Thomas Magnum. He was a guy who had it all figured out. Hawaiian shirt, moustache, baseball cap and… a red Ferrari. To a teenage boy living in the 1980s, Magnum was someone on which to model his life.
[Cue dream sequence back to 16-year-old self]
“Live near the ocean? … tick!
Grow a moustache? Should take a while but I’ll get there … tick!
Get a Ferrari? Okay, that’s not going to happen … wait … got it … become a motoring journalist … tick!”
Perhaps it wasn’t the sole reason my career trajectory followed this path, but Magnum PI and that Ferrari 308 GTS were strong factors in a growing love of cars. I was hooked by the GTS and the resultant deep dive into Ferrari’s history revealed the 250 Tour de France, the 250 GTO, the 275 GTB/4 and the immortal 365 GTB/4 Daytona. Thanks to these icons, my schoolboy crush on mid-engined supercars dissolved as the understated elegance of front-engined GTs recalibrated my design aesthetics. I appreciate the mid-engined 288 GTO, the F40, the Enzo and LaFerrari, but I’ll take a 599 GTO over those gold medallion-wearing poseurs any day of the week.
You can imagine my excitement then when the offer of driving an F12berlinetta was recently extended by Ferrari importers, Viglietti Motors. At last, after all these years of toil, I would complete the final … tick! … and be just like Thomas Magnum.
The only slot available to drive Ferrari’s beautiful grand tourer was on the very day I was attending the media launch of the Infiniti Q50. The long-awaited opportunity to drive a Fezza passed to one of my colleagues. And, to make matters worse, while a maniacally grinning Ian McLaren piloted the F12 along the Cape’s coastal roads, I limped back to Durban’s King Shaka Airport after a KwaZulu-Natal pothole sliced the run-flat tyre of the Q50 I was driving.
Fortunately, the sound my lip made dragging on the ground caught the ears of the kind folk at Viglietti, who have consequently offered me a ride in a Prancing Horse. All I have to do is make the call.
“Hi, it’s Thomas…”