RED...RED EVERYWHEREText and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
Some people would travel the world to see some of the most iconic cars at museums, race tracks or private collections, but here in Northern Ireland - we just attend a local school's charity event on a Sunday morning where casually parked one would find a collection of cars that even Mr. Clarkson himself would be jealous of.
Red Prancing Horses behind the fence - everywhere you looked. That's exactly what we had on Sunday, September 2 at the Lisburn school of "Friends" where local authorities were organising a charity event to raise some money with the help of local Ferrari enthusiasts.
Ferrari - the pinacle of supercars; the Italian luxurious supercar manufacturer was founded by Enzo Ferrari and established in 1939. With a huge following around the globe in 2014 Ferrari was named to be the most powerful brand. There was no better way to attract loads of motoring enthusiasts to the charity event of any age, than with the help of the prancing horses.
Imaging having gone to car shows in the '80ies and you would have been able to see cars like this (if you were lucky enough). Fast forward to 2018, even knowing that some of these cars exist in your country is a treat, yet seeing them all togeteher at an event that costs less than a visit to a museum - A PRIVILEGE.
Luckily for us, we have a gentleman like Philip Shields in Northern Ireland who was so kind enough to bring out his amazing collection to this event. I really wonder if some people really appreciated how huge the gesture actually was; these cars couldn't be replaced if damaged, nor could one put a prize tag on many of these beautiful supercars.
Which is a point I'd like to discuss a bit more in details. Dear car show visitors, having paid £5 to visit a show does not mean this makes you the MAN at a show; this doesn't entitle you to open car doors without owners consent or get into these cars, nor does it entitle you to touch the cars or place your kids on wings bonnets to take a picture and most importantly it doesn't allow you to kick a bumper of a few million pound supercar to see if this is carbon. And these are the exact things I witnessed throughout the day that really upset me. We don't behave like that when we visit our friends house, or museum or any other show - so why be so disrespectful at these events. Please, just stop and be respectful. Car owners do not want to come back to their cars at the end of the day to find their car covered in fingerprints, sun cream, scratched paint from handbags and prams or worse dents from leaning on it. If you'd realise these cars cost excess of 1 million, would you really do it?
Welll, there was plenty of them. Additionally to the wonderful Ferrari collection, there were many other supercars, including Audi R8, Lamborghini, Porsche etc. and many other classic cars and sports cars. Whilst it was never designed as a large car show, nor it tried to be one, the amount of amazing and super rare cars at the Friends School charity event was mindblowing.
Ferrari F40 - for many this was the pinnacle of supercars; a legend of the ‘80ies, a unicorn in modern automotive world. The successor to the Ferrari 288 GTO was released as a direct competition to the Porsche 959 and was the fastest and most expensive Ferrari released to date; furthermore, it was the last supercar to be officially approved by Mr. Enzo Ferrari himself. A total of 1311 F40s left the Italian factory; however, very few ever saw daylight as they spent most of their lives in private collections worldwide.
The F40 was powered by a borrowed 2.9L V8 engine from the 288GTO model; however, the twin turbo forced induction setup was producing astonishing 471hp and 577Nm of torque. Nearly reaching the 200mph mark it was the fastest mass production (over 500 units) car on sale of the time. The F40 was mid-engine and rear-wheel driven with a 5 speed manual gearbox; with no aids and basic set up it really was a race car for a road.
The F40 was designed by Pininfarina 2 designers and featured a basic tubular steel design wrapped into Kevlar, carbon fiber and alumium for maximum weight loss. The car also lacked proper windows (plastic), carpets, trip, glove box department, handles etc. Even the paint layer on top of the body was so thin, the carbon weave could be easily seen through it. And whilst this car may have never been the best looking or most practical nor luxurious Ferrari model, it became to be the most desired model of them all and seeing one in person was a wonderful opportunity.
FERRARI F12 TDF
The Ferrari F12 TDF model was released as a track oriented version of the F12 Berlinetta model; it was in production between 2015 and 2017. The F12 TDF name derived from the Tour de France automotomile races that Ferrari dominated between 1956 and 1964. The production of F12 TDF was limited to 799 limited units worldwide making it a very exclusive and highly desired model. The F12TDF is powered by the same engine as F12 Berlinetta; however, the upgraded 6.3 litre V12 produces 769hp and 705 Nm of torque making it ridiculously fast. It takes less than 3 seconds to reach 62mph from a standstill and the car keeps accelerating to 211 mph. The F12 TDF lapped the Ferrari test circuit faster than any other model and gave in only to the superior LaFerrari model.
Ferrari, The Ferrari, the daddy of daddies, the boss of bosses – this is exactly what the LaFerrari was designed to be. LaFerrari was the first hybrid supercar from the Italian manufacturer offering the highest power output of any road going Ferrari ever produced. 499 LaFerraris (code name F150 or F70) were produced and sold for approximately 1million, but since this was a strict invitation purchase only the resale value of the vehicle reach 10 million (auction in 2017) making this the most expensive 21st century vehicle. LaFerrari Aperta was released 3 years after te LaFerrari in 2016 and was limited to 210 units. So what do you if your mr. Shields – you buy both the LaFerrari and LaFerrari Aperta.
The red devil is powered by 6.3 litre V12 producing 789hp and 700Nm of torque that has been further powered by a 161hp KERS unit (totalling 950hp) and coupled to a 7 speed double clutch gearbox. The performance figures are mind blowing:0-62 in 2.4 seconds and topping out at 217. LaFerrari is equipped with more electronic aids that I can name – E-Diff, ESC, EF-1, ABS, EBD, FRS etc.
And whilst this may be the very first Ferrari that hasn’t been designed by Pininfarina since the collaboration between the two companies since 50’ies, I must say it is the best looking modern Ferrari ever built. It is a car that offers both the ultimate design and performance and deserves the name it has.
FERRARI 488 CHALLENGE
Ferrari Challenge was created in 1993 to offer a single make racing series to Ferrari 348 Berlinetta owners. It became so popular that Ferrari offered another model a few years later: the F430, followed by the 458. In 2018 they returned with the F488 Challenge car and here it was- "the most powerful car in the history of one make series" (Ferrari). Powered by 493 hp V8 engine and equipped with F1 style gearbox this Ferrari is a handful to drive. As with all the challenge cars this car is ready to hit the track thanks to all the aero, engine and brake upgrades. It looks spectacular.
FERRARI 488 GTB 70TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
What may have just seemed like a random coloured Ferrari actually was one of the most special and expensive Ferraris there. To celebrate the 70 years of Ferrari the Italian supercar manufacturer ran a limited production of 5 of their models – The California T, 488GTB, 488 Spider, F12 Berlinetta and GTC4 Lusso in 70 tailored and unique liveries. Ferrari produced 350 units and sold these on invitational basis only. The resale value on certain models was estimated to be well over 1million GBP. Ferrari certainly new how to celebrate their birthday in style by releasing a series of magnificent looking vehicles.
And whilst the day may have been all about the red prancing horses, there was another thing that I kept returning to: the CCM Spitfire. To be perfectly honest I am not overly into bikes, yet this particular masterpiece has stolen my heart. I recall seeing this bike first at the "Goodwood Festival of Speed" in 2017 and it stole my heart. Hand built in UK the CCM Spitfire is a limited production street bike, it is majestic from every angle; the attention to detail is second to none. Whilst many would refer Ducati as the Ferrari of bikes, for me this is the ultimate bike. Magnificent.
It was a really great day, for great cause and a display of cars one would hopefully never forget. I'd like to thank Philip Shields and the remaining owners of vehicles that gave us the unique opportunity to see all of them up close and personal.