Hahndorf – Ferrari California

I spotted this Ferrari California sitting pretty on that perfect sunny day in Hahndorf a couple of weeks ago and managed to get these couple of shots in. But as I was driving away, I had some time to reflect on it. Does it really live up to the California nameplate?

Every Ferrari has an element of glamour about it, in my opinion every Ferrari is a very special automobile and I would absolutely jump at the opportunity to drive one – my goal in life is to get behind the wheel of something with a prancing horse sometime soon, even just for a little bit. I know that the current California excels at what it does – it’s still brilliantly quick by anyones standards, a fantastic handler, a relaxed top down cruiser and as practical as a Ferrari can be for the daily commute. But it doesn’t posses the same qualities that make me such a fan of the original California. You know, the one from Ferris Bueller’s day off….


I highly recommend you watch this clip of the best California moments from what is probably the best movie, ever. My favourite moment of the film, in fact almost my favourite cinematic moment of all time, begins in this clip at 2:34. “If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away? Neither would I”. But the real inspirational moment for me is at 3:25. Tossing the hat away as you open those six big Weber’s carbies and listen to the glorious howl of the Colombo designed V12, Beat City by The Flowerpot men in the background, is the stuff dreams are made of. But, I digress.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing cooler than racecar stuff on the road. And the thing that made the original California so fantastic was that it was essentially all racecar underneath. At the suggestion of Luigi Chinetti, North American Ferrari importer (hence the California nameplate), Ferrari took the multiple LeMans and endurance winning race bred chassis and mechanical package from their successful 250 series, and commissioned Scaglietti to build an attractive steel body with aluminium panels for it.

It was the most incredible thing. You could be driving along the twisting backroads of the California coast, warm evening summer breeze gently buffeting you and your attractive passengers faces, with genuine, up to the minute race bred Ferrari technology underneath you. A car that combined the stunning looks that only 60’s Italian design can provide with genuine performance. And it’s for that reason that I feel the modern California doesn’t quite live up to the legend.

However, I am definitely willing to revise my views if there is anyone out there who actually owns a modern California and would like to prove me wrong by either taking me for a ride or letting me have a short drive….

So that then raises the question, what would a true modern California be? It would have to be classically beautiful, along the lines of the Alfa Romeo 8C Competzione Spider. And it would have to have the mechanical package of this…. the 599xx. Watch the video, and just imagine what a real California could be….





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