HR Owen is one of the most successful official Ferrari dealers around the world, so it was great to get an invite for their Sunday Drive from one of their customers, Dan. He owns one of the wildest configured GTC4Lussos out there.
Photography: Max Lammers
I arrived around 10.30 am at HR Owen’s South Kensington dealership. Just a few participants had turned up, so this gave me the opportunity to grab a coffee, take some photos of the cars and meet some of the drivers. There were a few cars that stood out to me, in particular a Brunito GTC4Lusso with Heritage interior, a silver 488 Pista with Violetto Dino stripes and a rare 430 Scuderia Spider 16M.
My ‘Uber’ arrived
While I was having a coffee, Dan arrived in his Ferrari GTC4Lusso T. The configuration is magnificent: the car is finished in Blu Abu Dhabi, sports black wheels with yellow callipers. Dan saw this particular exterior colour on a friend’s F12berlinetta and fell in love with how it looked. The interior is proper ROSSO: Bordeaux leather with desirable alacantara Daytona seats. The red interior was chosen to contrast the blue exterior.
There are a few special options in this car. Dan wanted to have the carbon steering wheel but instead of exposed carbon, he had it wrapped in leather. The comfortable Daytona seats feature seat-cooling which is also an unusual option.
When all the cars arrived, sales executive Chris Bird gave a little briefing about certain parts of the tour including the coffee and lunch stop. I jumped in the Ferrari GTC4Lusso T and we left for Cliveden House. Around fifteen Ferraris joined the drive, varying from an 812 Superfast to a few 488 Pistas. There are just a few things in life cooler than driving in a convoy with Ferraris. At some point we were overtaken by the Ferrari 812 Superfast, 458 Speciale and 488 Pista which obviously caused us to put the windows down and listen to the Italian symphony. Luciano Pavarotti, who?
After an hour of driving on the highway and country roads, we arrived at Cliveden House: a massive estate functioning as hotel and restaurant. All the cars parked up at a reserved location and we headed in for something to drink. I quickly headed back to take photos of the whole collection, which took some effort because it didn’t go unnoticed the ‘Sunday Club’ had arrived. It gives a lot of satisfaction to see people of various generations enjoying the cars: little kids were running around and grannies were using their iPad to take pictures of the cars.
While I was taking pictures I started chatting with Charlie who brought his 430 Scuderia Spider 16M. He has owned the car for over 10 years but only takes it out on specific occasions, hence the low mileage of just over 1000 miles. He asked if I wanted to join him for the next stage of the drive and I obviously couldn’t refuse.
Jumping in the 16M
Once everyone had finished their cup of coffee, we jumped back in the cars and left for the lunch location at The Winning Post. The driveway of Cliveden are just loose stones, something I didn’t notice when arriving in the GTC4Lusso T. The 16M is a very harsh and bumpy ride as opposed to the GTC4Lusso T. The carbon seats in the 16M gave the impression of offering enough support, but when I eventually got out at the lunch stop, my back felt sore. That’s entirely the purpose of the car though.
The whole interior is just carbon and very empty: there’s only a small space for your phone or other small items and there are no floor mats. The coolest feature still is the 4.3-L naturally aspirated V8. The sound it produces at 2000 rpm till the red line is from a goosebump level and sadly something modern turbocharged cars can’t really offer. Whenever Charlie put his foot down, it was hard to keep the conversation going. This allowed us both to enjoy the car even more.
Back to London
Unfortunately Dan and I were unable to join the lunch, because we needed to head back to London to take some photos of the car together with photographer Paul O’Sullivan. While we were photographing the car in direct sunlight, we could really appreciate the exterior colour. Though it’s one of the most unusual configurations out there, it’s still extremely enjoyable and will always spark a conversation with bystanders.
Special thanks to Dan, HR Owen and Charlie for the unforgettable day!