But as I was eating and very dramatically, a dark blue 456 pulled up outside our window. I was almost sad to have to leave the lasagne until I saw Piero Ferrari himself emerge from the car and stride into the restaurant. Enzo’s son as delivery driver? Even Ferrari didn’t have that highly developed a sense of the theatrical. It wasn’t my car.
When I was finally acquainted with a silver blue example, we had just 90 minutes before we’d have to leave, which in normal magazine terms is barely enough to shoot a two page spread if you’re already on location, which we were not. But happily the photographer, unlike me, had been to Ferrari many times before and was very familiar with this part of the world. Up into the hills we went, did the shoot on one road and howled back the factory. Where I was asked if I’d like to do some laps of Fiorano.
Fiorano and miss the aircraft, or fly home and miss Fiorano? I did what you would do and spent a glorious half hour skidding around Ferrari’s fabled test track before making my excuses and jumping back into the Panda with a now spectacularly bad tempered photographer next to me. And in one of those strange, serendipitous quirks of fate, the plane was delayed and we got home after all. I didn’t drive the 456 far or for long, but still look back on that trip as one of the most memorable of my working life.