There is a hidden gem on the iOS store. Before I tell you what that is, let me ask you a question. How many times have you wanted to be surprised when you were renting a car? Getting a convertible when you’re in Hawaii! Getting a big SUV when you are alone in Aspen! Maybe getting a Mercedes that has long been forgotten! Unfortunately, the rental car agent comes back with a key, and then comes the sad reality of getting an econobox that you can’t wait to return.
Well, all of that changes with an app, called Turo, that is available for the iPhone or Android devices. Think of Air’BNB for cars. People put their personal cars up for rent. They dictate the mileage you can drive for the day. They choose how old you can be. You tell them what time you want to use the car, they either say yes or no. You can purchase insurance to protect yourself. The brilliance of the app resides in the fact that you can chose what kind of car you’d like to rent!
Growing up in the 80s, three marques always scratched my itch – Ferrari, Porsche, and BMW. Having never driven a manual transmission Ferrari, that was a bucket list item for me. Getting to drive a manual transmission Ferrari convertible through Los Angeles, on the PCH, through Malibu, and in Beverly Hills, was even more of a kicker. As I was casually browsing Turo, I came across this beauty.
-Vinita chilling in a 1991 Ferrari 348 Spyder-
I immediately gave Turo my money. We were greeted by a very nice man named Darren in Santa Monica, who gave me the keys to his Ferrari and off we went.
We quickly got onto the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), top down, music off, the V8 screaming behind me. It was a strange feeling changing gears. What makes a manual transmission Ferrari so special, besides being a manual transmission Ferrari, is the gated shifter. Something I have always wanted to experience, and boy was it an experience.
– Infamous Ferrari Gated Shifter; pure bliss –
From the “clickiness” of engaging a gear, to the long clutch pedal, to the actual energy required to get the shifter into gear, driving a manual transmission Ferrari was an experience we will never forget. It really made me appreciate the old racers who had gated shifters. The amount of muscle memory required to do this while racing is something I am not able to fathom. Cheers to those heroes of yesteryear.
– my thoughts on the Ferrari & Vinita’s joking about the entire experience. She is so cute –
The drive up the PCH to Malibu was breathtaking. Having never been to Southern California before, the view of the Pacific ocean to the left and blue skies above me was something that made me constantly pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming. We made a quick pit stop at El Matador Beach for some photos.
We had a quick bite at Neptunes Net and made the journey back to Beverly Hills to return the car. I had heard many things about LA traffic. How bad it was. How annoying it can be. Coming from the NYC area, it wasn’t so bad. The Ferrari was greeted by bumper to bumper traffic on Wilshire Blvd. Being a gearhead and knowing how Ferrari’s tend to ‘overheat’ and considering this was an older car with a cooling system I was not so sure of, I was concerned to say the least.
– Checking the gauges on the Ferrari –
Luckily, the old girl handled it quite well! We dropped off the Ferrari and headed back to our hotel.
What a day and what an experience that I will never forget. In retrospect, the Ferrari is a great car. The screaming V8 and that gated shifter is fantastic. It is fun to hop into a car that brings you back to a time where there was no power steering or any of the electronic nannies that exist today. We had a great time and thanks again to the good folks at Turo!