James May is very good at hosting television programs, and so his next adventure will be as the tour guide on a trip around Italy. Naturally, he wasn’t going to miss a visit to the Ferrari factory.
Filmed for the upcoming series called James May: Our Man in Italy, which premiered on July 15, the factory tour allows the host to explore the ins and outs of the foundry where Ferrari makes the engines that power its legendary cars.
May is allowed to play around with the molds that will eventually become important engine components. As he puts it: “The foundry is where the big bits of the engine are cast. It’s where earth, fire, and metal conspire like witches over a cauldron to spawn the trembling heart of the living machine.”
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But he, of course, isn’t allowed to do anything of consequence there. He is, though, allowed to participate in assembling the mold that will make perhaps the most important part that could ever be associated with a Ferrari: the badge.
In this case, the badge is going on the key ring and involves him placing a lid on top of a cast made of sand. The sand that makes up these castings has resin in it to keep it from falling apart, and then molten aluminum is poured in and is allowed to cool into shape.
Four hours later, he’s allowed to watch the casting being broken apart and the still warm aluminum being excavated. Inside, a lattice of key rings emerges, which is pretty cool.
Along with being given a tour of the factory, May also gets to drive a Ferrari Roma at the brand’s legendary Fiorano test track.
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