<!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>>Aren't lap times among similar street legal cars a kind of evidence as well? Yes, but true race cars are greater machines.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> Define "true." And "greater." Again, the intent is not to compare street cars with race cars. But street cars vs. street cars. <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>A 911 is mid-engined if it happens to be the GT1.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> I was talking about current production 911's, where the engine is obviously aft of the rear wheel centerline. Sorry I did not make that clear. <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>>Still, you haven't explained the ability of the Panoz cars to >hang right with the Audis at Le Mans. Audi wins anyway.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> But at what cost? I believe the case is stronger that $$$ talks, not necessarily any inherent balance issues in differing layouts. Pump the same amount of money into Panoz, take away an equal amount from Audi... <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>>And why no serious challenge has been mounted by a mid-engine car in any of the >lower classes. The heavyweights are more revealing.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> Yes, but you are not. Care to elaborate? <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b> Like most of the civilized world, I'd rather have a Ferrari.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> LOL, most of the civilized world. You've taken a poll? Would you also rather pay for that Ferrari? Even after reading this?: From www.nsxfiles.net: Everyone wants to know, "What's it like to maintain and service an F355? The car comes with a two year warranty. In the first seven months of ownership, hereÂs what has maintenance has been on my car: 1. My driver side window wasnÂt going up sometimes. I would have to bang the door panel with my fist, and then it would work, or else I would have to completely shut the car off, and turn it back on, and then sometimes it would work. This went on for two weeks, and then mysteriously it now works all the time. Jeff says it is because of the aftermarket stereo system that was put in. Wayne was cracking up when this happened after two weeks of ownership. 2. That black stripe down the side of the car looks cool and give it a good "line". Unfortunately, that black stripe is not painted on. Instead, it is plastic tape. Yes, kinda like electrical tape. And it is peeling off on my car. You pay this much for a car and they put electrical tape along the entire side of the car? This had to be replaced on the driverÂs side. 3. I add a quart of oil every 700 miles or so. Ferrari of North America says that this is "normal". I never had to put oil in the NSX the first 127,000 miles that I owned it. It holds 10 quarts of oil, which you can only buy from the Ferrari dealer. It is some "special" Shell blend that goes for $12 a quart. Oil changes cost $250. 4. I dropped two quarts of gear oil in front of my wifeÂs work when I went to pick her up. Oil got on the exhaust/header, and caused tiny flames to dance on it after I stopped and opened the engine compartment. I proceed to try to blow the flames out, which is a bad move, as I am just giving more oxygen to the fire. Wayne was really cracking up about this one when he heard it. He then proceeded to buy both of us a little 2.5 lb halon fire extinguisher to keep in the trunk. 5. My car started stumbling badly, like it was missing. Turns out the #5 cylinder had a shorted out injector wire. Injector wire shorting out?? The car is only 7 months old. 6. Car battery idiot light comes on intermittently when driving, as if there is a loose wire or something. 7. Rear tires wore out at about 4600 miles. $400 bucks a tire. My car has the Goodyear Fiorano F1 tires on it, and it took about 3 months to get a set of rear tires for the car. I put Pirelli tires on the rear for a couple months until the Goodyear tires were back in stock. Car handles horrible with Goodyears on the front, PirelliÂs on the back. I guess because of the different tire treads. Maintenance on WayneÂs car: 1. Wayne turned on his hazard lights. But could not turn them off. He called me at home, and I grabbed the manual and we figured out which fuse to pull for the hazard lights. Apparently his switch got stuck. I donÂt think Italians can make reliable switches. 2. WayneÂs car had a "Slow Down" button light up on the dash. It had something to do with the catalytic converter/ODBII sensors. So to check it, he had to send it to Ferrari of Beverly Hills. He didnÂt want to drive it, so we had a transporter pick his car up. We told them to send down a two-car transporter, and I would get an early oil change and checkup on my car, as well as look at the peeling tape. 3. WayneÂs rear tires had to be replaced at 6600 miles. Ferrari of Beverly Hills also suggested that a less aggressive wheel alignment on his car, at a cost of $250. 4. For a 5000 mile service(which is what Wayne had done at 6600 miles), cost was $1000 for checkup + fluids 5. Suddenly, one day, WayneÂs car went quiet. When he stepped on the gas, nothing happened. Apparently some bypass valve in the header/muffler that opens up at higher RPMS got stuck. Back to the dealer. 6. Air bladder in WayneÂs driver seat when flat. Entire new air bladder had to be stitched back in. In the meantime, over the past week, Wayne has come down with an incurable disease, and it looks terminal for him. The disease is called Italica Fervora, which is gibberish for Ferrari Fever. He was looking at some F355's that are for sale, and checking out prices, what it would cost to lease, etc. He figures he can get a good F355 on a lease for maybe $1100 a month, and then he would just drive it one day a week like I do, to keep the miles and repairs down, and drive the NSX the rest of the time. I tell him he is losing it. But it is no use....the Go-Fast Crack Pipe is out, and he has that glazed look in his eyes. There's no stopping him. Dagmar tells him that Wayne driving a Ferrari one day a week is like giving 12 vials of crack to a crackhead, and telling him, "Now if you only use one vial a month, you have enough to last you the whole year...... Thursday, January 23rd, 2002 Ferrari Fever is getting worse. The temperature just went up two more degrees to the intensive care stage. Wayne is now bidding on a 360 Modena with 14,000 miles on it, located in back east. He saw it on Ebay. The reserve was set at $145,000, but the highest bid so far is $135,100. Wayne talks to the guy, gets a history about the car, calls Algar Ferrari, one of the authorized dealers back east, gets more info on the car. He also does a CarFax, talks to some other people back east that know about the car, etc. The guy tells Wayne that he must sell the car by tomorrow, as he needs the cash so he can buy his Lamborghini Murcielago that is coming in. Wayne can have the car for $135,200. One year left on the warranty. Red/Tan, perfect condition, Scuderia shields on the side, power seats, and the owner just had the pricy 15,000 mile service performed on the car. Wayne says that he could take out a margin loan, fly out there, check it out, rent a U-Haul truck and trailer, and bring it back home. I tell him that is a bad idea, as the weather is bad, it is winter, and he doesn't want to take a chance at crashing a trailer with a 360 Modena in it. I would love to put that picture on the front page of the next story. If he buys it, I figure he has to use a professional transporter to ship the car back here. He can't drive it back, as the depreciation on a Ferrari 360 is probably $3 a mile. So if he drives it 3000 miles back home, he's out $9000 on the resale value. Plus it would probably break down twice on the way home. I calculate that his monthly car payments are the equivalent of about $2400 a month. He's a madman! Tuesday, January 29th I pick up the F355 from the alignment shop. Battery is dead. Totally dead, despite the fact that I drove it about 70 miles the other day. I decide to just get a new ffing battery, since it has been three years. And the fact that you have to jack the car up, take off the front tire, take off the wheel well plastic, as the battery is buried in front of the passenger side front tire. It's a pain in the ass, and if I try to charge the dead battery and it dies again, I have to go through this procedure again. I drive the F355 home for the first time in six weeks. Still some minor glitches on it, but it is close to 100%. Then another LED light goes out on the dashboard, indicating what gear the car is in. Unbelievable....so that is two LEDs that have failed. Timex makes LED watches that last 10 years, and Ferrari LEDs die in 3 years. Wednesday, afternoon, January 30th, 2002 It's a done deal. Wayne gets the red 360 Modena. He's a hero to us all, someone who basically says, "I just don't give a shit. I am going to buy me the car of my dreams. So what if I will be broke for the next year and will have an empty house, and can't make my mortgage payments. At least I will be pimping around Southern California in a Ferrari 360! I could die a happy man if I got hit by lightning today!". From ex-Ferrari owners (who now own BMW Z8's): Q: Since you have responded, are the rumors true regarding the frequent breaking of the modern Ferarri's? A: They are true! For example with the 355...the electrics kept failing. I took to carrying a spare battery and jump leads so I could restart the car in moments. Imagine that, tuxedo and car battery together. The alarm was a nightmare and had to be replaced by an off the shelf alternative. Rust developed where the roof met the back wing structure and this was repaired under warranty. At the same time, rust appeared at the windshield surround but they would not repair this under warranty "because I might have had someone else replace a broken windshield and perhaps the work wasn't up to standard". The clutch failed in a bizarre fashion. It looked like it had be misaligned when fitted. The outer portion shredded.It was replaced under warranty after I was rescued from a totally isolated area where it failed. This was after I'd told the dealer there was a problem and I was assured it was okay to drive. Half the engine shut down once...and I could go on and on. Haven't got to the 550 yet so here goes. The interior stitching on the leather fell apart, the chrome on the gear shift disintegrated. They said this was because I must have been wearing heavy rings that were damaging the chrome finish. I never wear rings. The doors would shift and needed to be rehung. They blamed this on "the wind catching it and slamming the door open". That never happened. Warning lights would come on regularly. Cables came undone at the rear underneath of the car "must have snagged something". The quality finish just wasn't there. On cars this price it ought to be. Another one springs to mind. The car went in for a service. I got a call to ask whether I'd been driving it in the wet! Why? you'd ask. Well you are not apparently supposed to drive a ferrari in the wet in Scotland because it can't take the weather conditions. They showed me what was under the panels that cover the underneath of the car. Rust, rust and more rust. Might as well have been sh (let me put the OOps in here). Rust stops you releasing the parking brake as well. Given the choice between these and the Z8 I have no hesitation in advising anyone to avoid the ferrari. The build quality is superior. The feeling that the Z8 has been designed for the enthusiast is tangible. The attention to detail is exquisite. You know which one is going to survive regular use already, don't you. This car has been turned out with a host of innovations that work. I go along with previous comments about the unsubtlety of the ferrari, beautiful though it might be. I prefer something that'll get me there. A2: I agree 100%. As a brief owner of a Ferrari F355, I experienced a host of major mechanicals and door failures etc. I had to sue to have the car returned under the texas lemon law. The ferrari is totally unreliable based upon my experience with the 355. I personally will never go near another one. Nothing ever seemed to be covered when it broke...which was every other week. For a car that was driven only on the weekends..it was a total ripoff and the courts agreed. I felt like I had been taken which is why I sued. IMHO...the 355 that I owned was a pile of Junk." R&T on McLaren F1 "One last observation concerns construction and detailing. All three cars' chassis are basically composed of molded carbon fiber, but I've snooped around in their nooks and crannies and noted occasional lapses from perfection in the Ferrari and Bugatti's lay-up work. I don't mean blatant sloppiness, just evidence, here and there, that human beings had built the Italian cars. By contrast, the McLaren appears constructed on another planet; everything, and I mean everything, is utterly perfect. I defy you to find a blemish with a magnifying glass. Amazing." <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>>>The laws of physics by themselves are not restricted by any legal limitations, and science tells us that any object which has a low moment of inertia will require less force to change directions, a permanent fact.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> ...and is (on the flip side) less stable. Legal limitations? Who's talking about legal limitations? <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>>I simply can not imagine GP racecars being faster, ceteris paribus, with a front or rear engine. </b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> It appears you can not imagine a lot of things. Back in the day, it used to be unthinkable that the earth revolved around the sun. Back in the day, if you said a Ford-powered car would win at Le Mans, you'd be heckled into obscurity. <!-- QUOTE --><center><hr width="90%"></center><blockquote><i>Quote from anony</i> <b>The Z06 could have been better-performing for various reasons, and is not true evidence for this issue.</b></blockquote><center><hr width="90%"></center><!-- END QUOTE --> Reasons such as? On a go-kart type track, the Porsche should have easily romped on any Vette.