Ferrari 430 Scuderia: Driver’s Seat

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia is either a car you love or can’t stand. It is loud, hard, and spartan. The seats are good but not great, you hear every pebble kicked up into the wheel arches. Shifting gears when pushing the car hard leads to a healthy whack in the back of the head. It also goes like a tasered cat, annoys the neighbors, and stops nearly instantly when asked. It is brilliant in the fact that while it has a big modern electric brain, somehow Ferrari has designed it, so it is still raw, analogue, and electronic nanny un-intrusive. My brother described the Scuderia as pure fun on four wheels. The description is spot on. It is a bit raw for the non-masochist to use as everyday car, but it is certainly every weekend car.

On the race track, the ceramic brakes are outstanding, and the rear will move around in Race Mode. Unlike the F40, the Scuderia is much more progressive when it starts to step out and therefore not that hard to catch. In the 360 Challenge I always felt like I was constantly fighting with the traction control on fast corners. In the 430 Scuderia, the “try to keep you out of the gravel” system remains in the background and is much better calibrated. The engine spins up quickly and you need to be quick with the paddles to avoid bouncing off the rev limiter.

As good as the 430 Scuderia is on the track, it is the open road are where the Scuderia really shines. It is a car that needs to be pushed to come alive. Drive it hard and it rewards, putter around town and it is flat, hard, and grumpy. Compared to our old 360 Modena, it is in a very different league. The 430 Scuderia is significantly faster, the ceramic brakes are in a different league altogether, and the chassis feels significantly stiffer. The extra 100+ bhp is quite noticeable and does make a difference. While in general I am not a fan of the first-generation single clutch F1 gearboxes on road cars, I could not imagine the Scuderia with anything but the F1 “Hammerman”. The “Hammerman” is a term one of my friends created when he first got his Scuderia. Getting wacked in the back of the head by the “Hammerman” when pulling that right paddle with your right foot flat on the floor and at least 4 of the lights on the steering wheel illuminated is a key part of the driving experience.

The 430 Scuderia is one of those cars you need to be in sync with to enjoy. When it all comes together you can make rapid progress easily down a twisty back country road. Everything just flows. There is a rhythm to driving a 430 Scuderia well. It’s hard to describe but when driver and car are not in sync you feel you are wrestling to get the car to do what you want it to.

All of the above is why the 430 Scuderia is one of the three cars on the current near-term acquisition list. That puts it in rare company with only the Ferrari 365BB and McLaren 12C Spider as cars that we sold, and then reacquired. Long term, I am quite sure it will be regarded as a classic.

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January 2019

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One Thought on Ferrari 430 Scuderia: Driver’s Seat
    The Ferrari 360 Modena | karenable
    28 Jun 2020

    […] Alpine passes require a different driving style to other roads or to the track. If you want to be quick, you need to be very smooth.  Listening to every piece of feedback you can soak out of the car is critical.  Keeping the car balanced is key and corners are an exercise in slow in, fast out with braking being on the early side and done smoothly.  When entering the corner, the car needs to be perfectly neutral.  Hard late breaking will unsettle the car and you will end up fighting it all the way around the hairpin.  It’s a dance, not a wrestling match.  Getting it right does take practice and I do remember improving each day.  My other takeaway from this trip, after 5 days of chasing a 430 Scuderia up and down mountains, just how much quicker the combination of a great F1 gearbox pared with massive ceramic brakes enabled that car to be.  The 360 Modena was hard work to drive well in the mountains while the 430 Scuderia just flew. My good friend who piloted the 430 Scuderia always exited his car looking relaxed when we would stop for a break, I on the other hand, looked like I had just had a good work out. In fact it was on this trip that I decided that a 430 Scuderia would one day need a spot in our garage (430 Scuderia: Driver’s Seat). […]


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