My day with an F12 TDF, LaFerrari & F40
My day with an F12 TDF and more all began when my friend had this crazy idea: go and film the brand new Ferrari F12 TDF (aka “Tour de France”). Obviously, I was on board straight away for something like this. Being able to get up-close with one of the latest V12 limited-edition jewel from Maranello is not something a sane man would refuse. Especially when you also learn that there will be a member of the holy trinity as well, the one and only LaFerrari. Eventually, everything fell into place and a rendez-vous was taken.
The day before meeting the cars, my friend and I left Paris quietly and arrived at our hotel later that night. I was a bit sick and kept coughing all night. Needless to say, we both didn’t sleep much nor well. But it wasn’t just because of me, we were super excited about tomorrow’s incredible program. It’s hard to fall asleep during times like these, the imagination is doing some overtime. Thinking I would spend a day with one of 799 units of the F12 TDF and with an even rarer LaFerrari (1 of 499) was simply hard to grasp. To this day, I’m not even sure I did.
It’s 6:30AM, we’re already up. Good thing we had an early meeting with the owner. We chatted about cars & passion & Ferrari for a while, and then he showed us the AliBaba cave. The cars were under their awesome red satinated covers, branded with the Prancing Horse. There is an indescribable feeling you get when you KNOW what you’re looking at -even though it’s somehow hidden- but you get to imagine for a little longer how it REALLY is. And that didn’t take too long, first one to have its hood off was the Ferrari LaFerrari.
I had seen and heard a few LaFerrari before already. However, being “so close” to one, almost alone in the world with it, is such a special feeling. Here I was, drooling, facing a hybrid monster who was part of an exclusive population of only 499 in the WORLD. The thunderous sound of the start-up was the best way to fully wake-up and forget our sleepless night. As far as the car goes, as I’ve said many times in the past, this is probably my favorite way to spec a LaFerrari: with the roof having the same colour as the rest of the body. Not having the “usual” black roof makes the car look that much more agressive. Not that many in the world have gone for it, and I’m still waiting for a “full yellow” one to pop-up somewhere, hopefully! The car had anthracite wheels with red brake calipers. Black leather interior with red alcantara parts. Winning spec, if you ask me.
We stayed around a little bit with the LaFerrari, then it was off to the F12 TDF.
My friend had already sent me pictures from the car we were about to see, but the surprise was as intense as if I had discovered its livery for the very first time. The F12 TDF was rosso corsa with a beautiful french-flag stripe on the bonnet (though if you have OCD you might feel it needs another stripe on the left side, for the sake of simetry!). The french-flag-stripe detail is absolutely COOL for two reasons: first of all, it’s a direct reference to the name of the car that bears it, “Tour de France”. Second of all, it’s a french-owned car, in France. The car had black wheels with yellow calipers, and a black interior with some red stitching. Again, hard to go wrong with that.
The TDF was as gorgeous as I expected it to be. This actually was “only” my 3rd one. The first two were at the Ferrari dealership in Paris. Funny thing is I only really “met” the car that day: I saw so many details I hadn’t payed attention to in official photos or in real life, like all the aerodynamic parts and the redesigned front bumper. It really felt like discovering a whole new car. When he started it up, I instantly became a child again. I’ve often been in contact with luxury sports car, but whenever you start-up a Ferrari, the smile is always there, wether it’s the 1st time or the 1000th time. So the owner parked it right next to the LaFerrari and said something along the lines of “wait here, I’ll be back”. So as I was waiting for him to return, I kept taking a few photos & videos. And then I hear another distinct sound approaching. And an unexpected Ferrari F40 shows up.
I’m fairly confident you can imagine my joy of seeing it, and moreover all three together. As far as I know, this was the first time I had seen all 3 cars together (even on the internet, no photos featuring all 3). What a combo it was: F40, LaFerrari, F12 TDF. Something crazy enough to “break the internet” as they say. And that’s exactly what we did, despite having a very very poor phone reception: I tried to share with the alexsmolik community this amazing moment by doing a LIVE stream from Facebook. Sadly, it only lasted a minute because the connection was lost as I was showing the cars. Though it didn’t go as planned, there were already thousands watching as the feed ended.
An interesting anecdote shared with me by the owner is that this particular F40 is slightly modified. It has about 580 bhp for a weight of 1075kg with the FULL fuel tanks (that’s about 120kg). I’m not the best at math, but I know that gives a pretty decent power/weight ratio. Another thing is it doesn’t have the stock wheels, though I know most of you prefer the stock wheels, I think these are pretty nice as well.
My friend and the owner then took the cars for a bit of driving time, so I could get some dynamic shots of the F12 TDF & LaFerrari driving. What a spectacle and a sight to behold: two red prancing horses driving in the middle of the french countryside, with NO ONE around. I can’t imagine the face of someone who happened to be walking by on their week-end walk, and stumbled upon this sight. My friend had a GoPro as well, and put them on the TDF to have different angles (from the left flank & roof). The cars did a few passages, and I did my best to try and change the points of view. So far, judging by the comments we’ve received, I think people enjoyed it! My day with an F12 TDF
Time flew by, and it was time for the lunch break. My day with an F12 TDF wasn’t over just yet!