What might seem like an embarrassing mishap to common folk is really a right of passage into the playboy world. No, not accidentally killing a stripper, but wrecking an exotic car.
Over the weekend, Ferrari/Fiat Chairman Luca Montezemolo slowly drove a Ferrari California off the track and into a sand trap at the Ferrari World finals with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the back seat.
The car became stuck. Jalopnik quipped:
“What's a chairman to do? Just have the team send another Ferrari and let the track workers deal with it.” (1)
Indeed. Either Montezemolo truly believed a sand trap designed to stop cars spinning out of control at 100mph+ would be no match for his slow moving California, or more plausibly, he was giving Massa and Alonso a playboy Bar Mitzvah. I’ll side with the latter and even go so far as to say the incident represents a ceremonial birth into an elitist gentleman’s club of auto enthusiasts. Not convinced? Consider this:
Within days of the Montezemolo crash, two FERRARI CALIFORNIAS were racing about Sofia, Bulgaria when one of the cars miraculously power-slid into a front-end loader.
Once again, the whole scene was conveniently caught on video, and we, the lowly YouTube masses were led to believe a Ferrari was outmaneuvered by heavy machinery. Please.
This video wasn’t of a wreck but a happy documentary of self-inflicted hazing into the aforementioned society; a group of guys so rich, wrecking an exotic car is like thrashing their own buttocks with a paddle for the guffaws of their cronies.
Not convinced? Consider an article from MSN entitled “Texan drives $1 million sports car into marshes”. The story is of a man who recently drove a Bugatti Veyron, the world’s fastest and most expensive production car in the world, into a SALT mash. It might sound passably dumb if it weren’t for the first paragraph:
“LA MARQUE, Texas - A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston.” (2)
Said guy wasn’t trying very hard to keep his secret on the DL. Watch the video for yourself (yes, there was a car full of guys videotaping the Veyron, seconds before the Texan drove into the water) see if you can spot the mysterious low-flying bird.
Did you see the bird? Of course not. Even more revealing was the driver’s attitude after launching his million-dollar car into a salty lake:
“He was calm,” said wrecker driver Gilbert Harrison of MCH Truck and Auto, which is storing the car, “If it had been me, I'd have been cussing, but he was calm. I imagine inside he was probably pretty upset.” (2)
Only the soggy playboy wasn’t upset, he was only waiting for the good news to reach the elders:
“The Houston Chronicle reported the Texan has become something of a celebrity. He reportedly told the Texas City wrecker driver who towed his car that California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called him Wednesday, along with several other celebrities.” (2)
Welcome to the club, Tex.