Heavy Metal Affliction - 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia
There are only a few marques that have the prestige and provenance of Ferrari. People from all over the world have longed to own one. The sight of one will inspire smiles and rubber necking. The sound of one will raise the hair on the back of your neck. To drive one is the stuff dreams are made of.
How about driving one every day? Even for the most mundane daily duties like picking up groceries or the dry cleaning? Would the thrill associated with piloting one of the most beautiful cars on the planet become boring? Furthermore, are these Italian masterpieces of precision engineering well-suited to the task of daily use? After all, these cars are designed for extreme performance, not to be the ultimate utilitarian.
As the Regional Director of the Ferrari Club of America, you might expect that William Howard loves his Ferrari. What you might not expect is that even though it is not his only car, or his first Ferrari, he drives it pretty much every day. Since 2013 when he bought his 458 Italia brand new, he has put a whopping 72,000 miles on the car.
Now that might not be a record yet, Howard says that supposedly there is a 2010 458 out there with 120,000 miles on it. However, it may be the most miles on a 2013 458 Italia. Since Howard expects to keep this car and drive it for many years, it could take the lead in total miles at some point. Howard has driven as far south as the Mexican border and well north into Whistler, B.C. in Canada. He’s driven it to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and to the Monterey Classic Car Week several times. “I guess the next place on my list is Alaska. It is part of the NW Region Ferrari Club,” Howard said.
As director of the NW Region, Howard is also a board member of the Ferrari Club of America. His duties are primarily to get members involved in participating and organizing events. Sometimes that may be a garage tour, others times it may be a drive to a favorite restaurant as a group for breakfast. “The great thing about the Ferrari Club is that we are a fun, light-hearted, caring group of people,” Howard said.
Not surprisingly you will find everyone in the club is passionate about Ferrari. For some it’s classic Ferraris, for others it’s the latest models. Howard has owned three models of prancing ponies. His first was a 2008 F430 Spider that only saw 2,500 miles.
When he saw a light blue 430 Scuderia at the dealership, he traded in the Spider without so much as a test drive. He was already impressed with what he had read, and liked the fact that Ferrari F1 legend Michael Schumacher had contributed to its development. He owned that car for four years and put 25,000 miles on it. “The car was raw and stiff,” he said, “It for sure was not a car that [was] comfortable on a daily basis. However, it was very exciting every time I got behind the wheel.”
Howard’s 458 Italia was purchased brand new in 2013 and came with a three-year unlimited mileage warranty and a seven-year unlimited mileage maintenance warranty. Typically, for Ferrari owners that means once-a-year maintenance or seven visits to the dealer. Howard is four years into that service program and has been in seven times for 10,000-mile service intervals. “Service-wise, so far I have spent nothing on the car except tires,” he said. Howard is on his third set of rubber, by the way.
Here’s the thing though. If you can afford a Ferrari, you are probably not concerned about maintenance costs. What you are likely concerned about is having service get in the way of enjoying the car. Howard is happy to report that he has had no major issues with the 458 Italia so far, and has always gotten it back the next day. “The car is so reliable; it actually amazes me,” he said. The way this car is being driven is not the norm, either in daily usage or total accumulated miles, so it should make for interesting data for Ferrari.
While we were driving around we stopped to get gas. With its 22.7-gallon fuel tank and mileage between 13 and 17 mpg, that’s well over a 300-mile range. That’s better than my Toyota FJ Cruiser, especially when you consider the lower range of mileage that is probably experienced at amazing speeds, with that throaty, angry, naturally-aspirated V8 rasping and burbling the occupants into zone of pure sonic heaven.
When you drive a Ferrari, you make the world a more beautiful place. When Howard pulls into a gas station, people come running, they ask to take pictures, they ask him how fast it is, and they smile because they saw his car. Howard has gotten used to driving a supercar every day, but for the rest of us, just seeing one is a thrill.
That’s not to say he takes the car for granted. There is a sparkle in Howard’s eye when he talks about his 458 that isn’t any different than any other person who loves their car. A Ferrari is on a different level than the average car though, and this owner is making the best of every day to find new ways to appreciate it and share it.
For the last four years the NW Region Ferrari Club has been putting on their Annual Ferrari Concours d’Elegance in Renton, WA. The show is on July 9th, 2017 from 10-3PM, admission is FREE to all spectators. Check out their Facebook event page for details. More than 100 Ferraris from all generations will be on display.