Part of our budding bromance with grinning maniac Chris Harris stems from a shared hatred of the bullshit you go through when driving press cars. A few years back, Harris railed against King Bullshitter Ferrari and its insane attempts to control every aspect of Ferrari press car coverage.
As Chris says, every auto journo—myself included—would gnaw off his non-shifting hand just for a chance to drive a Ferrari presser. But Ferrari’s use of one "handling” car and one "acceleration” car during journalist testing, and its nuclear reaction when Harris had the gall to test a (gasp!) privately owned Ferrari 430 when the company wouldn’t lend him one, reek of pure arrogance.
And I know exactly where he’s coming from. Back in my magazine days, I railed against GM for intentionally and grossly underrating the 2005 Cadillac CTS-V’s rear halfshafts. After I broke one in spectacular fashion during drag testing at Englishtown, a secret GM source found an internal engineering document that proved they were built to handle less torque than the engine produced. And of course, GM got super-ultra pissed and banned me from press cars Fooor Eeevverrr (eeeevvver…..evvverrrr). Worth it!
Anyway, this kind of "wink wink, nudge nudge” stuff has been around ever since Jim Wangers and Royal Pontiac supertuned Pontiac’s GTO press cars. So, budding auto journos, remember this: have fun, but God forbid you break the rules—or their car…
So when we saw this vid about Harris getting his mitts on a bona-fide 570-horse Ferrari 458 Spider tester—even if it was, uh, "subcontracted” out to him—we smiled. And when Harris’ voiceover explained that he was now "going to drive this car like a complete idiot,” we giggled like little schoolgirls.
The serious hooning starts right before the one-minute mark, and what follows are several glorious minutes of tail-wagging, curb-hopping, rubber-spitting, rented-mule whipping from lots of in- and on-car angles. It’s real, and it’s spectacular.
And in conclusion, Harris beams that the 458 Spider is "an absurdly good car to drive, [one] that you can chuck around like a cheap rally car.” And while Ferrari’s lawyers surely sent a cease and desist order regarding using the word "cheap,” we enthusiasts are sending Harris mad props.