What’s it like to drive a 380HP FERRARI 355GTS?

In the movie world, Stunt people are considered “the extreme;” willing to risk life and limb just to get the shot. Fortunately, stuntwoman Diane Peterson has not only made a career in doing the best stunts for film and TV without breaking every bone, she has managed to collect an award-winning Ferrari that’s as immaculate.

Not only is Diana a thrill seeker, having done stunts for “Titanic,” “Batman Forever” and “Last Action Hero,” but as a Malibu realtor and chairwoman on the board of the Ferrari Club of America Southwest Chapter and as the national membership chairwoman for the Ferrari Club of America she spends her time crusining PCH in beautiful machinery selling beautiful houses. Case in point, her 1998 Ferrari 355GTS. As a 6-speed V8 with 380-horsepower, this elegant red slip-streamer was one of Ferrari’s most successful designs and Diane’s full joy. 

Diane is the original owner of this car and ordered it from the dealer when she was living in Dallas working on “Walker Texas Ranger.” The car arrived on the day before Thanksgiving in 1997. 

“I love Ferraris and always wanted one, especially the 355,” Diane said. “The design is so beautiful. It’s fast and I really like to shift gears.”

She shows her Ferrari on many occasions and recently won the Platinum Award at the Concorso Ferrari in Pasadena this past May. She also tracks and rallies the car. The 355 is a five-time Platinum winner at the Annual International Ferrari Club of America Meet and a five-time Coppa Bella Machina winner. That means “beautiful machine,” and every single item has to work on your car as it did when it came from the factory. That’s a lot to ask for.

“As an added bonus, if anybody buys a house from me, they get a ride in my Ferrari,” Diane said. 

Deal. Although I must have been lucky the other day when I shot the car. She immediately asked my if I had to be anywhere soon and I said, “Heck no.” So she floored it and we shot up PCH to Point Dume like only a Ferrari could.

Best story? Diane once did a car chase in Hawaii for “Magnum P.I.” where a woman steals his car. Lucky for her, she was the woman. She spent 10 days driving a Ferrari and lounging on the sands, not in a cell. Bummer.

Claim to fame? Diane got five speeding tickets in three days competing in Gumball Rally. Come on, only five? Seems like this car would get a ticket parked in the Ralph’s parking lot. 

But as a lover of Malibu, Diane is very passionate. 

“Malibu is a slice of heaven for me. I love the beach, the sound of the waves and the small town, cozy vibe. I truly feel blessed to live in paradise and have a cool Ferrari to cruise around in.” Living the dream, as her website says — www.livingthedreammalibu.com.

And Diane’s favorite movie car chase? “Against All Odds.” Ferrari vs. Porsche on Sunset Blvd. is one of her favorites. Mostly because the Ferrari wins, duh.

Congratulations, Diane! You’re Malibu’s Ride of the Week! 

Keep living the dream, baby.

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