was within reach of this vehicle.
In Ulm, Porsche author Adrian Streather joined our group. On the A7 running south from Memmingen to Kempton, we had one final chance at a top speed run. Unfortunately, more traffic and an annoyingly uncharacteristic lack of left-lane discipline on the part of a bloated S-Class Mercedes conspired to keep us well under our goal as we ran out of Autobahn approaching the Austrian border. From that point on, we were confronted by rigidly enforced 130-k.p.h. (80-m.p.h.) speed limits for the remainder of the trip.
A run of almost 600 miles from Obsteig to Monaco with a stopover in Maranello, 260 miles south, promised to be the trip's big day. Before starting, we discussed an alternate route over breakfast. The original plan was to head east on the Autobahn to Innsbruck, then south to Ferrari's hometown for lunch. Looking over the map, we noticed a route that promised a much more scenic alternative.
It turns out we had no regrets in deviating from the original itinerary. While the scenery in Southern Germany was impressive, nothing prepared us for the absolute splendor of Austria's Tyrol region. Lush pastures contrasted with majestic peaks, some, even in late June, capped with snow. Route 186 through the Otz valley rivaled anything any of us had previously encountered in our travels. Those who live here call it the "realm of the superlative." I would be hard pressed to argue with their assessment of the natural beauty of the region.
When our progress was not impeded by traffic, the smooth tarmac gave both cars the ability to attack the road as we climbed to the Austrian/Italian border near the Timmelssjoch Pass. Several tunnels afforded us the opportunity to grab the obligatory shots, and also provided an amphitheater to enhance the unique symphony produced by both cars. The Ford's supercharged V8 sounded almost melodic, contrasting with the Wagnerian impact of the Viper's normally aspirated V10 engine.
At the Timmelssjoch Pass, we were greeted by two surprises, a toll booth at 8,500 feet above sea level, and a herd of wild horses that felt no fear coming right up to our cars. Although we were a little concerned a hoof might crack the Viper's thermoplastic bodywork or dent the Ford GT's aluminum skin, our equine admirers behaved themselves. They seemed to pay more attention to the Viper; perhaps attracted in some way to all the heat it generated on the climb up the valley.
As soon as we crossed the border into Italy, the road condition deteriorated dramatically. Tracing its roots to Roman times, the road might not have seen much in the way of maintenance since then. The downhill section leading into Merano gave us ample opportunity to evaluate the brakes in both vehicles. Their performance can be summed
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