Welcome to My Wheels Abhilash. The F430 had a lot to live up to when it succeeded the 360 and it sure managed that with its greater focus on aerodynamics, an electronically controlled E-differential and the fact it was the first Ferrari to be fitted with the now-familiar Manettino switch on the steering wheel — but what is it about this model that impresses you the most and why?

Thank you for featuring me and my car in the magazine.

Often you hear people say the F430 is one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever built. I agree with that — it’s one of the last few Ferraris which still feels raw and has the growl and track car feel with lesser electronics controlling your drive when compared to the newer models. The steering and throttle response on this car is nothing short of brilliant — that’s probably what impresses me the most. I’ve had this car for almost 8 years. However, during this time it was lying idle at home (which is a shame) for about 3 years while I went to the US to get my MBA. I got it brand new from Al Tayer Motors in Dubai. I had always dreamt about owning a Ferrari, but never thought I would actually be able to fulfil the dream someday.

 

We’re glad for you and hope it brings you years of pleasure. You were looking at some other cars too right? Why didn’t they make the grade?

I test drove the Porsche 911 Turbo, the Aston Martin Vantage and the Audi R8 among many other cars but the feeling I got from the F430 — from the adrenalin rush to the sound of the exhaust — the others could not match what the Ferrari offered.

 

With 480bhp produced by the naturally aspirated 4.3-litre V8 describe just how thrilling it is to drive...

The F430 is a model with one of the best engines ever produced by Ferrari and continues to excite the driver on every ride.

The car still feels as powerful, smooth and thrilling as the first day I drove it. Of course, you need to take care of the car as it ages to maintain it well and also ensure good residual values. Overall I’m pretty happy with the build quality. I drive it about 3 — 4 times a week, mostly from home to work and back in Dubai.

 

How well do you think its styling has aged?

I think it is till date one of the most beautiful Ferraris ever designed, and it’s still a head turner, loved and photographed by auto lovers when I drive it around Dubai.

 

Owning a Ferrari is a real privilege — how proud do you feel to own this car?

It truly is a real privilege. Buying or owning a Ferrari just doesn’t give you the car, it’s the unparalleled heritage of the brand. It gives you a sense of achievement, pride and the opportunity to be part of the wider Ferrari family.

 

What do your family and friends make of it?

Everyone in my family loves how the car looks and sounds but driving it is not something that they really do. They know how protective I am about it, so are worried about getting even the smallest of scratches on it if they ever take it out.

I have a one-year old daughter who I’m trying to instil the passion for motoring in, so I make her sit in it when I come back from work and she enjoys fiddling around with the knobs and such.

 

It had a terrific racing history and excelled in competition; have you ever taken it to the track to see how it performs?

Yes, I have taken it to the Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit, both have been an amazing experience and I really enjoy taking the car out on the track at least once a year. It’s on the track where you really understand the true capability of these magnificent machines. I also own a Bentley Flying Spur W12, Range Rover Sport Supercharged and a Mercedes S500 but love my Ferrari the most. However, the best car that I have ever driven is the F12berlinetta. I fell in love with the car the first time I drove it.

 

We are big fans of that one. Moving on, tell us how your passion for motoring began?

It all started when I was in the 5th grade. At the time, my father used to be involved in exporting luxury cars from the UAE to different countries around the world. Some of my earliest memories include him picking me up from school in these fancy cars, on the way to dropping them off at the port. One specific car that I vividly remember being picked up in is a green Jaguar XJ convertible. I still remember my friends’ reactions to it, standing there with their jaws open — this really was the beginning of my passion for motoring, which was sparked at a very young age.

 

What was your first car? What do you remember about it?

My first car was a Mercedes SLK 230. I used to drive it to university every day and also met my wife while I had it! I regret selling it; I wish I kept it and could have passed it on to my daughter as a classic car someday!

 

Maybe she’ll get the F430! To prove just how keen you are on the Italian brand, your dream car is…

The Ferrari 812 Superfast.