GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Friday, November 9, 2018

Ferrari GTO and curves

Putting together this short montage of me in GTO 3987 on Mulholland with the theme Michael Chanslor composed and performed for my series Elysée Wednesday: Drive!, I started thinking about not just my favorite roads but my favorite curves and two came immediately to mind.

The first is in Coldwater Canyon heading from Beverly Hills towards the Valley and you come upon it as you make the transition from the Beverly Hills environment--paving and architecture--to that of the Valley--ranch-style homes albeit expensive. This particular curve is a constant radius left-hander that I think of as the Karussell for those familiar with the Nürburgring. It is fast a curve and, since there are no driveways or cross traffic in that area, can be negotiated at speed. It might surprise you to know that my favorite car for negotiating this curve was my Maserati Quattroporte--the balance and handling made it perfect for accepting the challenge of this particular curve.

The second is in Laurel Canyon. As you start up the hill leaving the Valley, you come upon a right-hander that is followed by a left as you make your way up towards Mulholland. More often than not, as I drove this stretch of road, I was in a high-performance car of some description (though I never let the fact that I was in a Cadillac El Dorado, a VW bug or a clapped-out Corvair effect my driving technique one iota) which served as a challenge to other drivers on this bit of road and those who know me understand 'semper contendere'...

The secret to this turn is knowing that everyone, repeat everyone, backs off at the approach to this right-hander--everyone except me, that is. I found that you could accelerate right on through the curve and maintain your speed going into the left-hander that followed. The camber of the road made this possible and every time I flew through those two curves, I gave thanks to the engineers who must surely have been racing enthusiasts at heart. Understanding this meant that I was two to three car lengths ahead of whatever Porsche or Corvette and was putting up a challenge--even when I was in the El Dorado (!!).

I have other favorite curves but few that I drove as often as these two...

By the way, did anyone notice what the GTO's tell-tale is indicating in the clip?

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