The barrier lifts in front of Via Abetone Inferiore 4, Maranello, Italy, and a red V12-engined coupe noses out of the Ferrari factory gate, driven by Dario Benuzzi. If we were to boil down the entire sprawling mythology of the supercar, this combination of vehicle and place and man would be the resulting pure distillate.
This is where heritage and future meet. An imperious 12-cylinder engine, a gorgeous two-seat coupe bodyshell to wrap it in, a factory that has been producing such things since 1948, the driver who’s pretty much the company’s longest-serving employee and is widely regarded as the don of supercar factory test drivers - the keeper of Ferrari’s flame and guardian of its soul.
Photography: Lee Brimble
This article originally appeared in the December 2012 edition of Top Gear magazine