There comes a time in the life of every aspiring journalist when he must put himself at risk of great personal peril in order to bring you a major developing story. Some go to treacherous riot zones and cover dangerous looting. Others go undercover to bring you tales of corruption and greed. As for me, I recently had to spend about 45 minutes standing out in the rain.
You'd know this if you followed me on Twitter, because I recently posted a picture of my Ferrari sitting outside, in the rain, getting wet. This is a major no-no in the exotic car world, and several people responded with comments like: "OH NO!!! THE RAIN!!" and "IT'S GOING TO MELT!!!" and "Doug, this is your mother. You need to get a real job."
All of this got me thinking. Not about getting a real job, of course; that ship sailed months ago, when I discovered the simple everyday pleasure of watching Drew Carey give away stainless steel kitchen appliances to screaming Nebraskans on The Price Is Right. No, these Twitter remarks got me thinking about a far more important topic: the intersection of rain and exotic cars. So I decided to make a little video showing you the some of the serious risks you take when you drive your exotic car in wet weather.
Now, if you're not heavily into the exotic car scene, you might be a little confused by all this. After all, we're talking about water here: the same stuff you use to shower; the same stuff you use to give your child a bath; the same stuff you use to spit on the homeless. Water isn't really dangerous, is it?! Well, ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly the same attitude everyone had on the Titanic, and look what happened to them.
Plus, there has long been a stigma about driving expensive exotic cars in the rain. If you don't believe me, I must point you to this thread on FerrariChat, which starts off with a post containing the statement "my car hasn't been wet in three years," and continues on for several pages about whether or not you should avoid applying water to Ferrari paint. When you read this stuff, you get the sense that some Ferrari owners think that, upon completing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo turned his attention to a 348 Spider.
I've never really understood this attitude for one very simple reason. That reason is – and I'm going to let you in on a little secret here, so prepare yourself to be completely shocked – A FERRARI IS JUST A CAR. That's right, folks: yes, it's cool-looking, and wide, and low to the ground, and brightly colored. And yes, you can see the engine through that window in the back. But at its core, it has four wheels, an engine, some seats, and – yes, it's true! – paint that isn't damaged by small specks of liquid falling from the sky.
I think the attached video very much proves this point, but for those of you who are stuck in a videoless work environment, devoid of fun and co-workers who would otherwise spend hours watching Russian dash cam footage, allow me to explain what happens. First, I drive the Ferrari in the rain. Then, I drive the Ferrari in the rain. And then, at the end of the video, the Ferrari is fine, but I look like someone who just did the Ice Bucket Challenge, except the ice bucket was a backyard swimming pool, and the challenge was "See how long you can stay in with your clothes on!"
I must admit, however, that the "don't drive it in the rain" people do make one good point. And that is: yes, you can drive the Ferrari in the rain. But the simple truth is that you probably shouldn't.
One reason is that you can't do anything when it's raining out. For instance: on normal, sunny days, I like to take the Ferrari out and really open it up. By this, I mean that I drive downtown and cruise along at seven miles per hour, revving the engine loudly and looking around to see if anyone notices me. But you can't do that when it's raining out, because everyone is huddled under umbrellas, afraid to get wet, as if their skin is made of Ferrari paint. Oh, and also: when it's raining out, you can't drive very fast, if you're into that sort of thing.
The other problem with driving the Ferrari in the rain is that it isn't very high off the ground. So when you're cruising along and a big SUV kicks up water from the pavement, it generally shields the Ferrari in this thick mist of liquid, which prevents anyone from seeing it. So as you drive along, you're constantly fearful that someone will sideswipe the Ferrari, or rear-end it, or bump into it, and then they'll get out and scream "I NO SEE YOU!!!" while presenting an insurance card that's handwritten on a piece of lined notebook paper.
In other words, I don't really suggest driving an exotic car in the rain. But if you do, at least we've learned something from my high-risk journalistic research endeavor: it won't melt.
@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He owned an E63 AMG wagon and once tried to evade police at the Tail of the Dragon using a pontoon boat. (It didn't work.) He worked as a manager for Porsche Cars North America before quitting to become a writer, largely because it meant he no longer had to wear pants. Also, he wrote this entire bio himself in the third person.