Friday, April 29, 2011

A Cop With A Blue Ferrari

Ferrari Daytona


They left for Pittsburg shortly before 10:00, in Grant’s Ferrari.

Google tried to send them straight through the Delta on Highway 4 because it was the most direct route, but Grant knew better than to listen to Google. He had driven that route once and knew it ran through every Podunk town in the Delta; there were a thousand stop signs, traffic lights, and train crossings. He stuck with the major highways and state routes.

“How fast does this thing go” Amber asked, when they were on I-5.

“Usually five miles over the speed limit, unless I’m in a hurry to get somewhere. Then it might go 120.”

“Do people try to race you?”

“Sometimes. Idiots driving Lexuses or Corvettes see ‘Ferrari’ on an old car and think they can take me.”

“Do they?”

He smiled. “Ever see a Lexus do 140?”

“I thought you said you might do 120.”

“Depends on which idiot needs his ass kicked.”
Then later, when talking to two bored sheriff deputies assigned to guard an empty canal:
The canal ran a mile before it reached the pumping station. The first thing Grant noticed was, the canal was empty. He also thought it strange such a big waterway wasn’t lined with concrete; the bottom was mud and rocks. The second thing he noticed was the blown-up pump building. He said, “Wow. They blew it the hell up.”

“Sure as shit did,” Sawyer said. “Takes a damn big bomb to do that kind of damage.”

The other deputy joined them. He was six inches shorter than Sawyer, had dark close-cut hair, a pointed nose and chin, and was smacking and popping his gum. He introduced himself as Jim Lopes, shook hands with Amber and Grant, and never cracked a smile.

Lopes said to Grant, “What’s Modesto cops doing here in Byron? And how come you got a Ferrari? What’re they paying you in Modesto?”

“I do a little investing on the side,” Grant said to Lopes.

"No shit? This is a $300,000 dollar car. You give seminars?”

“Ah, it didn’t cost anywhere near that much.”

“You stole it from someone, then. Wasn’t that the car Tubbs and Crockett drove on Miami Vice?”

“Well, they drove a Corvette made to look like a Daytona. A fake.”
 And finally:
He hummed through light traffic, had just gone through an intersection when a motorcycle cop appeared and flashed his lights at him. Grant had a hard time liking the guys who drew motorcycle duty; the ones he knew were dicks.
Grant pulled over and the cop took his time. He bent to talk to Grant, and Grant flashed his badge.
The cop, who looked forty-five and had the jowls of a basset hound, frowned and said, “Oh, sorry detective.”
Grant put his badge away. “I don’t think I’ve seen you before. I’m Grant Starr.”
“Bert Crappen,” the cop said, folding his ticket book. “I transferred here from Sacramento last month.”
“Sacto to Mo Town? Not much of a transfer.” Grant wondered what school might have been like for a kid named Crappen.
“Yeah, well,” Crappen said, “things were getting kind of stale there. Needed to see some new faces, get a fresh start. Where you headed on a Sunday, Grant? And how’s a cop get a Ferrari? You selling drugs out of the evidence room?” Crappen grinned, revealing a mouth packed with too many teeth.
“Got lucky with some investments, and I’m headed for the Don Pedro Dam.”
“Lucky? Winning the lottery is lucky.” Crappen squinted at him. “Aren’t you the guy in charge of the murders on Monday?”
“Yup.”
“How’s that going?”
“Can’t say it’s going great. We almost got them in La Grange, but we were a hour late. How’d you get Sunday morning church duty?”
“Real reason I moved here was, I got a divorce and was running into the ex all the time. Sorta sucked. Alimony takes a big bite out of my check, I’m just pickin’ up extra shifts.”
“Oh. Sorry to hear that.”
“Have a nice drive.”
“Nice to meet you, Bert.” Grant fired up the Ferrari.

If pushed, I’d have to admit I’m a little envious of Grant.

I wanted to make my main character, Detective Grant Starr, stand out, but not in an outlandish way. Owing a 1970 Ferrari Daytona isn’t outlandish, is it? Perhaps it is for a cop, but at least he earned it: he’s got a talent for short-selling stocks and securities. He won’t say how much it cost, but we suspect it set him back at least $200K.

He’s a rich cop, about to get richer in the follow-up to THE MIGHTY T when he sells the software developed from his algorithms. He doesn’t flaunt the Ferrari or chase anyone in it, or even use it to get girls. He might do all of those things in the next book, but the Ferrari is low-key for now.

Ferrari launched the front-engined 365/4 Daytona coupe in 1968. It earned its name by winning the 24-hour race of the same name. 365 denotes the capacity of each cylinder and 4 reflects the number of camshafts. Who knows what all that means? This is what’s important:

Top speed is 174 mph in 5.4 seconds.

About 1,400 were made. And Grant has one.

Cool video:



The Ferrari used in Miami Vice was a faux Daytona Spider built on a Corvette C3 chassis. The replica was built by Tom McBurnie, of Thunder Ranch, in El Cajon, California. You can read about here

Picture Source: vetteweb.com