Letter From Europe - GT 500, Jeep, Pre-Owned Ferrari FSBO
From Andrew Frankl
European Bureau Chief
It was wonderful to receive an invitation from my very first employer-Ford Motor Company- to take the new 2020 GT500 for a spin at the legendary Sonoma International Raceway.
I will always be grateful to Ford of Britain for taking me on based simply on a degree and a hunch. Whatever they saw in me I have no idea but many years later Walter Hayes-probably the best PR director the company ever had-said to me “Andrew, we shouldn’t have let you go”
I suppose he based it on the fact that we made CAR the most respected and successful automotive publication in Britain. To this day FF Publishing remains a by-word in honest, professional journalism. Spending quality time with American greats such as David E. Davis and Brock Yates made the whole experience even more special.
But coming back to Ford and the test day at Sonoma it was very special indeed. For a start the company did not economize on suppliers getting Recaro seats-the finest in the World-and Michelin tires from Clermont-Ferrand, France.
In the middle of the pandemic the team did a superb job with sanitizing and all the things such as masks that we have become used since March.
As for the GT500 ..it clearly is not for me. The power would not worry me as I work for a Ferrari magazine also and consequently nothing under 1000 horspower will phase me. No, the problem is that where I live the States, leafy Belvedere, with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour the GT500 would stick stick out like a sore thumb. In Texas or Wyoming or Montana it would make all the sense in the World as a second car, a sort of blowing away the cobwebs car. The family would of course need something else..
On the track it was wonderful to enjoy all the horses the GT500 could provide and I am pleased to say I managed to keep the beast on the tarmac. Wonderful engines, signed by the two employees who signed each and every one, just like at Ferrari in Maranello.
All in all a wonderful afternoon, thank you GT500Track Tour Team . Enjoyed every minute of it!
”I see you’ve got an Audi” said my neighbor not realizing that the very attractive looking SUV was in fact a Jeep Compass 4x4. Let me make a confession-we have had a Jeep in the family for 10 years and it still runs like a Swiss clock. So I will try not to be biased.
Not difficult because “Ours” is much better. We as a family are used to driving powerful cars-our Jeep has an SRT engine consequently 180 hp from 2.4 liter engine felt positively puny. I can see it climbing like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music but going over rocks is one thing, carrying 5 people plus luggage is another. Most people from the Bay Area go up the hill to Lake Tahoe several times a year and I am not sure the Compass would be their first choice.
I found it surprising that Jeep would take a leaf out of Mercedes’ songbook and charge 10 thousand dollars for extras. I can see merit in the Compass at 30 thousand dollars, less so at 39. Having said that the infotainment is excellent and that is worth spending some money on. It is the same as in a Maserati, the group purchasing manager did a good job!
Fuel consumtion was exactly as the information sheet said-25 miles per gallon. Seeing that the Jeep Cherokee is available with a 3.6 liter V6 engine for more or less the same price you should consider that before putting your money down for the Compass. It is in the middle of a highly competitive field so look around before you put down your hard earned dollars.
Both the Cherokee and the Compass have forward collision warning,lane departure warning and most importantly blind sport warning.
It isnt very often that I am offered a chance to revisit my all time favorite car, Ferrari’s 328 GTS I owned one for 17 years and it never missed a beat.
The offer to drive one came courtesy of a member of the Ferrari Club of America. After many years of TLC she decided that the GTS had to go to make room for a new and even more exciting Ferrari. So to cut a long story short it was an amazing experience.
The car is in immaculate condition, identical to the one I had-red, beige interior and with only 34 thousand miles on the clock. The gearbox , the clutch, the tires are all fine although as a total Michelin addict I would swap the Bridgestones.
It is not my car and I am not in the business of selling cars but this is different. Certainly for me. If you are interested-and we are talking serious money- snd me an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward it to the owner. I enclose some pictures. In this case what you see is what you get.