Stories > How a brand new Ferrari got ruined by a vomiting passenger
How a brand new Ferrari got ruined by a vomiting passenger

How a brand new Ferrari got ruined by a vomiting passenger

Published 2021-03-05 by Peter Ternström

The brand new Ferrari was full of vomit. On the seats. On the ceiling. All over the instrument panel. Even at the small window between the passenger and engine compartments. There was vomit everywhere. I had never seen anything like it. The entire interior had a thin layer of puke.

The car, a brand new Ferrari F430 F1, would never be clean again. The year was, if I remember correctly, 2006. It was back in the early days. The racing track was Mantorp Park in Sweden.

It was probably the most spectacular way a car ever has been vomited in. This was the work of the Olympic heavyweight champion of in-car puking. A true masterpiece.

We had been driving on the track since nine in the morning. At twelve we had lunch, a classic Swedish dish was served. We call it pyttipanna and it is delicious. It is a mix of thinly cut potatoes, beef, pork, bacon, onion and beets. On top, you always have an egg. Yummy!

Everyone, including our team of hostesses, had plenty of lunch. It was at that time we could still use young great looking women as grid girls at motor events without being called sexist.

Immediately after lunch, at one o'clock, we opened the track again. The light at the end of the pit lane was switched from red to green. Tomas (let's call him Tomas) was just about to drive a few laps in his brand new Ferrari. I approached the car and knocked on the window.

'Thomas, would you mind a passenger?' I pointed to a hostess standing next to me holding a helmet.

'Sure.' Tomas replied, and opened the door. The hostess sat in the passenger seat, I helped her with the harness, and then they drove away. What happened next would forever be considered the most disgusting thing that ever happened in a Ferrari on a track day.

The first two laps went great. Absolutely no problem. On the third lap, on the long straight, Tomas notices that something was not right with his beautiful passenger. Her face was white and she covered her mouth with both hands. (often a sign that something unpleasant is going to happen)

'Slow down? Go back to the pit?' Tomas asked in a loud voice over the engine noise, briefly stepping off the gas pedal.

'I'm fine! Don't worry.' She mumbled in response and nodded.

But it was not fine. In fact, it was as far from okay as it could get. After three more corners, it happened.

She vomited. A violent burst of stomach contents, with the same intensity as from a high-pressure washer. In addition, the hostess had leaned forward. Instead of vomiting downwards, she had managed to vomit straight into the air vent directly in front of her. In a Ferrari F430, these look like round periscopes.

But wait. It's going to get worse. Much worse. It does not end here. All this enormous amount of puke was pushed with great force into the ventilation system. At the bottom, is an electric fan, driving cold air through the vents. Since it was a hot day in August, the fan was set to max power.

The vomit literally hits the fan. The strong fan does its job and shoots a litre of vomit out of the whole ventilation system. All five periscopes that have blown cold air forcefully cascade out pieces of potatoes, steak, bacon and most importantly small red pieces of beet over the driver, passenger and the interior.

Everything had been peaceful and calm. Just two people enjoying themselves on a racing track. The next moment there was an explosion of vomit engulfing the cockpit.

When the car entered the pit lane, no one could believe his eyes. The driver's face, helmet and upper body were red with beets. The ceiling and windows as well. Everywhere there were small pieces of the hostess' lunch. It smelled awful.

It was the most disgusting thing I've seen in my entire life. The hostess ran to the toilet crying. Strangely enough, I've never seen her again.

A few days later, the car arrived at a detailer. A specialist in the worst cases of really dirty cars. They worked on the Ferrari for two weeks. To no avail. It still smelled of vomit. Then the car, on a trailer, because no one wanted to drive it, went to an authorized Ferrari service centre. They dismantled the entire ventilation system and cleaned everything meticulously.

No matter how hard they tried, they could not get rid of the disgusting stench in the car. In the end, the insurance company had to buy the car from the owner, and Tomas ordered a new yellow Ferrari 430 Scuderia. Tomas still owns the yellow car.

To this day, we always hand out vomit bags at our events. The same type of vomit bags that are in the seat pocket when you fly. Many of our participants think this is a fun gimmick. That is not the case. It's very serious and now you understand why.

Peter Ternström
peter@granturismo.org
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