Car Park Gold – Ferrari F430

The Baltimore Grand Prix was many things. It was loud, it was fast, it was exciting, and it was filled with some rather long and annoying caution periods…

But one thing that was for certain was that the race weekend was petrolhead nirvana, as what can only be described as an awe-inspiring car park stood between the outer walls of the race circuit and the ALMS and IMSA GT3 Cup paddock. Filled with some of the most amazing cars I’ve ever seen in my entire life (and the largest gathering of BMWs I’ve ever been made witness to), it was immensely difficult to pull myself away from such an astonishing sight.

However, it was this Ferrari F430 that was especially hard to divert my eyes from, but, then again, isn’t that usually the case with most Ferraris?

Powered by a 4.3-liter (hence the name ‘430’), mid-mounted V8 capable of 490 bhp, this Italian stallion was the latest that Ferrari had to offer back in 2005. The engine was adored by those who drove it, having praised it for its low-down torque and typically-Italian revability.

But it was the chassis that truly astonished. Stiffer than the 360 Modena of which it followed, the suspension offered up phenomenal control, enabling the driver to do much more than he believed he was capable of — with the help of some F1-derived gadgets for those whose name wasn’t Schumacher, of course.

Even in a car park full of Porsche 356s, 930 Turbos, and some of the best BMW ‘M’ cars ever made, this modern Ferrari held its own in my eyes amongst some of the greats of the automotive industry. And after seeing this thing, I had to sit down and ask myself a very serious question: is Italian Racing Red really the must-have color for a Ferrari? I’m not so sure…

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