Four years ago we were invited to participate in a supercar rally that saw 20+ exotics gathered at a secret location in Westchester County for a quick but extremely high profile run to Greenwich. And sure enough, we received an impromptu call from organizers that the event was on for the end of September. To entice us further, they offered up the keys to a 670 horsepower Ferrari 599 GTO to pilot for the rally. With only 599 copies of these street legal versions of the Ferrari XX race cars ever produced, we were elated. However, on the appointed day, the weather Gods put an end to that deal. Nevertheless, the wait was worth it as the event recently took place on a recent Sunday without a cloud in the sky. The bad news, the 599 GTO was no longer available. We were offered a Ferrari California instead. Consolation prizes should all be this terrible.
Shrouded in secrecy, we received an email a few days before the event and were told to meet at the breathtaking Blue Hill Farms at Stone Barns, a working farm and well-known restaurant (formerly part of the Rockefeller Estate). Over the next hour, one by one, another dozen extotics appeared including a red 25th Anniversary Lamborghini Countach, a couple of Porsche Carrera GTs and a Silver Ferrari 599 GTO (we were envious). A while later, I instantly recognized the arrival of a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano which was specially built by the factory for the father of the ex-Pininfarina designer, Jason Castriota. Well-dressed groups of diners at the restaurant were surprised and delighted to be able to stroll among this gathering of supercars.
We were instructed to head north on the Saw Mill River Parkway which was both scenic and twisty, but showing its age with a very narrow lanes and even a narrower center divider. Early on we were taunted by one of the Porsche Carrera GTs, who easily out accelerated our Ferrari as we shot up the entrance ramp, but I think our exhaust note was better, especially inside the many overpasses we encountered en route. We continued at a pretty good clip through Bedford, NY on our way to Greenwich, CT. Unfortunately, we were blocked by a particularly slow moving sedan thereby reducing the almost 10,000 horsepower behind me to what looked like a supercar funeral procession.
A little further down the scenic road, we jumped on the Merritt Parkway, one of the nation’s few highways on the National Register of Historic Places. Our “Grigio Silverstone” Ferrari California kicked hard with each pull of the right paddle and its acceleration pushed us back into the sumptuous leather buckets. I was delirious and did not want to back out of the throttle. In fact, now that I reflect, I stayed in it for a bit longer than I should have. Suddenly, a Ferrari F-40, and an Orange Gallardo Spider blew by and gave us a reality check.
Several miles up a local road we arrived at our final destination, the Doral Arrowwood Resort’s 114 acres in Rye Brook, NY. I think that we scared the pants off the valet parking staff as we decided to do a fly by of the Doral’s circular driveway on our way to the parking lot. Elapsed time: exactly 1 hour. Oops, one straggler, a Rolls Royce Phantom, came in a few minutes later (hey, what do you expect).
Words and Photos courtesy of Werner Pfister