We at SCM believe the car hobby is thriving and growing, and new generations of enthusiasts are becoming a part of it all the time. Here’s your chance to help us recognize them.

Later this year, SCM will name 40 enthusiasts under 40 years old who are making a difference in the classic car world.

We’re asking you for nominations. Candidates can be involved in restoration, detailing, aftermarket parts, buying and selling privately or through dealerships and auction houses. They can be the hard-core young gearheads whom you see at rallies and tours throughout the world. The only general criteria is that their involvement is in the vintage and classic part of the car world. No Group B rally drivers or drift-kings, please.

The love of things motorized is alive and well with Millennials. You can see it every weekend as tens of thousands of young people gather at Cars & Coffee-style events all over the country.

My 25-year-old daughter Alexandra works as a support specialist at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). Based in Portland, OR, DTNA builds semi-trucks under the brand names Freightliner and Western Star. I have met her cohorts who work in the fields of truck design, cab-interior ergonomics, engineering, drivetrains and more. They are young, they are smart, they are enthusiastic and they love things with engines. And they are all under 40. They are the future.

Help us identify 40 key players. Fill out the nomination form on our website at sportscarmarket.com/scm40, or you can print out the form and fax it to us at 503.253.2234. If you prefer snail mail, send it to P.O. Box 4797, Portland, OR 97208.

Nominations close on May 15, and the winners will be announced in our October issue. If you have any questions, contact me directly at [email protected].

A Ferrari in the flood

I picked up a stunning Blu Corsa Ferrari 488 in Los Angeles near the Petersen Museum on Friday afternoon, January 20. On Sunday, the Los Angeles area experienced record-setting rain, with 2.78 inches falling in a 24-hour period.

Saturday was clear and sunny, and I spent the day driving on Angeles Crest Highway up to the Mount Wilson Observatory and back, ending at the Santa Monica pier.

During the past year, I’ve had the chance to put miles on a variety of supercars from other manufacturers. The Ferrari was a completely different experience.

Our car had a base MSRP of $272,700, with an out-the-door price of $392,784. Ferrari has taken a clue from Porsche and started offering nearly every combination of seat colors, contrasting stitching and other visual enhancements imaginable, including embossed Ferrari logos on the headrests. They charge a pretty penny for each.

The Blu Corsa paint was a $12,486 option. The 20-inch painted rims were $6,242, and the carbon-fiber dashboard inserts were $6,748. In addition, our car had a $10,124 telemetry package primarily designed for track-day data analysis.

What sets supercars apart today is how docile they can be when not being driven in anger. While you’re always aware there is a 3.9-liter, 661-hp turbocharged V8 just behind you, if you select “Auto” for the 7-speed gearbox and “Sport” for the drivetrain and suspension, you can noodle your way through rush-hour traffic as if you were in an economy car.

However, if you set the steering-wheel-mounted selector to “Track” and feed the Ferrari some throttle, it’s as if the Godzilla inside the engine has been unleashed. With Ferrari claiming a 0–60 time of just over three seconds and a top speed of 203 mph, the 488 is a true supercar.

It took time for me to get used to the precision of the steering and the suspension. The car responds so quickly to steering inputs that it is unsettling at first. There’s no body roll — the car simply goes where you point it. And it goes there faster than you can imagine.

The 488 gobbled up 40-to-60 mph turns at twice the posted limits with no fuss or muss. Further, the more I pushed the engine, the more delightful its sounds became.

The retractable hard top is an engineering marvel, taking just 14 seconds to go from fully closed to fully open. The stylists at Ferrari have managed to make room for the folded hard top behind the seats, without the oversized haunches typical of other makes.

Compared to other supercars, the Ferrari stands alone in both fit and finish, as well as in modern accoutrements. When I owned and drove 308s, 328s, 308 GT4s, Mondials and Testarossas, I would always marvel when those mechanical masterpieces would achieve something simple like having the power windows go up and down. Or when the climate control would get within 25 degrees of the setting you were looking for.

These vintage Ferraris were all about their engines. Creature comforts were an afterthought.

Not so with the 488. It’s screwed together as well as any European luxury car. When the top is up, the car is completely weather-tight (given the rainstorm, we proved that to ourselves) and quiet inside.

The 488 is a supercar you can live with on a daily basis. But if you choose to release the Lewis Hamilton within you, you’ll very quickly realize that this car is far more capable than you are, and that to explore its limits, you’ll need to be on the test track with a competent instructor beside you.

This may be the best supercar I’ve ever driven. Clearly, Ferrari has accepted the challenge of offering F1-derived performance in a package that can be as relaxed or compelling as you want it to be. ♦

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