I loved playing with cars and trucks as a kid but I would never let anyone touch my Ferrari models, not even my brothers. I had a small collection, unlike Billy Karam’s amazing collection, of around 20-25 Ferrari models (1:43 scale) that I would put on display or keep them in their boxes. I would save money from birthdays and holidays just to buy newer and bigger models and two of them, The Ferrari 550 Maranello and Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F1 car (1:18 scale) are still on display at my parents’ house. I even remember making a bet with my younger brother that by the time I am 30, I would have bought my own Ferrari. Well that’s obviously not gonna happen anytime soon (unless I win the lottery) but at least I got to drive a Ferrari and it was the best feeling ever!
The Car: Ferrari 458 Speciale
The Ferrari 458 Speciale is the first super car I ever drive and is one of the fastest and most advanced V8 Sports car ever built. It’s more powerful, more dynamic, faster, lighter and more expensive than the 458 Italia. We are talking here about a 597 hp Ferrari that can go from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds, has a top speed of around 320 kph and is more aero-efficient than any other Ferrari road car! In simpler words, Ferrari took the 458 Italia, and made out of it the most high performance Ferrari V8 Sports Car ever, that is the 458 Speciale. I won’t bore you with more technical specs as you can find details reviews from experts on Topgear, Autoblog and other websites.
The Ferrari steering wheel is absolutely gorgeous and makes you feel like you’re inside an F1 car, specially with the shift lights on top that tell you when you need to switch to a different gear. There’s everything you need and more on this steering wheel except for the reverse mode which is a button on the side.
As far as the interior is concerned, I found the seats to be super comfortable for a sports! In fact, I was looking for some pictures showing the seats and the interior but I couldn’t find any, probably because once I got behind the steering wheel, I forgot about everything around me. it’s a good thing I got to drive the car on two occasions because I barely had any pictures or videos from the first time!
Since it was my first time in a Ferrari or a super car for that sake, one of the Ferrari people in Lebanon (Paul) took me for a ride at first and explained to me how to turn the car on, how to switch gears, turn the automatic mode on, use the reverse mode and what every button meant on the steering wheel. We went for a smooth drive around Beirut before we got to a spot where they are few empty roads to speed on. That’s where Paul parked the car and then accelerated and before you know it we had reached 160 kph! I wouldn’t lie to you that it was a bit scary at first and I was like WTF just happened! For some reason, I remembered Richard Hammond’s reaction when he first drove an F1 car. The sound of the engine was music to my ears, it was the most intense feeling ever and I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheels.
After making sure I was familiar with all the buttons in front of me, I finally sat behind the steering wheel and started driving carefully with the automatic mode on. I would go faster whenever I find an empty spot and accelerate a bit but it wasn’t the smoothest of rides at all and I could tell that from Paul’s facial expressions. After driving around Beirut for a good half hour, I became more comfortable with the car and started speeding. One of the people running Lebanese_Cars’ Instagram account even caught me on camera that you can see [Here].
The second time I drove the 458 Speciale, I was more confident and I switched off the automatic mode from the start. I headed to an empty straight road and started driving back and forth and going faster every time. I think Paul who was also with me got bored of the times I was driving past him (he was filming me) but I couldn’t get enough of that car and would have kept going all day if I could.
An Unforgettable Experience
When I first told my friends I was going to drive a Ferrari, most of them, specially the car enthusiasts, cursed at me and called me names instead of congratulating me. Of course they didn’t mean it that way but it pretty much tells you how much it means to drive a Ferrari for most people and believe me, it’s a one of a kind experience that you don’t want to miss out on!
I am eternally grateful to Ferrari Lebanon, specially Marie Claire, for giving me this opportunity and I hope it won’t be long before I drive another Ferrari. Of course I also wish we could drive these cars around a track and speed even more but we don’t have something like that in Lebanon.
Here’s one of the videos that my friend took of me speeding in the Ferrari 458 Speciale. I will be adding more pictures today on Instagram and a video from inside the car. You can check them out in a bit [Here] and follow Ferrari Lebanon [Here].
At least he’s honest about it.
I don’t know if that’s the same one Sara spotted back in November as it’s a bit different. Too bad I haven’t had the chance to meet the driver yet.
I like keeping my car clean but I hate waiting at gas stations for an hour on a Sunday morning in order to wash the car. Few malls like ABC Achrafieh and City Mall have a car wash service but it’s not a practical solution. Having said that, Just Wash looks like the ideal solution for people like me, as it’s a delivery car washing service and more importantly an environmentally-friendly one. They basically send their cleaners to wherever the client has parked his car and clean both the inside and outside for 10,000 LL.
What’s interesting about Just Wash is that they are trying to spread awareness on the excessive water consumption in Lebanon by using a water-less washing technique (non-toxic biodegradable chemicals) that needs only 250 ml of water per car, as opposed to at least 10-20 liters for a normal car wash. Their staff also drive electric motorcycles to reduce carbon emissions.
I like almost everything about Just Wash (Their Facebook Page Is Great), but I am a bit worried about the chemicals they use and whether they could ruin the car’s paint or the interior. Moreover, Just Wash doesn’t operate on Sundays which is weird since it’s the peak day for car washes in Lebanon usually and it’s not very practical to go down open your car or pass the keys to the Just Wash staff during week days while you’re at work.
In all cases, it’s good to see Lebanese going for eco-friendly solutions like Just Wash and I think it’s worth a try. I hope they will reconsider their working hours though and open on Sunday from 8 till noon at least.
I am going to take this beauty for a spin this weekend. It’s a dream come true and I cant wait!
Sometimes I wonder if the people in charge of fixing our roads are so damn blind that they are unable to see a huge pothole like this one. It’s been there for months now and it’s still expanding and no one’s fixing it. I will tag the TMC team to see if they will do something about it.
Al-Jomhouria posted today statistics related to cars stolen over the past five years in Lebanon. I assume the source is the ISF since the numbers match for the years 2009 and 2010 but the ISF stats are not yet updated.
As you can see, the number of stolen cars has almost doubled between 2012 and 2013 and there are around 5000 cars that haven’t been returned and that we know nothing about. The sad part in all this is that the sides that are behind most of the car thefts are apparently well known, but nothing can be done to stop them.
The Masrou2a App I had posted about previously would definitely help identify the bad guys, and lead the cops to the source, but it’s useless if there’s no green light to arrest these criminals.
I spotted workers sitting in the trunk of a Beirut Municipality truck few months back as well.