Home » Meet Your Heroes, Ferrari Edition: Members’ Rides

Meet Your Heroes, Ferrari Edition: Members’ Rides

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We all have dream cars. Some of us dream of obscure cars like a Jensen Interceptor. Some of us dream of more practical cars like a Prius Prime without a markup. But nearly all car people I know (and even non-car people) have dreamed about owning a Ferrari. For me, it would have to be a Giallo Modena (yellow) 355 spider with a gated shifter. Possibly a 575 SuperAmerica, because V12. Today’s featured resident of Autopia, The world of vee, always has had a thing for longroof cars. As such, his dream was always the quirky and awesome Ferrari FF. And sometimes, dreams come true.

Welcome to Members’ Rides, where we share the cars and stories of Autopian Members. The potential to be featured here is a perk for Autopian Members of every level, from the ultra-affordable “Cloth” tier all the way up to “Rich Corinthian Leather.” Click that link and join today!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The Ferrari FF was produced from 2011-2016 and is one of the only cars to feature two gearboxes. Not a dual-clutch transmission, two distinct transmissions. There is a seven-speed gearbox for the rear wheels and a two-speed transmission that sends power forward to the front axle. This is because Ferrari did not want to mount the engine high enough for a driveshaft to go underneath it. Instead, they just attached a small transmission to the front of the engine. It is one of the most innovative systems I have ever heard of. I remember fondly devouring every piece of info I could find about this when they were new. Car and Driver has a great write-up on how this system works if you’re interested in learning more.

Ff Rear Quarter

It is a very complicated and very Ferrari way of doing AWD. The FF also features four seats in a shooting brake body that is very striking and also very practical. Keep in mind, these are not Porsche 911 rear seats. The FF can actually accommodate human-sized beings in the back seat, and has a useful hatch area to boot! Of course, the practicality comes second, the real star of the show is the wonderous Ferrari V12! The FF has always fascinated me because as long as you have a never-ending supply of high-quality fuel, and if you ignore the maintenance requirements, it is actually a very practical car.

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What’s in your current garage?

  • 2016 Ferrari FF
  • 2019 Mercedes-Benz E63 Wagon
  • 2000 Porsche 911 Millennium Edition
  • 1996 Dodge Viper RT-10 (Signed by Bob Lutz at this event. This very car sat right behind him throughout the interview. You can see it clearly here.)

How did you get into cars?

I have been a car nerd since I was a little boy, whether it was Tonka trucks or the begging and pleading for a Hot Wheels every time we went to the grocery store to falling in love with tuner culture with the Fast and the Furious, I’ve been a car nerd through and through and always will be.

Amg Side

How did the AMG wagon come into the story?

I had a tuned-out second-gen Mini Clubman that was an absolute riot, and it was basically my daily/work car. I live in Manhattan so a small city car that I could fold the seats down and transport things was perfect but when it seemed like I was making every excuse possible for that thing to fit things in I knew it was time to get a bigger wagon.

Initially, I went to look at an RS6 as I liked the looks a little better but came away very unimpressed with the driving dynamics. I bought an S560 Cabrio as a fun car but it turned out to be a lemon so I told the dealership to find me an E63 Wagon and they found me a pretty much brand new 19 model with 4k miles on it that was previously owned in Dallas by a Daimler rep.

Amg W Friends
AMG With friends

When it came in it still had all its plastic wrapping on it, other than the driver’s seat! That didn’t last long because as soon as I took delivery it was doing what it was supposed to do, loading cargo, going between offices, and being the ultimate highway cruiser. I don’t have a family but I do sometimes take my niece and nephew places in it and it really is the perfect car for two kids. The trunk is surprisingly large and it swallows up a stroller or two no problem.

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What’s your favorite thing about the AMG?

The best thing about it though is its dual nature. My fiancé drives it to work in comfort and it’s just Carmella Soprano’s E Class, but put it in Sport+ or Race and it is an autobahn rocket. I love eating up work miles in it because it has extremely good autonomous driving tech and massaging seats, set the cruise, put on a good podcast and turn up the massage and just relax till you get where you’re going. It probably is the best single-car solution if that’s all you can have, luckily I’m blessed to not have that issue but if ever I needed to consolidate I’d likely have to concede that while the FF has my heart, this is the one car I could live with daily.

911 Front

How does the 911 fit in?

In my opinion, the 996 is the best 911. Now two things you should know: one, the 996 was the new, sexy, hotness 911 when I was a teen so it’ll always have a special place in my heart and two, I have terrible opinions, haha. But if you think of the 996, it still has that tiny cockpit-type feel of the air-cooled cars, the engine still revs up like an air-cooled and the build is a little sus, like an air-cooled. But you’re not worrying about stalling all the time and the AC is always cold.

911 3 Quarter

Is that color-changing paint?

This particular 996 is a Millennium edition, #210 of 911, and it has not only very special meaning to myself but also Porsche. It’s the first Chromaflair car (Violet Chromaflair), and it also has the full Natural Brown Leather interior. People drag the 996 for it’s plastic-fantastic interior all the time but Porsche actually made a proper 996 interior and charged $8k for the option or about 12% of the price of a car new back then, and as you can imagine not many people took it. But I took all the plastic pieces of the interior, now they’re wrapped in supple leather. Additionally, it has the PCCM+ radio which is great because I hate aftermarket radios that look so out of place in cars.

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It really is a fantastic place to be. And for me, the car holds a very special place in my heart; when I was 11 and this car was new my dad took me to the Porsche/Audi dealership and I saw it and was floored. I took the brochure with me that day and would agonize over it thinking one day I want one and true to my pre-teen word I eventually got that millennium edition and went back to my childhood bedroom and put the brochure in its storage bin where it now permanently lives. It means a lot to me as a car guy and also as my own personal journey through life.

Viper
That’s a mean snake!

And now a Viper?

I recently got another of my childhood poster cars! A 1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 in Triple White with Blue stripe. It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever owned and I’m so glad I finally got it. I waited to find a 96 in either triple white or the ketchup and mustard McViper, but both of those ones are extremely rare so it took some time. I was actually lucky enough to get the car in my possession about a week before Bob Lutz was in town and he was kind enough to sign the engine! I’m still getting used to it, it will rip your head off if you’re not careful, but man oh man is it a riot and will be a great time in the summer when all you want is a convertible.

Viper Signed
Lutz signing the viper

How did you land on the Ferrari FF?

I am a bit of a cliche in the “internet card nerd” world in that I love wagons and shooting brakes (but no diesel please) and when I first saw the FF I knew that if I could ever afford a Ferrari, that is the one I would get. When I finally got to a place where I felt comfortable owning a car of that magnitude I started pouring over FerrariChat posts, learning everything I could about the car and coming to some conclusions on the model I wanted.

Azzurro California is my favorite Ferrari color, but the pearl whites were a close second so Bianco Fuji or Bianco Italia were what I was looking for (there is exactly one Azzurro California FF and it’s in Japan so that wasn’t happening). As chintzy as it is, I absolutely wanted a Passenger Display because it was the first car to have it and if you don’t get it it’s just a plastic blank there.

Ff Interior
Blue interior

I got really lucky on FerrariChat to find one from another member that had an ultra-rare blue full leather interior with the Carbon Speed Zones (carbon fiber steering wheel with shift lights) and even some rather ridiculous leather options like a blue leather headliner, blue FF luggage and golf bag and after doing a bit of research on the previous owner (I’m number 3) it dawned on me, he bought this car and had it optioned to over $400k because he wanted a LaFerrari and that was the requirement. In fact all the early FFs are extremely highly optioned (mine has some kind of option for everything except the rear DVD system) because all of them that model year were sold to LaFerrari owners!

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Ff Te37 1 Scaled
Custom-made Rays wheels, now that’s what you call going all-out.

Have you changed anything on it?

Some quality-of-life things like the front and rear suspension lift, front and rear cameras, and upgraded sound and my list was complete. I’ve had it over two years now and I love it. Truly a car I intend on keeping forever. I’ve put over 10k miles on it since I got it. I begged, begged Rays in Japan to make TE37s for it which they finally acquiesced and did and I’ve done everything from Sunday drives to cross country in it. It’s the perfect car for everything other than stop-and-go traffic. You can see the gas needle fall in traffic, but when cruising it gets a nice 20mpg.

Ff Stereo Upgrade
Upgrading the stereo, look at the blue!

My favorite thing will forever be that Enzo V12! There’s nothing else like it and the FF is the last one to use the Enzo 6.3 block (after that they switched to a 6.5 which is quieter). I do wish it didn’t require an engine out to do any transmission work but other than that, you pay to play and after spending the requisite dollars to future-proof it, I am looking forward to another 10 years of trouble-free ownership.

What has been your favorite car you used to have and why?

I’ve had a handful of cars in the past. I certainly miss my Mini and Fiesta ST and C5 Audi S6, or my childhood cars, an ’89 Police Interceptor and my hand-me-down ’00 Acura TL. But the car that I miss the most is my 63 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible. The Drive/Car stories actually has a video on my Caddy. Man what a happy, laid-back cruiser of a car.

Caddy Overhead2

You couldn’t go anywhere in it without the whole world just smiling and complimenting it and having a good time. It was just too big to manage between my different storage options in the city and I had gotten quite a bit of fun out of it so I’m glad I was a steward for a while. Hopefully it’s happy in Houston!

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Caddy Roller 2

 

Thanks, World of vee! If you’re a member keep your eyes open in the coming weeks for a link to a new member survey (we’re still working our way through backlog). And if you’re not a Member – what are you waiting for? Join today!

 

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Myk El
Myk El
25 days ago

My nephew would love that Viper. Me, however, sees the lights reflecting weirdly in the windshield and all I see is a character from Cars going cross-eyed.

Is Travis
Is Travis
26 days ago

I need a better career.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
26 days ago

Further evidence that TE37s look good on everything.

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
26 days ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

Well, yeah, because an S Class should always have AMG Monoblocks, but there aren’t many other applications where TE37s don’t work.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
26 days ago

TE The world for real

Inthemikelane
Inthemikelane
26 days ago

Nice stable! Almost bought a 63 Cadillac convertible, white with red leather interior. Sold out from under me before I could get there (2 hrs away). Nice article, thanks for sharing.

Chronometric
Chronometric
26 days ago

Big, fast, and comfortable. Great cars.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
26 days ago

That group of cars is an absolute riot.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
26 days ago

Will you adopted me please LOL
Very nice collection!

Church
Church
26 days ago

I love wagons and shooting brakes (but no diesel please)

Yup. We’ll get along just fine. Also, yeah, nice rides all around.

Parsko
Parsko
27 days ago

I’ve been waiting for your turn, Vee. I’m impressed, very impressed. Nice garage.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
27 days ago

Thanks! This was super fun to do and a great write up Brandon!

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
27 days ago

Could you please say more about the FF? I’ve always kida had a thing for them, but have never even seen one. The easy/obvious answer is “yes”, but is it THE Ferrari, or would you swap it out, all other things being equal?

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
27 days ago

Yes, it is THE Ferrari but only if you are weird. Objectively the proper Ferrari is a 458, but this one is a) striking to look at (it doesn’t photograph nearly as well as it actually looks) and b) ungodly fun to rev and you can actually put all your luggage for a weekend in it which people don’t really think about when they rent a midengine ferrari for a weekend. You do have to contend with the fact that Ferrari maintenance once it’s out of Warranty is quite expensive and takes a long time (I had a 30k bill for the car in 2023, or in other words I could have paid it by giving the dealer my 996).

And no, I wouldn’t swap it for another one I’d only add to it.

Janeane Garafolo
Janeane Garafolo
26 days ago

Thanks for the reply! How is it better than the GTC4 Lusso?

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
26 days ago

Rawer, Enzo V12, doesn’t look like it has fish gills on the side

GTC4 has better looking interior

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
26 days ago

I have considered trading in my 612 for an FF but the stories of the front transmission failing in the FF have scared me off (due to the huge repair cost). Have you ever had any issues with that front transmission?

I agree they look a LOT better in person than they do in pictures.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
26 days ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

No issues with my PTU yet, but also at this point in time the PTUs that were going to fail have likely already failed and been replaced. If you get a V8 Lusso T however, you don’t have to deal with it at all fwiw.

Last edited 26 days ago by The World of Vee
Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
24 days ago

True, but I like having a V12 Ferrari. I will note that I have read of replacement PTUs failing as well as originals.

V10omous
V10omous
27 days ago

6, 8, 10, 12.

Nice symmetry, nice stable.

V10omous
V10omous
27 days ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

When someone else has a higher per-vehicle cylinder average than I do, I sit up and take notice.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
27 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

Used to have a 4 banger too haha

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