TV and ra­dio pre­sen­ter Tom Urquhart finds you are never too old or too young to fall in love with a Fer­rari

7 Days in Dubai - - DRIVEN -

ell me… what was I to do? They “made me an of­fer that I couldn’t refuse”. So, what ex­actly is a man of 40-some­thing, and his boy, sup­posed to do in a sit­u­a­tion like that?

Now, be­fore you judge, and you will judge, there’s one thing we must get straight. I am not and, thank­fully for the mo­tor­ing in­dus­try and car en­thu­si­asts alike, never will lay any claim what­so­ever to be a mo­tor­ing jour­nal­ist, ever.

What I am, how­ever, is a poser, a bonafide, brag­gado­cio show-off of the top order - it sort of comes with the day job. That, and a fa­ther who is con­stantly let­ting down his son (and daugh­ters for that mat­ter... sorry girls), given the unso­cial and ‘non-fam­ily-friendly’ hours I in­vari­ably end up work­ing.

As such, I’m never one to pass up on any op­por­tu­nity to make up with my mob for missed bath times and lost week­ends, es­pe­cially when it’s handed to you on a lux­ury num­ber plate by one of the most iconic brands in the world. What do they say… never stare a gift horse in the mouth?

So, back to that ir­refutable of­fer. Fer­rari call, they want to give me a car for the week­end to go about my usual week­end re­spon­si­bil­i­ties - in a Fer­rari - and if you get a chance hit the open road with son in tow for a bit of fa­ther/son bond­ing then re­port back. So that’s how I came to be be­hind the cush­ioned

steer­ing wheel of a new royal-blue Fer­rari Cal­i­for­nia T, driv­ing my son Gus to his rugby prac­tice of a Fri­day morn­ing, be­fore you could say pronti, partenza, via.

I am re­li­ably ad­vised that the T stands for “the new tur­bocharged 3.9-litre V8 en­gine, just one of a num­ber of mod­i­fi­ca­tions that set it apart from the old Cal­i­for­nia”. Great. All I could re­li­ably ad­vise was that it was beau­ti­ful, its roar was sweeter than Katy Perry’s (Gus’ line, not mine) and its han­dling was so boss (Gus again). It’s with­out doubt the lush­est car I have ever had the priv­i­lege to pi­lot.

I’m not even that fond of driv­ing, but this car is more than a get­ter from A to B - it’s an Enzo-ex­pe­ri­ence!

It makes you want to drive.

It makes you want to run those an­noy­ing er­rands and to visit old friends you haven’t seen for ages.

It wasn’t all plain sail­ing. There were a few hur­dles that needed over­com­ing that, I’m sure, your av­er­age Fer­rari driver prob­a­bly doesn’t need to deal with. Boot space for in­stance. I have no doubt that the R&D team at Maranello are ex­act­ing in the finer de­tails of car de­sign, but I can guar­an­tee they’ve never tried to get a full cricket kit bag in the back. Fa­ther and son, man and boy, hit the open road later in the day for some tur­bo­boosted bond­ing. One of the girls needed pick­ing up from Umm Al Quwain,

so we jumped at the op­por­tu­nity. What was re­ally nice was the fact we talked, ac­tu­ally talked, not just grunts to buy more time on the iPad, but a proper catch up.

We talked cricket, sis­ters and school. We talked words that I once thought were cool (like cool) that are no longer and have been re­placed by more ‘swag’ al­ter­na­tives.

We chat­ted, laughed, we oohed and we ah­hed, we self­ied, we fist-pumped, we dabbed (when was safe to do so of course) and we car­pool-karaoked to our hearts con­tent. I think we shared a mo­ment. One of those rare mo­ments, when two males with 31 years be­tween them, en­joy the same ex­pe­ri­ence as much as each other.

The irony was not lost on me. The fact that Fer­raris are so of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the mid­dle of one’s life, through treat, re­ward or cri­sis. They an­swer those gut­tural youth­ful crav­ings for un­fet­tered fun, un­bri­dled ex­hil­a­ra­tion and sim­ple need for speed.

And yet we all too of­ten for­get that these self-same emo­tions are born from our child­hood when we stare open­mouthed out of the back win­dow of our fam­ily es­tate as a Fer­rari glides by.

At least I, and per­haps Gus, can tick this one of our re­spec­tive bucket lists. And at least we got to share a mem­o­ries that will keep giv­ing for years to come. What’s that say­ing? Never stare a gift pranc­ing stal­lion in the

mouth?

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