Amidst a Spanish sunset and with the backing of an exceptionally funky synth track, we see a Lamborghini Diablo SE30, a Ferrari F40 and a Ferrari F355, the latter bombing past the camera and up the road very swiftly indeed.
The opening scene of Cosmic Girl’s music video sets the tone for the next few minutes - it’s just three awfully nice, very fast and chuffing expensive cars - all of which belonged to Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay - going like the clappers.
A huge car nut with a particular penchant for Ferraris, Jay Kay has owned all sorts of prancing horse-branded machinery in the years that followed that iconic music video, including the one I’m in today - a Scuderia Spider 16M. Very nearly as focused as the normal 430 Scuderia but with the option of infinite headroom - ideal for a man known for a love of elaborate hats - the 16M is an extremely special Ferrari with or without the celebrity connection.
It’ll be a fairly considered drive, then, particularly as the weather is shocking today, and this car is being auctioned online with an expected final price nudging £400,000. We’ve enough of a window of dry weather to leave the roof down, though, and to enjoy at least a few moments of wide-open throttle.
The Scud-spec version of Ferrari’s 4.3-litre V8 sounds downright pedestrian on paper compared to modern supercars, outputting 503bhp - 20bhp more than a regular F430’s - and 347lb ft. That’s 200bhp and more than 200lb ft behind the F8 Tributo, and that peak torque figure comes in at about 2,000rpm later than Ferrari’s current V8 challenger.
And so, the 16M doesn’t sound hugely fast, to begin with, but drive it how you’re supposed to - by chasing the 8,600rpm redline whenever possible - and the results are incredible. The naturally aspirated, flat-plane V8 shrieks its way to that lofty point in the rev change, reaching near painful volumes followed by a BANG from the exhaust system as the next gear is engaged.
With the rise of turbocharging and petrol particulate filters, it’s the kind of noise we haven’t heard from a new supercar in years, nor will do again. That soundtrack is enhanced further on the Scuderia thanks to additional airbox resonators.
The V8 drives the rear wheels through an ‘F1’ Graziano robotised manual gearbox with six speeds, which is very much of its time. It’s ponderous and a little jerky when pootling around town, but when banging in a new cog at full throttle and right at the redline, it becomes a tremendously satisfying transmission. More modern, dual-clutch ‘boxes can’t quite match it for drama.
Given today’s conditions and the fact someone’s about to buy this thing, the 16M’s chassis can’t be truly stretched, but even at a more moderate pace, it impresses. It’s eager to change direction, while the surprisingly heavy steering is brimming with feedback from the road surface. You feel connected here in a way you simply don’t with modern supercars.
The suspension is firm, but there’s a plushness to the damping that means even if you’re not in the softest mode, the 16M doesn’t crash about. It’s impressive for an early adaptive setup.
Inside, it feels pared back, with a notable lack of carpets, which seems like a bit of an advantage given the autumnal detritus cladding my footwear. The interior dates the car more than the exterior, but not in an entirely bad way - analogue Ferrari gauges are a treat for the eyes.
Jay Kay owned the 16M from new, as the plaque on the dashboard would attest, keeping it right up until 2020. The current owner only added 600 miles to the car’s mileage, giving a total figure of 5,995.
That means Kay drove it more than can be expected considering the sheer number of cars competing for the 16M’s attention when he owned it, and how little time he spent on the road. In response to criticism of being a hypocrite for speaking out on environmental issues while also owning a bunch of supercars, Kay once said he only covered about 3,000 miles a year.
16Ms are a rare sight on UK roads, with only 48 right-hand-drive models made, and only four finished in Bianco white like this one. Kay specced it with naked carbon fibre lower sills, an exposed carbon fibre exterior pack, an Italian flag livery, a Bianco rev counter and - just to age the car a bit more - Apple iPod Touch connectivity.
It is thoroughly lovely, and I really hope whoever wins the Carhuna auction actually uses it. To tuck it away deeper underground in a private collection would be (virtual) insanity.