Headline, March31, 2014

""!WOW! : ^O" MASERATI :: 



"Michael Francis Rizzi,"  asks the priest at the baptism of Michael Corleone's nephew near the end of   The Godfather, "

"Do you renounce Satan?!!"

"I do renounce him,"  replies Corleone, in hushed reverential tones-

While elsewhere his   henchmen  slaughter a group of Mafia rivals.

The  "" Maserati Gran Turismo ""  is the Michael Corleone of cars. Beneath its handsome, serene exterior is a satanic beast begging to be unleashed, a bloodthirsty machine leaving devastation and awe in its wake.

When I was handed the keys to the Gran Turismo at the start of a road trip down the Cote d 'Azur, I was taken aback by its quaintness. Then I remembered that  Al Pacino was derisively referred to as:

"That midget Pacino"  by the producers of  The Godfather   to his first audition. Once they'd seen him perform, the epithet was dropped.   

The Maserati, you see, doesn't look like the beast that it is. Sideways on, the Fifties-style sculpted bonnet wings and scalloped sides, reminiscent of an old Cadillac, give it a vintage prettiness, which:

Though arresting, is not as implicitly threatening as some high performance cars. Try and stare it down, however, and that aquiline nose, with its shark-eye headlights and menacing grille:

Will remind you that the car is not to be messed with!!

Once behind the wheel, the two- door, four-seater coupe feels a lot more powerful than a  Mercedes or a Jaguar, say  -and you wouldn't catch an overlunched suit driving it either.

Like a young lion  -who lies docile and purring until you step on its tail  -it takes only the slightest pressure of my right foot to wake it. It's then that the  V8  kicks in.

Letting off a throaty roar, the car is transformed into a growing road hog, delivering 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and a  177mph top speed. With a Ferrari sourced,  4.2 litre  engine fuelling the acceleration, it's easy to attain speeds of  130mph without even trying.

The  Gran Turismo also comes with a  six-speed automatic gearbox that the company claims can adapt to the style of whoever is behind the wheel.

"I feel like my bottom is literally on fire," I cry to my companion.

"That's the bottom-warmer Celia," he deadpans. "You've had it on for the past hour."
Spotting the mustard mansions of Monaco looming in the distance, I let go on the gas and marvel at the way the  Gran Turismo  returns seamlessly to its more civilized state, with none of the raw jerkiness of a Ferrari.

At 40mph, I can still sense simmering rage in the engine, hear it whispering through  "clenched teeth : Let me at it." 

There's something incredibly seductive about harnessed power, like those muscle-bound men, who could in all intimacy crack your head like a walnut, if they so chose to. 

Like the  Maserati Quattroporte,  (the Don Corleone of the family);   the  Gran Turismo has its interior specified to order. Had I the time  -the waiting list extends well into next year-  and money to spare, I wouldn't choose the sickly beige leather lining for this car:

Which is a little too close to Grant Bovey's skin colour for comfort. Aside from that, the  hand-stitching  and  fifties-style dashboard details are up to Maserati's exacting standards.

Like Michael Corleone, the Gran Turismo commands an odd-mixture of semi-religious respect and abject fear from fellow drivers and pedestrians as I speed down the coast towards Antibes.

And then,  !WOW! : there is that stereo -equipped with a 3GB hard drive, so when you play your CDs it automatically downloads the songs as MP3 files so you can listen to them any time !!!

By the time I pull up  outside my final destination, the Hotel du Cap, I'm so in love with the car that I am even reluctant to leave it with the valet, who  -in a Hotel du Cap  T-shirt and black trousers  -has been reduced:

To a leering pool of drool by its arrival.

"What an absolute beauty, !WOW! "  he trills, running his grubby little hand up and down my bonnet.

Then, with a little too much urgency for my liking :  "Donnez-moi les clefs," mademoiselle and I'll park it for you."

Hesitantly, I place the keys in his hands.

Walking past the gift shop on my way to the bar, I spot the very same Hotel du Cap T-shirt on sale for ten euros and am almost winded by a sudden wave of panic.

Suppose it's all an   extravagant ruse  and he's just made off with  Pounds, Yes British Pounds  78, 500 of a car.

I start walking back towards the entrance and quickly break into a run.      

With respectful dedication to all the Students, Professors and Teachers, and the whole of the rest of the world,..... who love cars!! See Ya all on !WOW! -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"" All You Need To Know ""

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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