By: Mr. Slide
The years 2004 – 2009 were frightening times for many people. Underpowered, eco-friendly, cars were becoming more and more popular. Thousands of people were being robbed of truly great driving experiences. An entire generation of Americans was being taught that cars were predictable, boring, and homogenous. The dark-ages of the common car were poisoning the driving experience.
An Expensive Light in the Darkness
The general consensus among automotive historians on early/mid 2000s supercars is that past and future models were/are better. Mr. Power and I tend to agree with this. Back then; it was rare for someone to physically seek out (and pay for) a magnificent driving experience. Thankfully, that didn’t stop Ferrari from making one.
Introducing the Ferrari F430, produced from 2004 – 2009, amidst the height of the underpowered eco-friendly plague. With it’s 4.3L naturally aspirated V8 it kicked out 483hp. You’re probably thinking, “hey, if I wait a few years later I could get a much better car in the Ferrari 458.” The 458 is a juicier car, however, there’s something special about the humble F430. It has a gated manual transmission.
Harmonically orchestrate your own experience behind the wheel of the F430. Slam that shifter through the gears while climbing up to 200mph. Listen to the magnificent grumbling noises while heel-toeing and controlling everything yourself. This is a Ferrari you can HAMMER. It’s all about the driving experience with the F430, and the gated shifter simply amplifies it. You don’t just sit back and hit the gas, like with modern supercars (458!!), you’re the boss, you’re calling the shots.
It was half the cost of the 458 but twice the involvement. Unfortunately, Ferrari will never make this gearbox again. In fact, they don’t plan on making any manual production cars ever again.
Cash in on Control
That can only mean one thing…the Ferrari F430 manual is a fantastic investment car. They are just coming out of Ferrari’s seven-year, unlimited mileage, warranty — making them less expensive to buy. Right now they are selling for about $100,000. Scoop one of these up, drive it like crazy, and have fun. Then stuff it in your garage and hang on to it for a decade or two. Pretty soon the F430 will be considered vintage and collectors will be willing to pay a fortune for that manual transmission.
People forget that there were in fact cool cars produced in the early 2000s. The Ferrari F430 is an interesting car, and certainly one that you can enjoy driving. It represents a changing in times for Ferrari; and highlights the beauty of heel-toeing, shifting, and conducting the orchestra.
 The remnants of these times can still be felt today.