On The Road In A Dino 208 GT4

Manhattan opened up ahead of us as we swept down from the George Washington Bridge in his Alfa GTV6. We were worn out from driving, and tired of looking through the windshield, no matter how beautiful the view. Why was that? Well, let me step back a few hours. 

 

Charging through the turns in a ’76 Dino 208 GT4. Summer light flickering through the trees. Bushes reaching out softly to touch the car as we ran through the forest.

Have you heard a two liter V8? There’s only one street car that has one. It doesn’t howl, and it doesn’t growl. It gurgles low down in the rev range. We’re not low down in the rev range, instead hearing the roar it makes when it’s being pressed.

I’m in the passenger seat, looking left then right and left again to try and catch the turns as they rush up on us. The driver is trying not to hurry the shifter through the open gate.

  The car isn’t the fastest; we’re never hurled into our seats. It’s not the happiest, never quite finding a rhythm on the sort-of rough pavement.

   It’s not the most desirable car Ferrari ever built, and it has no classic Pininfarina curves that leave seersucker-clad collectors salivating.

 It has some kind of frenetic attitude in the pace we’re making, whipping up left down right down left and on. The roar starts to fall away, as do the feel from the tires. Ripples through the suspension from potholes fall away.

I can’t keep my eyes off the road, and the trees have crept from my peripheral into my brain. The green shadows mix with the V8 and I melt out into summer. The shutter clicks away and the we crest the last bend.

The road opens up. We’re about to get lost for an hour, feel the adrenaline wear off, miss lunch, get tired, garage the Dino and work our way back to the city.

But there’s that spell where we straighten out and the engine cools down and the world rushes in and out with each breath.

Why does anyone buy any other car than this? Why does anyone drive any other road than this? Why don’t we rally Ferraris through summer afternoons every day?

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