Wash me

The Ferrari Club had arranged a Christmas in July weekend away at Peppers Guest house in Hunter. This about a 2 and 1/2 hours drive from Sydney and plan was to take the Putty Rd.

I headed out early with a little trepidation given firstly how long the trip is (longest run so far in the car), secondly the fact that I’m sure I had front suspension sag issues and thirdly I had no idea where the car was going to be parked overnight at Peppers. However, on the other hand I really did want to take the car for along spin and hang out with the other club members and their Ferrari’s.

The meeting point was Macquarie Park just on the other side of Windsor. From the picture you can see some of the array of vehicles that made up our little convoy. It included an Aston Martin, 360’s, 308’s, 328’s, 550’s, 400, 355’s and even a 458! There were probably 20 cars in all. 

The next stop was just over an hour along the road at the Grey Gum Cafe for morning tea.

The road to the cafe was fantastic! Some really nice vistas and excellent road surface in long stretches as it has been recently repaved.

After caffeine we headed north again, however a little ways along I saw the 360 in front of me swerve rather violently to the left. Still wondering why, I was not able to react quick enough to miss the major pot hole the 360 had also attempted to avoid. WHUMP, right on the drivers side. Now that’s not going to do my sagging suspension any good now is it? As I continued on I triple checked everything to see if there had been ill effects from the impact.

Luckily, the car seemed find and continued on at the tail of about a dozen Ferraris as we continued north through the Wollemi and Yengo National Parks. The road was still damp in the shade so you had to be careful not to get too adventurous, however it was still really fulfilling to driving in a pack of Ferraris in such glorious weather, through some fantastic scenery.

We cut across Milbrodale Road to Broke and then along the Broke Road to the Guesthouse. Again, the road was excellent and the car really ate it up, that is until about the last 200 metres where we were greeted by road re-surfacing, traffic light controls and an abysmally pock scarred road. A very disappointing way to end and excellent day’s drive.

Once everyone had arrived we all piled into some hire buses and headed off for lunch at the Verandah Restaurant and then some wine tasting. After returning in the evening we booked into our rooms and took a bit of a relax before having tea together at Peppers.

Upon checking the car after the incident with the pothole I confirmed that indeed the right hand side drivers side is down about 25mm when compared to the other side.

Here’s the left

and here’s the right (with the issue)


You can certainly see the different when you look closely. The good thing I figured was that the sag was present before hitting the pothole so it didn’t appear and worse. With nothing more I could do I headed off to bed.

A cold front passed through during the night and it got quite windy. Luckily, other club members had the good insight to park their cars away from trees and I had likewise followed suit. Just before drifting off to sleep I wondered how the car would fair in the open over night?

After a hearty breakfast I decided that it would be best to return home early in case the issue with the suspension decided to worsen. When I checked the car it was no worse and I managed to speak to Sal from Racing Red who confirmed that it should be ok to drive normally. Phew.

I took the quickest way back home down the freeway and arrived back without incident. Again, in such excellent weather and driving a car like the 355 you can’t but help to thank God you are alive, although I wish other drivers would keep left!

All in all, I had an excellent weekend and am so glad that I didn’t let the niggle with the suspension stop me from going. The drive there and back was fantastic and I discovered another great out of the way cafe I can go back to in the future. Apart from getting the suspension issue looked at I really need to get the car cleaned as you can see

Sometimes it’s good to get down the dirty but man, it needs a wash.

Other side this time

Took the car out for drive as normal recently but 10-15 minutes into the drive, while climbing a hill, I lose power and get the ‘5-8 Slow Down’ light flashing at me. In a few seconds the fault cleared and car carried on without an issue.

Here’s a little video of that trip.

My first fear was that the thermocouple ECU on the other cylinder bank was failing however even I spoke with Sal from Racing Red he thought it may have been a fouled spark plug and not to worry too much unless it reoccurs.

With a little trepidation I took the car about the following week with someone else along for the right, everything went fine until we returned home and garaged the car. While parking it seemed to bang its nose more than it usually does, which I thought strange.

During the week I measured the clearance on both sides of the car and found the drivers side to be about 25mm lower than the passengers side. Hmmm…I have a weekend drive day with the Ferrari Club of Australia next weekend. Hmmm.. what’s the best option here?