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We checked out the Ferrari press conference this morning, and were particularly stoked on Brand Manager-type Antonio Ghini's comments on the marque to the effect that although they've grown to sales of over 5,000 units worldwide, they're still the same. We've known some who complain that new Ferraris don't have the character of the older cars. Well, no, but the Cayman doesn't have the character of a 550 Coupe either, but it still seems like a damn fine ride to us.

As Bumbeck pointed out, few companies that're still around have stuck to their guns in the way that Ferrari has. While we think they go overboard with the trinkets and gewgaws bearing their logo (what does a surfboard have to do with Ferrari?), it pales in comparison to the amount of crap one can buy with the Chevy or Ford logo on it.

Then they announced the F430 Challenge car, which we all knew was coming, anyway. But massive weight-reduction surgery has resulted in 400 lbs less weight. We still don't think the 430's quite as sexy as the 360 was, but the Challenge car looks fully badass. Gentleman racers are stoked.

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And then some schmoe from The Robb Report got up and announced that the F430 Spider was their pick for the best car of 2005. Dorky-looking with bad hair, the guy attempted (and miserably failed) to wax eloquent on the joys of driving through Napa in a Ferrari, in a futile effort to create some kind of aura of superiority. It wasn't about the wonder of the car. It was about the wonder of looking like a rich man.

At that point, we turned to Bumbeck and said, "This guy's a fucking ass."

"Yeah, let's get out of here." So we bailed on that scene.

And besides, as Bumbeck pointed out, Napa's actually pretty white-trash. Although we will say it possesses the best IHOP we've ever eaten at.


Dear Ferrari: Next time one of your fine automobiles wins "Car of the Year" from Jalopnik, please put us on the podium. Inviting that schmuck was the worst brand-management decision you made all day. And we promise we'll wear something nicer than our orange H sker D t-shirt. We'll put our navy Dolce & Gabbana jacket on over it and change into a clean pair of Chucks.

It's Official: Ferrari F430 is Jalopnik's Car of the Year