Late mid-morning outside Haller’s Bar in the small Italian town of Galeata and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale has just eased its way onto the cobbles out front, burping up exhaust gas in a gently menacing manner. You can’t miss it: one, it’s a Lamborghini; two, it’s painted in a deep Rosso Mars - think shiny venous blood; and three, it’s got a carbon-fibre-composite rear wing the size of a small farmhouse table strapped to the back. As supercars go, this is about as unapologetic and unsubtle as it gets. It’s also a mighty fish hook in every single eye in the square. The scene feels like the opening credits of a Coppola movie. A knot of gnarled old men, basking like liver-spotted lizards in late and unexpected sunshine - wrapped warmly Mafiosi against the spectre of winter in scarves and black overcoats. Hair slicked in the manner of Fifties screen idols, sipping midnight tar from impossibly tiny cups. Grumbling, sub-bass old-man-speak - a light smattering of the F-word. But, here, supercar literacy is bred not taught, religiously confirmed rather than learned. And the Church of Ferrari will inevitably be invoked in conversation when you rock up in something that looks like the weekend wheels of the Father of Lies himself. The wobble of saggy jowls ponder the car, suddenly more vital, and nudge each other with woollen elbows, making small whuffing noises. It’s like watching a pack of very old dogs waking up to the scent of an arthritic cat.
Words: Tom Ford
Photos: Joe Windsor-Williams
This article was first published in the February 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine