“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”
Legends and myths is what makes the real world a little more of a fairy tale and allow us to have just one more tale to tell to our friends and relatives. Literature is the discipline entitled to entertain us with all time classics, usually associated as the ultimate lullaby for 16 year old students at high school. Cars are sometimes like mythical creatures: unlike the ones literature writes about, you can meet them in real world, touch them and if you’re lucky, drive them.
Upon meeting the Maserati MC12, the Tridente’s almost forgotten supercar, all that boring hours spent in the classroom listening to our literature teacher paid off well: literature is fun and Moby Dick is real. Seeing one is not as common as you would think,
A V12 white (and blue) all carbon whale, is a sight to behold for only 25 were made back in 2004 by Maserati. Calling it a rebodied and rebadged Ferrari Enzo will upset the establishment a little bit, but the truth is that it looks and feels like a Maserati. To see one on the road, with no particular event taking place, riding around the roads surrounding Porto Rotondo in Sardinia, is quite a sight. Enthusiasts will remember the MC12 for its victories in the great GT1 class, ran with great success all over the world and because it was the car that embodied the comeback of Maserati to competition, after 37 long years.
“All you mast-headers, now hear me. You’re to look for a white whale. A whale as white as wool after shearing.”
To meet one, you need to keep your eyes open and be on watch all the time. Going out in one feels like the end of a long hunt, for a mighty creature, one that embodies the dreams and hopes of car enthusiasts: if you want to be in one, you just have to hunt for one. Of course, the maritime setting of Sardinia helped immerse a little more into a Moby Dick kind of atmosphere: the hunt was successful and my ears were shattered by the raspy growl of this 6 liter and 630 hp V12.
A Maserati equipped with a V12 is a sight to behold: the noblest of combustion engines, paired with one of the nobles Brands ever. If you remember Fangio’s 1957 V12 250F Formula 1 car, you can probably see why this car is special. Unofficial testing showed that it had more downforce of the Enzo and with the possibility of having the targa roof removed it was more enjoyable, to some extent. The style created by Giorgetto Giugiaro is quite stunning and it makes a large car look even larger and wider, just like a giant whale, spitting flames and making a great sound. Also, let’s not forget that this supercar beat the Enzo’s laptime on Top Gear test track, at 1.18.90 seconds!
It’s more intriguing than a Ferrari, and it is definitely a car that you’ll want to keep. Despite the tricky non-auto gearbox, which requires perfectly-timed shifts on the paddles, and the fact that its long nose won’t get you everywhere, the MC12 is magnificent. Squeeze the throttle hard and the acceleration is staggeringly quick and very musical, thanks to the loud exhaust. Although the cockpit is small, the whole car It feels vast and gigantic: better keep this in mind hence it will be easy to scratch.
The ride is quite compliant as it is not overly rigid while running down the road. Sure, despite being more of a GT than a pure supercar, the MC12 is not designed to be ridden over long distances, especially due to the fact that it has absolutely zero storage space in the cockpit and no trunk. If this doesn’t sound like a “get-out-and-drive” car, I have no other idea what wouldn’t.
It is not difficult to say that you have the sensation to be riding inside a race car embellished with some fine-leather trim. Also, what’s truly staggering is…that this is old school. The MC12 hails from an era of change, where range-topping hypercars were being more digitalized and electronically refined. It sure feels strange to say this as for the guys of my generation, this masterpiece will always be brand new.
We all know that this car is easily outran by most “entry level” supercars, but that’s not the point anymore. If a car’s old doesn’t mean it needs to be relegated to the role of a collector piece, because like many seasoned veterans, it has still more than one thing to say.
To ride around in this stunning Maserati, with the top down and in Sardinia, is a magical experience, one of those moments where driving and entertainment is all that matters. A giant white whale, whose legend will be forever engraved in Automotive history books.