Matthew Settle takes the Ferrari California for a spin around the Hamptons.
GROWING UP, I had a buddy named Mark. He was your typical car buff, with posters all over his room. One of them was the famed Ferrari 328 GTB from the television show Magnum, P.I. I fell in love with that car—and the brand. So naturally, when a doctor purchased one in our small rural town, it was a big deal. We used to ride our bikes down to his practice and gloat over it; we’d dream of somehow meeting Enzo Ferrari because we thought he was a magician, and maybe when we were old enough, we’d get to drive—or even own—a Ferrari.
Cut to decades later, and my premiere Ferrari experience. I find myself sitting behind the wheel of the truly magnificent Ferrari California on my way to Southampton for July Fourth weekend. Mind you, it’s not Magnum, P.I.’s 328 (270hp, zero to 60 mph in just under six seconds); this is the California! Four-hundred and sixty horses and the lowest drag coefficient (0.32) of any Ferrari ever made. With an assist from the dual-clutch Formula One-inspired gearbox and its launch button, I rocket from zero to 100 kmph in 3.5 seconds. This is a car Steve McQueen would have wanted. Yet this is also a car whose power is so well-managed, it could be your mom’s daily driver.
Wow, what a weekend! I escaped with only one ticket (and it wasn’t for speeding). Am I sorry I never got to drive Magnum’s car? Sure. But I guess good things come to those who wait. Ferrari of Long Island, 45 South Service Rd., Plainview, 516-671-7575; ferrari.com
PHOTOGRAPH BY BILLY FARRELL/PATRICKMCMULLAN.COM (SETTLE)