Hot Chick, Fast Car, Young Guy, Thrilling Ride.

 

HOT CHICK

Yeah, I was hot. Very hot. It was 95 degrees on a cloudless August day. High noon and not a breeze blowing at Sant’Agata Bolognes in northern Italy.

And there was this fast car, a Lamborghini Gallardo Performante all muscle and noise, low to the ground, packing 570 horsepower in its 10 cylinder engine. And there in the driver’s seat was…my son?

Sam at the Lamborghini museum.

This is the tale of how Lamborghini threw my middle child the keys to a $250,000 car and let him take me for the ride of my life.

Cars were the topic of conversation everywhere we went.

Visiting Italy with not one but two car writers, son, Sam Schembari (Car & Driver) and husband Jim Schembari (The New York Times) has its drawbacks. We’d be at a café somewhere and I’d be chatting to them when I would see their eyes shift to something on the road behind me and all of a sudden one would ask the other, “Does Citroen make a three-door?”

Seriously, I like cars as much as the next girl (which is to say they mean nothing to me) but there’s no point in taking in the bucolic scenery in the lake district or marveling at an 11th century village with these guys if there’s an active road or even a parking lot within sight.

Still, when Sam, Jim and my youngest son Joseph expressed an interest in visiting the Lamborghini factory and museum on our recent trip to Italy, how could I say no? Besides, any opportunity to be chauffeured through this beautiful countryside is fine with me. So we were off.

FAST CAR
At the Lamborghini company headquarters, marketing manager Rita Passerini couldn’t have been more accommodating, handing us off to Adele Caccie who guided us through the two story museum where the very first car produced by Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1964, the 350 GT – is on display along with the 25th anniversary Countach, painted silver donchaknow.

Silver anniversary for the Lamborghini 350 GT.

A Lamborghini SUV?

The maybe-not-the-best-idea LM002 sport utility Lamborghini sits clumsily by the window, downstairs from the only-slightly-better-idea the Lamborghini police cruiser.

Some lucky cops get to drive this car.

 

Mario Fasanetto hands us the keys to the car.

But there’s nothing like getting a feel for a car by driving it or so my guys tell me and Lamborghini seems to agree because around lunch time, Mario Fasanetto, Lamborghini’s test driver tossed the keys to Sam, recommended a restaurant nearby and just told us to have the car back by the end of the day.

As you can imagine, lunch was hurriedly consumed and we walked back out to where the car was parked, still not sure whether it would actually be there or if we would wake up and find out we’d all had the same dream. But there was the car, right where he’d parked it and in his glee, Sam invited me to ride shotgun.

YOUNG GUY

Through an automobile-obsessed adolescence, Sam has taken a variety of driving classes; one for teen drivers, one for defensive driving and one covering the basics of stunt driving. He is a member of the International Motor Press Association and has a remarkably large number of hours behind the wheel for a man not yet out of college. So I climbed in on the passenger side, said a brief prayer and put myself in his care.

Sam takes the wheel and I’m along for the ride.

THRILLING RIDE
Top down, engine roaring, Sam clicked through the shift paddles accelerating along the long, flat straightaway and slowing enough – but not too much – at the turns. This was no Sunday outing with mom. The scenery was passing me in a blur. This was a hang-on-momma, you-don’t-wanna-know-how fast-we’re going, heart thumping experience, made all the better by the fact that we returned the car on time, with no damage to others, the auto, or ourselves.

The car and its occupants back in one piece.

Raising three boys means feeding a never-satisfied appetite for edgy entertainment, I know that. That was part of the reason I agreed to spend a day of my vacation visiting Lamborghini. But somewhere during the drive, as I watched my now-adult son take this machine competently through its paces and then return us to our start point, I realized my child and I are now at the stage where providing thrills is a two-way street.

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Posted on August 16, 2012 at 8:30 pm by negroni

    this post is “one hell of a ride”!!! your best yet! loved every word, twist and turn.

  2. Posted on August 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm by Christine Negroni

    Cathy, you make me laugh. Thanks for the support sis!

  3. Posted on August 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm by Andy H

    Christine, as a dad of three young men, one of who is mesmerized by exotic cars, I thank you. He was staring at me slackjawed just a minute ago saying “they just gave him the keys?????

  4. Posted on August 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm by Khaled

    :-o

    That’s…amazing! I’m not that car-obsessed but even I would be pretty excited to have done that.

  5. Posted on March 16, 2013 at 4:50 am by Susan Nelson

    What a greatly entertaining post! The look on your son’s face as he is sitting in front of the wheel is priceless…..a guys dream! Thank you for a fun post!! And for your boldness to go “Lamborghining!”

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