slowed down and practiced a few performance starts. After the last one (at the turn around point), he gets out and says "you're driving". I'm like "WHOAH!!! Didn't see that coming".

My 2006 Solstice is the sportiest/sexiest car I've ever driven" (until now). I tend to shift below 3K rpm and lope around town below 4K. I do take tight corners fast and have spent a lot of time driving the Sol on the very twisty mountain roads of Montana's 11,000' Beartooth Pass and Wyoming's Chief Joseph Highway and Bighorn Mountain highways. So I've learned how to drive spirited drives in the Sol in terms of trusting it's stickiness on twisty roads. I love driving these roads in my Sol!

Back to the Italian car now... after I got comfortable with paddle-shifting and the other minutiae of the Ferrari, I started opening her up a bit. My Sol makes me grin lots, but it was a whole other level of smile in the $320K red rocket. I spent some time in manual shifting mode with the paddles, but automatic shifting mode is excellent, so I spent most of my time there. We drove the twisty roads for at least 45 minutes and I still felt like I had to pinch myself the whole time. My buddy had to get back to deal with issues in the skyscraper that he owns, so we headed back after that. He's been curious about my Sol, so I let him drive it back to his house from the warehouse. He loves all cars and motorcycles (he's got three Ducatis), and he really liked the Sol.

This morning I decided to head back to the same drive that we did in the 458 and I retraced our tracks in my Sol. This time, instead of my usual short-shifting... I shifted between 4-5K rpm and ran the car a gear lower when cruising. The car ran 8+ degrees cooler. I pushed it a lot more than I have before and I actually got to hear the Sol's beautiful exhaust note because I was always above 3K rpm. The Ferrari works the same way. Below 3K it's very quiet. But open it up and get it above 3K and it's eargasmic.

In short (or long), the bucket-list experience that my friend blessed me with inspired me to enjoy my Sol more, and actually drive it like it's supposed to be driven. I've always babied my cars and motorcycles, because I've always been a man of limited means and can't afford big repair bills. But suffice it to say that I'm now addicted to musical exhaust notes and more spirited acceleration. So I'll be driving my Sol with the proper amount of exuberance from now on.

I'm still riding high from driving the Ferrari AND the Solstice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It took me a few months to get used to the 2.0 turbo.
I've never owned a turbo-charged vehicle. Do they rev higher, or differently? I know about turbo-lag and such, but have never experienced it... except for the airplane that I used to fly (Mooney 231) in my former life as a pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
That's a great story (and friend) you have there. Thanks for sharing it.
Thanks. I'm still flying high about it. Though as it always does, but vividness of the memory has started to fade. Hopefully it won't be my last ride/drive in this car. But even if it is... it left me with a lifelong memory that I'll always cherish, and I'm grateful to have it.

Here's a pic of me (sans face... LOL!) with the 458 during the winter when it first arrived. I just got to sit in it and start it up that day.

 
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