The Green Gumball
This will easily get you from a dead stop to sixty in under four seconds, if you have at least 178,906 dollars (before taxes, registration and licensing fees, any options you choose and a chat with your insurance company). You're looking at the intake system of a mid-engine Ferrari F430, their hottest production model now that the Enzo is no more (they built only four hundred of those and they go for a million now, so you rarely see one of them, save for when some fool crashes one in Malibu or you catch a glimpse of Nicholas Cage driving his on the Beverly Hills part of Sunset, a few miles west).
This Ferrari F430 was just sitting in the street just off Melrose Avenue, on Fuller, Thursday May 11th, by the open-air auto repair shop, Ted's Imported Car Service, where there seemed to be a new yellow Lamborghini disassembled for some reason. This is Los Angeles, after all.
But this poison-green Ferrari on the street obviously needed Ted's help. It had been beat to hell and various bits of trim and some body parts had been taped in place with yellow duct tape, and the windshield and forward parts were pitted. It looked tired.
What happened? The racing number on the side - 45 - tells the tale. The Portuguese owner, Uno Gomes Cerqueira, had just driven it three thousand hard miles in six days in the latest version of "Cannonball Run," the rally, of sorts, that is run on public roads and is know as Gumball 3000.
That would be this -
So where had this F430 been this time to get so beat up? That information would be here - April 30 start in London and get to Belgium, then May 1 to Vienna, then Budapest the next day, and Belgrade the day after, then the cars are all flown of Southeast Asia and on May 5 race from Phuket to Bangkok, ending up at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel there, and then the cars are flown to Utah, to Salt Lake City, where everyone attends "the red carpet Premiere of Mission Impossible III" and the next morning revs up drives like hell to Las Vegas for a private "Snoop Dog" concert, then off to Death Valley and finally, May 7, the dash to the finish line, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. All that was followed by a dinner at the Beverly Hilton and a party at the Playboy Mansion up the hill, where one of the DJ's was the famous porn star Ron Jeremy.
This adds a whole new dimension, or many, to the "idle rich" thing. The "Spirit Trophy" was won by Team 15 - they crashed their Rolls Royce Phantom in Serbia and rode in cabs for the rest of the rally. Others just dodge the police and drive like hell. A few years ago some of us saw the drivers the police had actually caught on the 10 freeway in Covina - they didn't look very worried, and the cars were cool. We all slowed down and checked it out.
This Ferrari F430 on Melrose, after this year's three thousand miles on three continents, finished in the middle of the pack, but ahead of the guys in the cab. Now it needs work.