You have seen with wonder and awe the strength of the Red Dragon. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is in your nature to do one thing correctly.Tremble." --Thomas Harris, "Red Dragon"
And so it goes with the Ferrari Enzo, the god of all motored things, a car some believe to be the ultimate incarnation of the man-machine interface. Bow down, all who are not worthy.
I spent the better part of two days basking in the light of this Enzo. Merely being in its exhaust wake reduced my voice to the hushed whisper usually reserved for a house of worship. Sure, it's just a car, a machine comprised of so much metal, plastic and glass, but it's also a showcase for Maranello's best thinkers and tinkerers.
This Ferrari has been the star of more than a few auto shows, for the simple reason that it's an Enzo, one of 399 examples found in the entire world. The fact that folks are shelling out upwards of one million dollars to park an Enzo in their garages doesn't hurt, either. The owner of this car actually has a pair of Enzos, this red job and a screaming yellow zonker terrorizing the Canadian Territories. But more than just color differentiates these rides. The car featured on these pages has actually been customized by the crew at West Coast Customs (WCC), actions which no doubt left Enzo Ferrari spinning in his grave on the high side of 8000 rpm.
WCC has built a reputation on creating custom rides for such luminaries as Shaquille O'Neal, Mystikal and Tracy McGrady--basically guys who have more money than their employers. WCC recently finished a 2003 Bentley Arnage T, stretching it three feet with custom bodywork and installing proprietary suspension and bling-bling running gear. The car also included a high-end AV system, internet connection, wet bar and refrigerator. Apparently the boys from Bentley liked it so much, they wanted to buy it. Would the crew from Modena feel the same way about this ride? Given their elitist attitude, probably not. You buy a Ferrari and worship it. Modifying perfection takes a lot of sand.
Straight from the factory, the Enzo's cockpit is a fairly Spartan piece of work. Basically, you get a pair of seats and a steering wheel. WCC made it a bit more hospitable with a custom-fabricated radio box located between the seats and small but potent hidden drivers. WCC also included a Clifford alarm, as the factory does not offer this kind of protection as an option (where are you going to sell a hot Enzo?). The Enzo rides on an Eibach-developed suspension with forged GFC running gear and Pirelli rubber. Actually, the car was fitted with black GFCs on one side and silver on the other--the owner has yet to decide which color looks better.
Although this Enzo lacks the advanced level of aftermarket development usually seen within this magazine, it still remains the most stunning car I have ever photographed. Moreover, it sounds like an F1 car, ripping the air with waves of raw sound and revving with preternatural speed. Our test drive was on public roadways, which gave us a good impression of what it would be like to live with such a beast. It's actually quite comfortable, certainly better than the F40, which was akin to driving a carbon-fiber box with a huge engine. As traffic opened up, I selected a shorter, paddle-shifted gear and let loose. With an indicated 150 mph on the speedo, coming up in about the same time it takes to read this sentence, I pulled over, got out and prostrated myself in front of the Enzo.
"I am not worthy," I whispered.