April 5, 2024

5 Things I Love About the Ferrari 430 Scuderia

Despite being known as a Porsche fanboy, when people ask me what my favourite driver’s car is, I tend to answer with a very specific Ferrari...

You might have seen our recent video on a wild Novitec supercharged Ferrari 430 Scuderia with a whopping 746bhp. If you haven't, take a look here! I mentioned that the standard 430 Scuderia is my favourite Ferrari to drive, so here are five reasons why I think it’s so good.

5 - The Look

I don’t think anyone, myself included, would argue the 430 is the best-looking Ferrari. In fact, I recall Clarkson saying it looked a bit awkward after the curvaceous and pretty 360, but I think the Scud is ageing nicely, especially from the front. Ok, it looks its age next to a 458 Speciale, but it’s so simple and uncluttered, and I think designs like that tend to stand the test of time.

By Ferrari standards, it’s quite understated. Sure, everyone is going to know it’s a Ferrari, but only nerds like us will know it’s a Scuderia, and there’s something cool about that.

4 - The Steering

The steering of more modern Ferraris is hyper-quick. It does suit their razor-sharp performance and you quickly get used to it, but I prefer a more natural, intuitive approach. The Scud’s hydraulic setup delivers vibrations from the road surface directly through to your fingertips, and because the rack isn’t so quick, the car isn’t nervous off-centre. You have to turn the wheel that bit more and so it feels more like you’re grabbing the car by the scruff of the neck and driving it, which is what the Scud is all about.

3 - It Isn’t the Obvious Choice

It might be going a bit far to call the Scud unloved, but it lives in the shadow of both its older and younger siblings. Want old-school noise and thrills? 360 CS. Want the last of the NA V8s? 458 Speciale. Want the cutting edge of tech and performance? 488 Pista.

The Scud is often overlooked, but I love it because it’s the perfect middle ground between old and new. It has so much of the 360’s raw charm whilst ironing out its glaring flaws. More and more people I speak to at Supercar Driver events seem to be wising up to the Scud though, so perhaps it won’t be in the shadows for long and values will start to reflect that!

2 - It feels so basic, but it isn’t...

Inside there are bucket seats, exposed metal floors with exposed welds and no carpets, bare carbon door cards, and not a colour screen in sight. If you’re lucky, you might have an old single-DIN radio to make long journeys a smidge more bearable, if you can hear the radio that is. There’s nothing to distract from driving and it gives the Scud a very racy feel.

That said, the tech under the surface was cutting-edge in its day. The 430 introduced the now ubiquitous Manettino dial to quickly adjust suspension firmness, throttle and gearbox response. I like CT off which pretty much translates to ‘almost off’. It lets the car move around and gives the quickest shifts, but still keeps a gentle eye on you if you should go that bit too far. For me, no car combines unobtrusive tech with raw feel through the seat of your pants quite like the Scud.

1 - The Gearbox

Out of all the things I could love about the Scud, my favourite is the one most would say is its biggest flaw — the single-clutch automated manual gearbox. Honestly, without this gearbox, I would take a 458 Speciale any day, because, frankly, it just does everything better, but this box is where the character of the Scud shines.

Whilst the 360 Challenge Stradale’s similar setup is lurchy and sluggish enough to be a nuisance in what is otherwise one of the greatest driving experiences of them all, this on the other hand is the closest thing I’ve experienced to a racing sequential box outside of an actual racing car, and it’s just so visceral. Flat shifts are instant and give the most satisfying jolt in the back — it’s like the word BAM was invented for Scud upshifts! Downshifts aren’t dual-clutch quick, but they’re still good, and ultimately, I would take the slightly rough and ready persona of this gearbox over a seamless shift all day, because it makes the Peak District feel like the back straight at Monza!

If you've seen the recent supercharged Scud video, take a look at this video of me waxing lyrical about the Scud in its natural form here.

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