They’re Not All Giving Up

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What makes a Ferrari worth Ferrari money?

It isn’t a battery.

Chief Technology Officer Michael Hugo Leiters says it’s a V12. The engine that makes a Ferrari sound like one. Not “virtually,” as via the emission of a recording, in the manner of remembering what something used to sound like. The real thing, right now. Leiters says people buy Ferraris for performance and emotion – his word – the latter being something as absent from electric cars as beef is from the Impossible Burger.

The engine defines what a Ferrari is; without it, what you have is what everyone else already has.

Put another way, Ferrari aims to do what Tesla did, except in reverse.

When Tesla began selling cars, it was the only car company selling electric cars. It thus presented something different – as opposed to something the same. A silent Tesla was the opposite of a V12-powered Ferrari such as the 812 GTS recently unveiled in Maranello – Ferrari’s headquarters in Italy. Both are extremely quick cars, but how they are quick is what makes each car not a replication of the other car. The Tesla’s driver stands on the accelerator pedal – EVs have no gas pedal – and the car surges forward silently.

There is no mechanical music accompanying this ride.

In the Ferrari, there is – even before the light turns green. There is the sound of the idling V12 engine, which sounds like no other engine. This mechanical aliveness has a pulse, the life-signs evident by the tach needle’s movement. One feels the V12 moving, even before the car does. It inhales – and exhales – just like a living thing.

This is everything, in terms of what makes a Ferrari not a Tesla.

It is not as tangible a thing as how-quickly-to-60, the one-dimensional thing often touted by Tesla and other electric car manufacturers about their cars. But Leiters’ insight is that zero-to-60 is not everything.

Particularly when it is the same thing.

One way to understand Leiters’ insight is to consider not the latest V-12 powered Ferrari but any V-12 powered Ferrari, relative to a Tesla (or any other electric high-performance car). A 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was powered by a 4.4 liter V12 that made about 352 horsepower – and got to 60 in about 5 seconds. A new Tesla S is much more powerful and twice as quick.

Which would you rather drive?

Some of you will say the Tesla – of course. But some of would say something different.

In a free market, everyone could choose to drive the one they liked best. And then the market would determine which one is best.

Ferrari is attempting to hold the line on this idea, even as the pressure – from government – mounts to make everyone make the same things. “The challenges,” Leiters says politely, “are always getting more and more complicated, but we will fight for it.”

“It” being the engine that is the beating heart of a Ferrari.

Without which there is Ferrari. Or at least, no more point to making them.

This is the insight underlying the insight; it is the same elemental one that motivates any living thing to seek food and water, without which it will die. The emotion of Ferrari is key to the survival of Ferrari. It may be less key to those companies who mostly build appliances, in which case it may matter less whether there is an engine or a battery under the extruded plastic shape.

But it is not an irrelevance.

Other car companies whistle past the graveyard by abandoning what made their cars different from the cars made by everyone else. Or even by themselves, as GM didn’t learn when it transitioned from what had been for many decades very successful independent brands subsumed under the GM corporate umbrella, such as Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Saturn – into sellers of the same things, branded differently. That is why, today, there are no new Oldsmobiles or Pontiacs – yet there is persistent love for the ones that used to be made, before they became all the same things.

Interestingly, the chief reason why GM stopped making Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs – or rather, stopped letting Oldsmobile build Oldsmobiles and Pontiac build Pontiacs – is the same reason GM and practically every other car company still in business is transitioning to making nothing except electric cars.

GM could not rise to the “challenges” Leiters mentioned – by which he meant government regulations.

Pontiac and Olds used to build their own engines (this lasted until the early-mid 1980s) and these were different from the engines built by Chevrolet and Cadillac. It gave people a reason to prefer a Pontiac or an Olds over a Chevy – one that went beyond price as well as badge. People bought Pontiacs rather than Fords, too.

Because of the emotional appeal of something different.

But government wanted them all the same – though this was not admitted openly until recently. The “emissions” bogey served as a front – and it worked. We are now within sight of its apotheosis, the electric appliance. Some are quicker than others. But they’re all the same.

Except for some, like the latest Ferrari 812.

It arouses feelings no EV can muster, no matter how quickly the latter gets to 60.

. . .

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  1. “Appliances” (implied, “electric plug in appliances”)
    Not motors. Not engines. Not cars.

    Well said, EP, well said.

  2. Outside of the track, driving fast cars fast is a way to get killed or in jail. Driving slow cars fast is fun! Miatas or my current Crosstrek or late 90s Honda vtecs will probably be it for me, just wind them out.

    • Is your Crosstrek the manual? I ordered one a 2023 after Eric’s review. One of the last manuals available. It works well for me. Have put about 200 miles on it so far. Little small for me, but a manual.

  3. Works of art outside, inside, even under the hood. A guy in the Alfa club invited me over after a meeting to see his dad’s Ferrari Daytona. What a machine, then he opened the hood, we both ohh’d and ahh’d over that glorious engine and how it was complimented by that gorgeous engine bay. Daddio came out and fired it up for us, oh my.

  4. When I was in Italy some months back rented a Maserati for going around the Lake Como area. There was so much wrong with it as a practical car, but what made it stick out was the engine note…. what happened when you push the gas was amazing…. fine a Tesla is probably faster and in reality a German more practical but in reality i dont think anyone would notice a tesla or something the way they would a Maserati…..

  5. Ten out of ten, Eric. Fifty years of working on Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lambo and others – and I still have to wipe my eyes and calm the body twitches as I see another of these wonderful cars at speed. I’ve driven more than most (Test Drives). And there is never enough.
    The newer Ferrari’s (the 812) are F-1 stuff. How can anyone compare these masterpieces to some dang electric car?
    The first Countach I worked on belonged to a Saudi Prince attending USIU in San Diego. Bright red with white leather interior. I was in LA as they unloaded it out of the cargo bay of a Jet. He’d been “shopping” in Switzerland and the car still had the Swiss plates. He grinned at me and said “Get In!” I did and he drove it off the tarmac (with the security detail trying to catch us).
    I spent those 50 years working on such cars because I loved it and I still do. The owners were as much fun as the cars because the cars – the owners – and I all spoke the same language.
    Thanks for the article, well-written as always. Ken

    • Thanks, Doc!

      I envy your having had the good fortune to be in regular close contact with some of the most beautiful things ever conjured by human hands. I have often thought, per one of the comments here, of finding a way to get an old 308 or even a Dino. These are within reach of people who aren’t exactly flush, such as your friend the prince. But for the present I must content myself with my old Pontiac!

      • Eric.
        Keep the Pontiac! Forget the (Fag) Ferrari’s. You’d never be happy in either. At least I never was. It would be so easy to make a comparison of those cars to the woman you love, and all the others. There is only one True Love and there will always ONLY be ONE Ferrari and she comes with a V12. Only. They just have a “Sound” when they are On-The-Cam. Awesome. Unforgettable. Just like her…

        Just read your GM Camaro article. Keep ’em coming, great work and thanks.

  6. I always thought the Pantera had a great sound and look. Maybe not a Ferrari, but I fell in love with the Pantera because in the beginnings of the 1970s there was nothing like it. This is about the same time that Nixon birthed that monstrosity known as the EPA.

  7. One of the great blessings I have is the wealth of different engines in my garage.
    There’s a turbocharged inline 6 that while muffled by the snails of power, still has a nice roar when you give it the lash. It can be a little laggy off the line, but when the boost gauge swings into the red, WATCH OUT or the back end will step out like Trump on all of his wives.

    The V-8 in my truck burbles to life like a living thing and the Borlas make it sound particularly throaty with a ka-chug-ka-chug-ka-chug.

    The V-6 in my rear wheel daily drive has a raspy tone, but growls like a beast when you hit the higher parts of its rev range. I even like the sound of the V-6 in my wife’s SUV.

    All different types of engine. The only kind of diversity I like. With EVs, the sameness won’t make people have an affinity for their cars, which is the point. That’s why these automakers talk about “mobility” services instead of DRIVING. They’re all headed to their doom in the vain hopes that the threadbare, tyrannical governments of the West will bail them out of their stupidity.

    To paraphrase the knight said in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, they chose poorly.

  8. Ford is going to show everyone how the EV sausage is made.

    It’s not expected to be pretty. From link:

    Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas expects Ford Model e to have negative gross margins of between 10% and 20% with adjusted EBIT margins of between negative 20% and negative 30%. Both would imply significant losses.


    Morgan Stanley’s Jonas said Ford’s new reporting structure should “confirm our view that the ICE business (Ford Blue) is highly cash flow generative and currently funding the capital consuming EV business.”

    The takeaway everyone knew already? Buy a new Ford and fund the “transition” to EVs. No thanks.

  9. Electric vehicles in their present state are “not ready for prime time” and are being “pushed” on an unsuspecting, largely ignorant, gullible public by insane government edict.

    From a scientific and technical standpoint, today’s electric vehicles are “playthings for the rich”.

    From a political standpoint, the elites HATE the masses as the “elites” HATE the fact that today’s ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles allow the masses (us) to go where they (we) want, when they (we) want at any time with few, if little restrictions. Unrestricted mobility for the masses is something that the elites HATE. It’s about CONTROL. It’s ALWAYS about CONTROL.

    Let’s look at the technical side of electric vehicles vs. ICE vehicles. Range is a large factor in the desirability of ICE vehicles vs. today’s electric vehicles. One can fuel up an ICE vehicle in approximately five minutes and be on his way.

    Not so for electric vehicles. Quite often electric vehicle charging stations are few and far between, which contributes to “range anxiety”. The situation will improve as time goes on, but in today’s world, electric vehicles are impractical. For short hops and city driving, electric vehicles can be an ideal solution, but for extended “road trips” forget it.

    Electric vehicle batteries lose power even when the vehicle is not in use. Add to that, cold weather and the use of accessories (air conditioning, lights, etc) will reduce range considerably. Electric vehicles may be somewhat suitable for a California climate, but will fail in sub-zero Michigan winter snow and ice.

    Batteries can be charged only to 80% of full capacity as overcharging will reduce battery life considerably. “Fast charging” is also detrimental to battery life. It’s all about time and convenience vs. battery life.

    Gasoline and diesel fuel has an large energy content (density) in a small package, something that, in their present stages of development, electrical vehicles cannot achieve.

    Let’s make a comparison…gasoline contains approximately 33.7 kwh per gallon. A gallon of gasoline weighs approximately 6.1 lbs. The typical ICE vehicle can hold about 15 gallons of gasoline with a weight of approximately 90 lbs. total, with a total energy content of approximately 500 kwh.

    Keep in mind that high-end electric vehicles have an energy capacity of approximately 120 kwh. This is equal to less than four gallons of gasoline. The typical electric vehicle has a 75 kwh battery pack, equivalent to approximately 2 ½ gallons of gasoline.

    Keep in mind that the battery pack weight is well over 2000 lbs (1 ton) and still has a limited energy capacity compared to gasoline. The typical electric vehicles weighs approximately 2 ½ tons (5000 lbs.), having to haul around a heavy battery pack. This also contributes to “wear and tear” on other automotive systems such as brakes and tires. (Yes, I am aware that regenerative braking exists and is a part of electric vehicle technology).

    From an environmental standpoint, lithium is nasty stuff, reacts with water violently and is much more volatile than gasoline. Electric vehicle accidents are much more hazardous than those of ICE vehicles. Water cannot be used to put out a lithium battery pack fire.

    Yes, gasoline is dangerous, but we have learned to control it and live with it for over 100 years successfully.

    Oil, being abiotic, and NOT a “fossil fuel” is a renewable resource, constantly being created by yet-unknown process within the earth. There are not enough decayed “fossils” within the earth to support the mount of oil that we are harvesting.

    There may come a time with battery technology “breakthroughs” but just not now.

    • > Electric vehicles may be somewhat suitable for a California climate

      That should read “California [coastal] climate”
      Even in SoCal, there is plenty of snow in he mountains.

      There are three 10,000 ft. mountain peaks in SoCal, namely Mt. San Antonio, Mt. San Jacinto, and Mt. San Gorgonio, known as the “Three Saints,” and an aerial tram, the Palm Springs Tramway, which climbs Mt. San Jacinto from the desert floor. The hiking trail from Palm Springs to the top of Mt. San Jacinto, known as “Cactus to Clouds” is one of the more challenging in existence, going from desert heat to technical ice climbing in one day, and is *NOT* for the ill prepared.

      Mountain communities such as Wrightwood, Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs, and Big Bear Lake get plenty of snow in winter, and not infrequently are snowed in until the roads are cleared.

      Farther north, Mammoth Lakes experiences an average of 206 inches of snow per year (much more this winter), and Mammoth Mountain is a famous ski area. According to Wikipedia, “In the wake of the 2022–2023 California floods, Mammoth Lakes was the snowiest place in North America.”

      Tioga Pass, the eastern entry to Yosemite National Park, has an elevation of 9945 ft.
      Again according to Wikipedia, “The pass is subject to winter closure due to high snowfall, normally from around the end of October until the end of May the following year, though these dates are subject to considerable variation. In heavy snow years, the road has closed in early October, and has remained closed as late as early July.”


  10. I read somewhere on an auto enthusiast site that Ferrari is a “racing company that sells cars”. I think this is true. Some people race to sell production cars (Race on Sunday, sell on Monday) but Ferrari is the exact opposite: Sell M-F, so you can race on Saturday.

  11. Back before my church bowed down to our satanic governor and closed the doors for WuFlu, there was somebody there that had a Jaguar with a V12. I loved hearing that car run!

  12. I always wondered about the practical matter of autobahn lane discipline and yielding to the passing vehicle. Looks like you end up spending most of your time waiting for slowpokes to get out of the way, just without having to watch out for Smokey.

    Governments consider having an automobile manufacturing industry to be one of the “Crown Jewels” of a nation. This is a problem if you’re a politican who’s convinced petroleum is evil, corporations are wicked, and consumers are sinful. What do you do? Announce that $1.6T of economic activity should’t exist? Slow down economic activity to mass transit speeds? Time is money after all, and cooling your heels on a light rail platform is going to cost society a lot of lost productivity. Take away internal combustion and people will starve, there’s no getting around that.

  13. Great article. One way an EV company could differentiate itself is by offering a lifetime warranty on the batteries; for example: at you can buy 2 Ridgid batteries for $99 with a bag and charger, well worth considering. I concede a car company couldn’t afford to do this, but maybe someday?
    Either way a car running on batteries will be like the used cordless tool with dead batteries at a thrift store; a liability soon to go to the dump. This might explain why people who love cars tend to prefer ICE vehicles. On the other hand while car company’s like to brag about how long their cars last I’m guessing they don’t make much money if you’re still driving it 20 years later. Just saying.

  14. Before making the decision that “I’ll never be able to afford one” check eBay or better yet the Ferrari Market Letter. You can buy 1983-6 Mondial QV Cabriolets (32 valve V8 convertibles) for 35-45K all day long. 308s (Magnum PI cars) go from 50-80K. Webber carbs, V8s and sexy as F. There are a LOT of Ferraris under the price of a Ford F250 Limited. Don’t be fooled by the asking price- they tend to ask 25-30% higher than they sell for.

    It takes an open mind to consider things you have been told all you life are “not for you, looser”.

    My 1st Ferrari was a 1984 Mondial QV Cab in red/black- $30K. I was single. Women literally ask to jump in and ride with you. Some offer “ahem” that thing we all like while driving. It’s amazing. For 30 lousy grand! I literally sold my Dodge Dakota and became a Ferrari man. It changed my life. Suddenly I wasn’t a chubby nerd mortgage broker. For 30 lousy grand!

    Oh, and yes I got married 3 years later and the wife declared that the Ferrari was HER car! I was back to the sedan.

    Unhappy ending: A teenager messing with her phone ran a red light and hit the Ferrari in the passenger door- hard. The car was totaled. My wife and 2 young daughters were in the car at the time. All 3 unharmed thank God. Because I was a married man and had small children the insurance money went to needs more pressing than another Ferrari.

    • Hi Senior,

      Thank you for pointing that out – that Ferraris are not necessarily unaffordable. The 308 (Magnum Ferrari) may not be very quick but the sound of it is enough. And the looks, too!

      • Oh yes, the sound…..I nearly needed a drool rag listening to it. I mean, I’m sorry, but who in the hell wants an EV, when you can listen to that on your way to work (or the grocery store)? 😀

    • ‘Oh, and yes I got married 3 years later and the wife declared that the Ferrari was HER car!’

      ah HA HA HA … great plot twist! And prolly no more “ahem” that thing either.

      This heart of mine could never see
      What everybody knew but me
      Just trusting you was my great sin
      What can I do — you win again

      — Hank Williams, You Win Again

      • Same thing with Challengers and the Dukes of Hazard……… but that is when I discovered cars could be like that, unlike the very lame cars of the early 1980’s. Cars like those could be characters, a Tesla never could be.

    • The people I know that bought Ferrari’s didn’t like the dealers…very expensive rip off…that is why Jay Leno doesn’t own one….

      If you could find an independent repair shop it would be better and cheaper…..

      I prefer the older Porsche’s they are next step down in prestige, but are well engineered and great driver’s cars.

      If you want something more unique and more fun to drive get, a Super 7, far simpler, easier to repair, cheaper parts, will get far more attention everywhere….the most photographed car….

      • If you drive a Ferrari or Porsche you will get a negative response from people….they think you are some old rich guy and don’t want to stroke your ego.

        In a Super 7 you get a very positive response for some reason…it looks completely different then anything else on the road…people seem to like it….it gets photographed more then anything…..

  15. I’d need 10,000,000 dollars in the bank to buy a Ferrari.
    I’m short 9,999,000 dollars. I do what I can, doesn’t always pay what you want it to. The Expedition would require a bank account of only 2,000,000, I’ll have to save a couple of million there too.

    I’ll have to settle for not as much, I don’t live on the French Riviera. I would have the Ferrari if I lived in France. If I win the lotto, I’ll buy both.

    You definitely want an engine under the hood, gas or diesel, if you want a choice.

    At 51 you are ready to do something else, what you have been doing for a long time is old and you aren’t in the shape you once were, so you make changes. Your eyes get old and you can’t see as you once could.

    You buy some acreage and start something different.

    Americans drive cars for two reasons, they move them there faster than all other modes of transportation that travels on the ground and the convenience of a car being readily available to go anywhere now. Millions of cars because that is what the preferred choice is to get you where you want to go.

    Planes, trains, and ships are not as easy to get around in.

    50 miles in a stagecoach is going to be grueling ride, take you all of two days. A loaded ox cart will make seven miles a day.

    Automobiles out distance horses 20 to 1.

  16. ‘There is no mechanical music accompanying this [Tesla] ride.’ — eric

    Whereas the following video “Novitec Ferrari 812” offers a soul-stirring V12 snarl … and not through no ’22-speaker sound system’ either.

    On his autostrada joyride, the Ferrari driver hits 285 km/h (177 mph). Yowsa! Minor cavil: I could do without the digital speedo, which reminds one of a pedestrian bank sign flashing the time and temperature. But that’s like complaining about a scar on the upper lip of a hot supermodel.

    Just yesterday, the wokesters at Ape News covered a March 20th event in Las Vegas — unveiling of the 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 — which Eric has commented about previously. Listen to this limp-wristed, pencil-necked girly-man, prostrating himself:

    ‘Tim Kuniskis, CEO of the Dodge brand and the unofficial spokesman for America’s gas-powered rubber-burners, said that, while he’ll miss the traditional muscle, he’s excited about making electric performance vehicles.

    ‘“It’s the end of an era, for sure,” he said Monday. “Electric products, they’re very fast. Muscle cars, one of the primary ingredients is to be a fast accelerating car. So I’ve automatically got the power. Now I’ve just got to figure out ways to bring all the other elements in of the excitement of the driving experience.”

    By ‘other elements,’ he means that ’22-speaker sound system’ noted above.

    Three words, Timmy: fuck that noise.

    • Hi Jim,

      I feel sympathy for Kuniskis, whom I’ve met. He’s in an impossible position, probably contractually. It’s his job to do what his corporate overlords order him to, much as I know for a fact he does not want to. I suppose he could just quit – which is what I’d do.

    • At a certain point it becomes not how fast the car will go but how much fun you have driving it. An aging sport sedan with the base engine will be funner than an EV that drives itself whilst you work on a spreadsheet from work. Just saying.

      • I have an old, 2007 WRX, with 254,000 miles on it, which is semi-retired. I just replaced the original clutch at 219,000 miles, which is a record, I hear, at the dealership I go to for the maintenance. I can figure taking that out for a spin (it cruises nicely at eighty-hee hee) is far more fun than any EV any day of the week. Hearing the air whoosh through the hood scoop is far more exhilarating than anything an EV could come up with. Never mind being reminded of how fun it is to drive a manual.

  17. Hats off to Ferrari! Though I will never be able to afford one, it is very awesome and encouraging that they are holding the line because otherwise, they may as well just stop making them. An electric motor driven Ferrari would be an abomination.

    I’ve read some stories lately that the Germans are pushing the EU for exceptions to the ICE ban. They want some sort of “e fuel” or whatever. Too little too late IMO. The Germans enthusiastically made the EU the liberal, virtue signaling, idiocracy that it has become.

    The country (Germany) is to the EU as all too-many auto manufacturers are to the EV agenda. They could have fought but elected to not do so. Especially German manufacturers like Audi and BMW.

    It’s not surprising that European auto manufacturers happily went along with the eurofag agenda but it is absolutely unforgiveable that American manufacturers did. They all deserve the catastrophe that they have so diligently created.

    Have you read the articles about repossessions in ZeroHedge (or elsewhere) lately? And because of that and the small-bank crisis (also largely due to the ESG fallacy), “less qualified” applicants are not getting auto loans. So the people that got talked into that bullshit, that thought they could eke by, are going down in droves. And the people that were trying to get it together for something in the future, are now seeing that slip over the other side of the horizon.

    All the ESG shit, all the climate bull-fuckery, all the LGBTQ insanity, all the equity, the diversity, and especially *the* tool they thought would bring it all together… the covid hoax… has come together for the perfect storm.

    They burned the house down and are still pretending “this is fine”. As the Japanese would say after WW2, now that I have no roof, I have a better view of the moon. Enjoy your view!

    • ‘As the Japanese would say after WW2, now that I have no roof, I have a better view of the moon.’ — XM

      And to creatively misquote Japan’s wartime emperor, ‘The EeeVee situation has developed not necessarily to Ford’s [and GM’s, and Dodge’s] advantage.’

      As it was for the late Silicon Valley Bank, so it shall be for these lumbering losers, who didn’t even understand what business they were in.

      • I read the above article this morning, Anonymous. Who can afford $1,000 dollar-a-month car payments? For those who took out adjustable-rate loans, that is? Yes, the used car market just got hotter. And for others, they will be holding onto that old car or truck far longer than they thought.

  18. Ferrari not signing onto the suicide pact the rest of the car makers have? I fail to understand why car makers would dedicate the future of their business to a thing few people can afford, and few of those that can are interested in, except for virtue signaling or gadget fascination. Both of which are temporary market influences. “Let’s get on board with reducing the market by 80 or 90%. We’re sure we can make profits that way.”
    Perhaps they could have done what some of my neighborhood gas stations have done, posting on the pump how much of the price is State and Federal TAXES. Car makers could do the same with the window sticker, showing how much of the price was “Carbon” penalties. Showing folks the source of the increased price. A target for their pent up rage.

      • And even if I could afford one (which is a no-fucken-way scenario to be clear), I still need something that I can haul the wife, all her shit, and the dog, for a 5 hour trip to PA to visit the family for 4+ days.

        Ferrari is way cool and, if I win the lottery one of these days, I’d love to have one but that’s not likely — especially since I don’t play the lottery!

        But I still think it’s encouraging and makes me a bit happier today, that somebody, somewhere, will still stand on principle, if only for the moment.

      • Hi John,

        That is true as regards new Ferraris, but – as a new poster here was pointed out – there are affordable used Ferraris available and in some ways, these are to be preferred over the new in that the old ones have carbs and can be maintained by the owner, if he’s good with a wrench…

        • “Affordable” is a subjective and relative thing. Given the current US economic trajectory, a thing that just keeps getting lower and lower for most of us. Damn few of us could just write a check for one, and I suspect that with the increase in auto loan qualification requirements, and lenders hesitancy to finance used cars to begin with, they may not be as affordable as they look. But for those who can write such a check (that doesn’t bounce), or can get financing, they do look like good deals indeed.

  19. Oh yeah baaby! I practically passed out just watching this thing passing every car like they were stopped. It sounded mad when the driver had to slow down, like it was snarling at hm!


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