The Grand Tour

James May Is A Secret Ferrari Fanboy

James May has certainly earned the nickname, Captain Slow. Whether it be because of his habit of thoroughly listing and ordering his many tools, or the fact he has a ‘cautious approach’ to driving quickly. That’s what most people think, anyway.

What you may not know is that our famously unhurried Grand Tour host is rather partial to a fast Ferrari, owning several himself over the years. Currently in his collection is the Ferrari 488 GTB, the first turbocharged Ferrari since the F40 which ended production in 1992, meaning this one is a little bit special.

Unlike naturally aspirated Ferrari engines where all the power is at the top end of the rev range, the twin-turbo, 3.9 litre V8 found in the 488 produces plenty of low-end grunt to rocket the car to 60mph in a measly 3 seconds flat. Either Mister Slowly didn’t read the brochure, or he has a secret desire to go fast. I have a feeling it may be the latter.

After airing his distaste of the 488 Spider, in particular the way it creaks ‘like the Cutty Sark’ on anything less than the perfect road, and the fact that you should only be comfortable with the roof down if you’re okay with passers by seeing your ‘old chap’, I was unsure if he would return to the prancing horse brand.

But, after a few months, May shared a photo on DriveTribe of the Ferrari GTC4 Lusso T in the beautiful shade of Azzurro California with the statement:

“Ferrari GTC4Lusso T. I’m testing it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.”

This love story quickly dissipated. In his latest article ‘Lose Pounds, Quickly‘, he said:

“The Ferrari GTC4 Lusso I drove last week is a tremendous car, but it would be even more tremendous if I could’ve punted it with vigour down a B-road. I couldn’t, not with complete confidence, because it was often more than half-a-road wide, and Antonio could be coming the other way in his van.”

He then lets loose that he now has a 308. Not the Peugeot, the Ferrari.

The 308 is a strange specimen, as it doesn’t ooze the usual Ferrari performance. It has a transversely mounted 2.9 litre V8 that only produces 252hp. And being upwards of 30 years old, some horses have more than likely escaped.

What this is then, is a Ferrari cruiser. An Italian prancer you can relax in. Instead of being pushed back into your seat and enjoying the engine gurgle away as carburetor’d engines do, you relax back into your seat and enjoy counting the frequency of yellow cars to yellow shoe’d pedestrians or what ever James does in his spare time.

James recently auctioned off his old Rolls. Does this mean he’s in the market for a new four seater? Because I know the perfect Ferrari.

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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