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My life in cars: Dario Franchitti

Scotland's Indy 500 winner speaks out about the cars he's loved and lost

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I play about with other stuff, but cars are it, that’s what I love doing. I could talk about cars, read about cars, drive cars, every day. Cars are a problem, an addiction – I can’t use them all, but I form an emotional attachment to them, and that makes it hard to move them on. 

I’ll have owned my Ferrari F40 for 18 years in May. It’s never been out in the rain – I’ve left it places at night when it’s started to rain. It’s got a ton more power than grip, it’s nice and light – I tell you, the house would go before that car.

I divide my cars into keepers and, well, not-keepers. Keepers include the F40, an F355 Spider that I bought new in 1998, a new Porsche 911 R, my hotrod 911 – a 1973 911 T that has 330bhp and only weighs 900kg – and a 2004 Mercedes E55 AMG. That’s not the best-handling motor, but it’s great for smoking around in.

Cars that have been and gone, well, I almost instantly regretted swapping a Porsche 911 Speedster for a Ferrari 348, so I changed that for a Testarossa, found that too unwieldy, and ended up with the F355. 

My first car was a Fiat Uno Turbo but I couldn’t afford the £120 a month payments, then there was a VW Golf GTI that got stolen, and then I ended up in the struggling racing driver’s chariot of choice – a diesel Peugeot 205.

I tried to find the Uno a few years back, but it hadn’t survived. I’m still quite tempted to fix up a MkII Golf GTI 16v as well, just for old time’s sake.  

Since I stopped racing in 2013 [Dario was a four-time IndyCar champion] I’ve moved my cars back to Scotland; it’s just the best place for a road trip. I think the Porsche Carrera GT has now usurped the Ferrari F40 as the favourite car in my garage – that was the last car I took out for a blast over to Fort William and Oban. 

I’ve got a new Honda NSX coming soon – I did some development work on it, which was a really interesting process, but my latest crush is that new carbon-tubbed Ruf CTR that was shown at Geneva. A naturally aspirated one of those would be mega.

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