Although the majority of car enthusiasts are male, female fans (and owners) are certainly emerging. Figures like Alex Hirschi and Emelia Hartford are great examples. Rajia Bibi, a London-based entrepreneur and good friend of ROSSOautomobili, has been in the car scene for many years and she’s a great inspiration for female car-lovers out there.
Photography and Words: Max Lammers
An average day at a Ferrari dealership
Hanging out at HR Owen Ferrari is great: the staff is very kind, the showroom is filled with stunning cars and you get to see customers coming in and out to spec their new Ferraris. At some point, a customer was configuring his new 812 Superfast and I was able to sit down with him and salesman Garry O’Dea in the Atelier. They picked dark blue – I believe it was Blu Pozzi – in combination with a tan interior and gold wheels and it looked fantastic!
While I was waiting for Rajia at the dealership, a stunning black Ferrari F12tdf with red accents arrived. Knowing that this exact car is her dream car, I sent her a quick video and when she arrived she was super excited to see it and talk to the owner about potentially buying it from him. The owner was a kind gentleman and truly passionate about the brand. When he opened the bonnet of the car, my jaw dropped. Part of the factory team signed the engine with a white permanent marker. That’s some real dedication!
Her first Ferrari
Rajia bought her first Ferrari – this 458 Speciale – in 2015. She previously owned various exotic cars such as the Maserati GranCabrio and Audi R8, but it was only when she purchased the Speciale that she realized she was entering the world of serious cars. Her main car goal is to own a LaFerrari one day, preferably in black.
Rajia and I go way back. We first met at the 2016 Paris Motor Show where she invited me to check out the newly unveiled LaFerrari Aperta. Earlier this year, we got to spend time around the 488 Pista at the Geneva Motor Show. She has always supported ROSSOautomobili and I am thankful to call her a friend. From an entrepreneurial point of view, she’s a fighter: she overcame early challenges to qualify as a Doctor in 1997 and started several businesses along the way. She’s very into tech and is currently working on a company to better the healthcare industry.
Aren’t Ferrari’s supposed to be red?
I asked Rajia where her love for black cars came from, and she replied: ‘’I owned two red cars, but both brought me bad luck. After a while, I moved to black cars and fell in love with them. The fact that they look so aggressive, mysterious and enigmatic really helped.’’
After spending some time at HR Owen, we got in the car and drove to the first photo location. Earlier that day, I searched for some nearby (so-called) mews – small, quiet backstreets typical of London. I sent her down a very narrow road, but she seemed to know her cars’ dimensions well. She parked up, got out and I took these pictures.
These shots are among my favourites of the whole trip. I love the contrast between the dark and menacing car and its brighter surroundings. As you may have noticed, there’s a number 17 on the side of the car. She took delivery of the car on July 17, 2015, the same day racing driver Jules Bianchi passed away from injuries sustained in his Suzuka accident nine months earlier. Bianchi’s racing number was also 17. As a tribute, she added the number 17 to her car.
Another little detail of the car is a plaque inserted between the two seats. It reminds her, and her passengers, to always stay driv3n.
That’s the end of my reporting from London. I really enjoyed spending time around all these inspirational people and amazing cars. Let me know in the comments below which Ferrari is your favourite of the whole trip, and check out all the articles below if you missed any.