His intention was to use his new Ferrari GTC4Lusso as a daily driver, and Chris succeeded big time, putting nearly 10.000 km (6.000 miles) on it in the first year. Here he shares his experiences as both a Ferrari owner and fan.
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What’s the first Ferrari experience you can remember?
It’s funny, I honestly can’t remember how it started. It was like I always had this interest. It definitely didn’t come from a parent or a relative, and I lived in the country where you didn’t see many cars of any kind, much less Ferraris. So, I really don’t know when I became fascinated by them, but I also don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t.
I didn’t ride in one until I was 27: a friend’s step-father had a Ferrari 456, and he took me on a quick run to KFC to pick up dinner. I guess maybe that helped plant the seed for using a Ferrari like a ‘normal’ car.
When did you decide you wanted to own a Ferrari?
It’s always been a dream for as long as I can remember. It’s probably been within reach for a few years now, but I really wanted to wait until it didn’t have any impact on our finances. I have young kids, and so it had to feel like our overall financial situation was basically unchanged by buying and maintaining the car. If I were single, I probably would not have waited so long.
When did you acquire your first Ferrari? What was the experience like?
There wasn’t much of a choice as to which Ferrari I was going to get; it had to be either a GTC4Lusso or an FF, because I needed to be able to take my kids to school in it, so a proper back seat was required.
I’m 196 cm (6’5”) or so, and you couldn’t fit a car seat behind me in any of the older 2+2 cars. I decided to go with the Lusso because some of the updates such as 4WS (four-wheel-steering), the updated interior, improved fuel economy, etc. – while not all that important for a weekend car – make a pretty big difference in a daily driver.
I didn’t consider the V8 Lusso because I always felt that if you were going to only have one Ferrari, it needed to be a V12. If I had other V12 Ferraris already, then that might have also been a contender. The two non-negotiable options for me were the panoramic roof and the suspension lifter, which helped screen out a lot of cars.
I took the plunge in February of 2020. It happened to be just two weeks before COVID-19 lockdown started (I felt really dumb for a few weeks). It was a second-hand car.
I’d been looking for a while, and one popped up that ticked about 75% of my boxes, but was priced very aggressively. I left work a bit early and drove about an hour to go see it and take it for a drive. Two days later, I was driving back to drop off my previous car to eventually drive home in the GTC4Lusso. Whenever I drive a new car for the first time, I’m always convinced that I’m going to hit something or someone is going to swerve into me when I least expect it, but that feeling was magnified about ten times driving this car home. When I got home I couldn’t be sure if I’d been driving for five minutes or five hours.
What’s one thing that’s surprised you most about Ferrari ownership?
So far I can’t say there have been any big surprises. It’s as great as I hoped it would be. I think the hardest thing for me to believe is that it’s actually happening. It still doesn’t quite seem real, even after over a year and around 9.650 km (6.000 miles), it seems like I must be imagining it. I still whip my head around and stare every time I pass a Ferrari out and about, even when I’m driving mine.
What’s your favourite memory with your Ferrari?
I live in a pretty congested area and it’s my main car, so I don’t get to really open it up nearly as often as I’d like. My birthday falls between Christmas and the New Year, and over the holidays we took a road trip out to a much more remote area, near Joshua Tree National Park.
My wife was kind enough to indulge my request to take two cars so that I could bring the Ferrari. The Lusso fits four people, but not four people and enough food and clothes for a week.
I woke up early on my birthday and went for a drive by myself for about an hour just after sunrise and everything about it was just perfect.
If you could have any Ferrari next, what would it be?
I’m thinking my next one will be a bit older, with a manual, most likely a V8 engine, and possibly a convertible. Ferrari F430s and 360s are the most obvious choices, but I’ll just have to get out and drive a few once things open up more. No plans to get rid of this one though.
Photo: Simon Furlonger Cars
Honestly if I had more room, I might have bought one already, as I think the values on the manual cars are only going to rise, but in coastal California, it’s much cheaper to buy a car than add garage space.
Besides Ferrari, what hobbies/interests are you passionate about?
I joined a private go-kart track last year, which I had no experience with previously. Since I wasn’t able to drive cars as much as I’d hoped, this became a great escape, and I’m definitely going to keep it up post-COVID. Other hobbies include collecting contemporary art, cooking, and any excuse to get away from my desk and go outside.
We’d like to thank Chris for sharing his story – great to see a car like the GTC4Lusso used as intended by Ferrari. Chris is on Instagram as @the_family_ferrari!