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For Guys

Ferrari 458 Spider: We test drive the new supercar

By: Ted Macauley

Dreams, according to your particular desires and preferences, may crumble under the sheer weight of disappointment when fantasy collides with reality and the outcome is earth-shattering.

It has happened plenty of times to me when the prospect of time spent reviewing a car has collapsed under the mind-boggling hype that abjectly colours some motor companies’ outlook and fails miserably to hit the mark.

Not so with Ferrari. Especially the new 458 Spider, a wow of a motor so hypnotically beautiful and mightily powerful it propels you into dreamland with a triple exhaust accompaniment of symphonic sounds that deflect the jingle of the till ringing and spectacularly emptying your pockets.


Trophy Wife had to fly to Milan for a couple of private fashion shows for a pre-season ordering spree of Michael Kors’ oh-so-feminine frocks and an array of stuff for her boutique, and she invited me along.

Okay, the idea of spending six hours or so gawping at lovely, leggy and shapely six-foot models in figure-hugging cocktail dresses over a glass or two of bubbly may be anathema to most, but I swallowed my despair and went along with the idea to keep the family peace.

The trip coincided with a long-time Formula One pal taking delivery of a brand, spanking new Spider and to my utter astonishment and ecstasy he agreed to hand it over without the trace of a threat for a day’s jaunt to my old Lake Como stomping ground on day two of our visit.

I would never have believed – and maybe I’m a sick and tired old soul – that the sight of the Ferrari, all shiny and pristine looking, could have been my preference to gazing at all those Michael Kors girls, however gorgeous and smiley they were. But it’s true.

Not even a second day with my good lady at the style stakes – this time Valentino – could dissuade me from a solo romp in the ultimate heaven of a mid-engined car with its extraordinary grip and stability and Formula One paddle-style gearshift.

With a stern “watch-it-and-don’t-get-caught” warning from Trophy Wife, I blazed a trail to Como and the haven of the lakeside Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, having seen off just about every other car on the racetrack-like Italian motorways and revelled in the sure-footedness of the aluminium drop-top on the precariously twisty lakeside lanes.

I had to shove my way, smiling incredibly smugly, through a mass of admirers to get back into the car parked in all its glory outside the restaurant frequented by the likes of George Clooney, who spends much of his off-time in these idyllic surroundings.

He wasn’t there. And I think he was lucky; he might have been overshadowed by the real handsome attraction on show that chilly afternoon – my 458. A red-blooded superstar.