Waking Up All Paris! (Part 2)

Paris: Lulled by the water and the purr of the 180 degrees angle V12, I try to focus on what could be the best angles to capture. Click here for Part 1.


Still, I take a moment to breathe rearrange my thoughts.

I am shooting an F40 on an empty Saturday morning in central Paris!

How many of us can say that?

Armelle, then, takes on a list of different poses, with my favorite: behind the wheel, wearing the Ferrari intercom, taken through the lexan window!

I ask the owner of the F40 if I can strap myself into the driver’s seat.


After a positive answer, it’s with the biggest smile that I begin the procedure of getting in.

First, open the door, which is so light that for a second, I thought I would break in half just by operating the hinges.

Second, lower myself into a seat so low I thought I was falling under the ground.

Third, buckle up the 4-point harness.

Fourth, imagine driving it and enjoy the moment!

Then, the owner comes to the window:

  • “Come on… Start it!”
  • “Really?!” I ask with a mix of excitement and deep fear of breaking something.
  • “Yes, turn the key and press the rubber nob under it.”
  • “Okay…” I answer with a shaking voice.

I proceed to methodically do exactly what he told me to do.


With extreme concentration, I gently rotate the plastic appendix 180 degrees and put my index on the start button. Worried to have missed a step, I look up to for confirmation.

By a simple smile, he makes me understand that my procedure has been done right.

Now assured, I step on the clutch and cover the gas pedal, in case these 2.9 litres of engine need filling up.

With a decisive press on the nob, the engine comes alive!

Completely out of words, Armelle decides to do the talking for me:

“Can Paul drive it a few meters?”

I give her a “WTF are you doing” look and switch to the owner, embarrassed.

Hesitant, he responds: “Well… Yes. Go ahead like 20 meters; and be careful!”

He closes the door and I explode:

“WHAAAT?! Ok it is definitely the best morning ever!”

I engage first on the dog leg gated shifter with the necessary force needed to get it into gear and veeery slowly let off the clutch pedal.

I am so scared to stall it that it takes me a good 10 to 15 seconds just to do a centimeter.

Once the left pedal completely up, I brush the right one and immediately regret it… in this situation, any loud noise can scare me, AND THERE IS A LOT OF LOUD NOISES!

40 meters later, I stop, unstrap myself and gets out of the beast.

“I’ll wait for you to take me in a ride as a passenger. I am so tired and excited that I would be able to drive it into the Seine River!” I said, groggy by all that’s happening.

Paul Syren


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