Ferrari Roars Through Namibia [opinion]

Namibia, a place of astonishing vistas and beautiful destinations. Besides its maniacal drivers, shoddy roads and service stations that sell beer, we live in the perfect road trip destination. Where else can one drive through so many varied landscapes in one day and get a cold one at a service station? But I digress.

All these factors culminated in Vivo Energy, the company that markets Shell petroleum and Viglietti Motors, the official South African dealer of high end sports car brands, planning an excursion to Namibia to help promote their brands and to give both a group of current Ferrari owners and wide eyed Namibians a once in a lifetime experience.

The Bank Windhoek Tourism expo was the centre of the action as potential customers and competition winners got to take test drives in the immaculate stallions brought down by Viglietti. These included the 458 Spider, an instant classic, the FF, Ferrari’s versatile four wheel drive semi-off roader and the frighteningly furious F12berlinetta, which stole the show with its unique styling and thunderous V12.

The Ferrari marquee was set up to resemble an ad hoc showroom of sorts and offered visitors to the expo the unique experience of seeing an F1 car first hand. The 2010 Scuderia Ferrari was a huge draw for motorsport fans who were spoiled for choice as a total of 12 Ferraris were displayed and revved ever so often to the delight of the crowds flocking towards the sports car symphony.

Making up the contingent of Ferrari owners displaying their cars at the expo were businessmen from Namibia and South Africa. The Corsa Clienti or Corsa Pilota, as they are known, were more than happy to entertain the scores of people who lined the streets as they took part in a parade. They thundered through the streets of the capital, stopping at several Shell service stations to fill up on Shell’s V Power Unleaded, which is the the official fuel for Ferrari and ensures that these high-performance machines perform at their best.

It was then time for the group to take a drive to the coast, because that’s what you do when you own a Ferrari. You ship it to exotic destinations, fly in, have the time of your life thrashing it in a place with lax traffic laws and great views. We set off to the coast in one of the most beautiful convoys one can imagine. The mere sight of supercar upon super car grumbling through the towns caused quite a stir and left mouths agape, eyes tantalised and hearts yearning. Top Revs badly wanted to call shotgun in one of the ‘Rarri’s but was relegated to a 1.8 Audi, much to his dismay. However, Top Revs would soon learn that given the state of our roads in some places, the Ferraris could not maintain a consistently high speed and at times could not keep up with us in the pace car.

Not that the black stallion boys didn’t get to exercise their horses. On clear stretches, speeds up to 320kmh were reached. As the sun started to set we neared Swakopmund and were fortunate to spot a speed trap before they spotted us. One of the Ferrari owners was not that lucky and was pulled over by the Swakop’s finest. This however seemed to be more of an opportunity to inspect one of the marvels form Maranello.

As more and more of the convoy arrived at the Martin Luther Locomotive Museum, a crowd started to gather as word spread about the travelling spectacle. We departed for a scheduled fuel stop at Shell Vineta and Swakopmund too stop and stared. Our arrival at the service station was met by large crowd who had heard the thunderous stir the red beasts had caused. The drivers revved thier engines and the crowd continued to swell as onlookers scrambled to snap a picture with their new dream cars. The owners were even so nice as to allow Ferrari fans to sit in the N$5 million sport cars and answered any questions the eager onlookers may have had, before telling of the legendary aentures they’ve had behind the wheel.

The next day, after a quick sprint to Walvis Bay, we once again met up at Vineta Shell where after a quick show we departed for Omaruru. As the beastly convoy exited Swakopmund, the roadshow co-ordinator received a surprise call from the head of the coastal town’s traffic law enforcement who made it quite clear the they did not appreciate the traffic stopping effect six bright red supercars had on the streets of the town, but after a warning, we were off to Omaruru where once again the Ferraris came into their element and made quick work of the scenic road to the town. There they toasted the success of the road show and showed off their big boy toys to the people of the town before locking them up and heading to a luxury guest lodge nearby.

After resting up in the bush for the night, the convoy returned to Windhoek where the cars where loaded onto a truck and transported back to South Africa.

The Ferrari Namibia experience was truly a once in a lifetime event, and we hope to have many more in the future.

Here are some details on some of the beautiful Ferraris which travelled through Namibia last week:

The Ferrari 458 Spider

The 458 Spider is the folding-hardtop convertible version of Ferrari’s magnificent 458 Italia coupe. It offers an open-air experience for those who prefer the wind in their face and the scream of their Ferrari exhaust, which is as loud as the bright red paint job.

The Ferrari FF

For all of their performance and panache, Ferraris have rarely incorporated much in the way of practicality. But with all-wheel-drive, space for four full-size adults and a versatile hatchback bodystyle, the FF represents something new for the prancing horse brand: an all-weather, family-friendly sports car.

The Ferrari F12berlinetta

The Ferrari F12berlinetta is a mid-front-engined coupe that is more expensive and more powerful than any road-going member of the Prancing Horse’s lineup save for the mighty, limited-edition. LaFerrari and Namibia can now boast having one owned by a local.

Source : The Namibian