Let's get one thing straight right now: it's a stick shift. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Three full pedals and one of those old-fashioned gear changer thingies. I am told this is how the interior of a sports car is supposed to look.
I mention this because I hope your glee and positivity regarding my transmission choice will take your mind off the fact that I went way over my budget. Insanely over my budget, some might say. To put things in perspective: if my life were an elevator and my budget was on, say, the fourth floor, then I actually got off at the ozone layer.
This wasn't the initial plan. The initial plan, as you might recall, was to buy a car for around $40,000 or $50,000, and I asked you for help on deciding what that car should be. So you made a lot of suggestions, and I spent the better part of a weekend reading every single one. Then I promptly ignored all of them.
No, that isn't what really happened. What really happened is that my favorite suggestion came from Bullitt417, who recommended a Ferrari F355. So I set out searching for the perfect 355, only to discover that the 355 is, and I say this with all due respect to you 355 owners out there, possibly the most unreliable car of all time. Seriously: it makes a Series I Land Rover Discovery look like that huge tree in California that just keeps living; the one that was just a sapling when Barbara Bush was born.
So I decided against a 355. But I liked the idea of a 355. And from there, I had your typical mental stair-step: "Well, I suppose another five thousand won't be so bad…" and "Oh, what's another thousand for the right car?"The next thing you know, I'm driving home from Florida in a 360 Modena.
Actually, it wasn't quite the next thing you know, because the buying process was rather difficult. But I'll have more on that in another story. For now, let's talk about the car.
On the outside, it's red. And on the inside, it's tan. This, in my opinion, is how nearly every Ferrari should be — but it's more difficult to find than you might think. There are a lot of 360s out there in what I would call "off colors," such as silver, or dark blue, or — let's be honest — anything that isn't red. People who own these cars are desperate to sell them. When you call them up, they say things like: "C'mon… EVERYBODY has a red Ferrari! Don't you want to stand out with this unique shade of Vomit Metallic?" Then you ask why they're selling, and it's because they're buying a newer model, in red.
But forget about the styling. The real fun is under the hood, which I should mention, is see-through. I bring this up not as a factual point, but rather to rub it in the face of all you readers out there driving normal cars, with opaque hoods. Hah! Opaque hoods. How pedestrian.
Anyway: under the hood, there's a 3.6-liter V8 that makes 400 horsepower and, I'm told, approximately the same amount of torque as a BMW 3-Series. People usually say this to me in a teasing fashion, and I'm sure I would take major offense, if I had any idea what torque was.
So there you have it: my new car. I'm sorry it's taken so long to get here, but it's here now — and over the next few months, we're going to have a lot of fun with it. There will be many updates on Jalopnik, and even more updates if you follow me on Twitter. This is good news for my current followers, who are undoubtedly getting tired of seeing daily photos of my used Range Rover.
Oh, and how did the 500-mile trip home turn out? You'll have to see for yourself:
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He operates PlaysWithCars.com. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.