Ferrari 458 Speciale around Elba
We take the harder, faster Fezza on a road trip round an idyllic Italian island. Yeah, tough day
Posted: 27 May 2014
Analogue vs digital: this one's going to run and run. Just around the corner from one of Elba's most spectacular vistas, we chance upon a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. Its owner, who turns out to be a maître d' at a legendary Italian restaurant, is called Francesco, and he happily volunteers his gorgeous little convertible as a photography chase car. It's a '73, the sort of democratic performance car Italy used to be so good at. It's been preserved in full competition spec, with a lightweight bonnet and bootlid, 13in magnesium wheels, and period Rally-Master timer ahead of the passenger. It has 128bhp, weighs about as much as a supermodel's lunch, and gurgles fuel hungrily through twin Webers. It's also worth about £50k. Francesco lets me drive it and - dodgy brakes apart - it's as near perfect as you'd imagine, fast but utterly biddable, framed by mountains on one side and sea on the other on an Italian island as the sun sinks. What a moment.