The Lighter Side of Owning a Ferrari
Lessons Learned by john babos
A short time ago I had an experience that I believe most Ferrari owners have had. I experienced the smells of a warm summer day, the warm wind ruffling my hair, and the singing of my little Ferrari as I cruised the interstate. It was something akin to what a world class dressage stallion rider has with his Lippizzaner during a championship equestrian event. Every move of my body was being telegraphed magically to the car which it sensed as it responded to the subtle directions quickly and precisely. On this day there wasn’t much traffic and what was there I passed like they were standing still. With Crystal by my side such was the day as we were returning home from the Ferrari tour across the peak to peak highway and brunch at the Greenbriar.
Then it happened. A sudden but loud and brief WOOLP. Within fractions of a second I scanned the gauges and lights in the dash looking for the anomaly. Were any of the meters pegged? Then just as suddenly there was another loud WOOLP. Not seeing a problem with the gauges I quickly looked into the rear view mirror expecting the tell-tale sign of steam or smoke streaming from the back of the car. It was then I noticed a silver Camero. I thought wow, he’s really going fast and look at all the lights on his car. The lights were in the grill and on the dash, they were everywhere. Some lights were white, others blue, a few red ones, why would someone do that I thought? After all it was kind of garish. I noticed the driver had a hat like my old drill sergeant and I remember thinking how strange, and then another WOOLP. Then it registered in my pea brain. “Oh no.” I said, as I began to think of all of the possible infractions I just committed. How many lanes did I just cross? Did I signal? How fast am I going? I looked at the speedometer and a knot the size of a football developed in my stomach.. “Oh rats” I thought. This is going to cost me a fortune in ways that would make Enron stock holders feel lucky. At least they still had their drivers licenses. At best I figured I might have about two minutes to work my way out of this as I pulled to the side of the road. My first thought, play dumb and speak Italian. I began going over the Italian vocabulary with which I was fluent. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat, Rome, Naples, Lasagna, Spaghetti-o’s. Nope, that wouldn’t work. Well, maybe I could tell him I was rushing Crystal to the hospital to deliver a baby. I looked at Crystal and realized no way. I became desperate as the car stopped and the constable began walking towards us. Maybe he’ll buy the strong tail wind excuse, or maybe the one about delivering organs for emergency transplants. “Rats” again. It then occurred to me, when you want to dance, you have to pay the piper. I screwed up and I would accept the consequences. The way I was driving was irresponsible and I had no excuse for that. As the officer approached the car I suddenly remembered what Captain Larry Tolar of the Colorado State Police told all of us at the Ferrari banquet last year when asked about being pulled over. “Make the officer feel as safe as possible. Put both hands on the wheel and whatever you do, don’t reach quickly to the glove box!”
I had both hands on the wheel as the officer of the Colorado State Police told me what he saw. He asked for my driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance. I gave him the license and told him that the registration and insurance card were behind the passenger seat. Being as courteous as possible, which was enough to make Crystal gag, I told him I would reach behind the seat very slowly and that I realized how dangerous his job is every time he pulls someone over. The officer thanked me for the concern. Attempting to impress the young officer even further, I forced Crystal forward as I tilted the passenger seat to find the registration. However, it seems not only did I impress the state trooper but I left a real impression on Crystal as her face was positioned between the fuse box and the air conditioning vent. You could actually see the little thread marks from the leather dash embedded in her cheeks. I retrieved the documents, which I gave to the officer and apologized to Crystal as she wiped the AmorAll off of her chin.
The officer went back to his car for a few minutes and when he returned told me that he was letting me off with a warning and thanked me for thinking of him. So, in addition to the wake up call I received, my thanks are to Captain Larry Tolar of the Colorado State Police for the great advice and a lesson learned. The other lessons learned turned out to be just as valuable. First, when your wife receives a speeding ticket two days prior for doing 52 in a 45 don’t rub it in by telling her your just so cooool and she isn’t. Second, hope that the old sleeping bag stills works as you drift off to sleep on the deck. As I snuggled next to the redwood railings hoping it wouldn’t rain I couldn’t help but think;
$40,000 for my Ferrari,
$25 for my Ferrari hat,
$75 for my Ferrari shirt,
Getting out of 12 points and a $300 ticket in front of my wife…..priceless!