One of the best things about racing is the opportunity to travel. Because travel means rental cars. Not just a regular commuter car; an Italian exotic.

The Demaras family was slated to drive the little baby Ghibli for the week in California. But the car gods decided that a malfunctioning radio/GPS would force the rental car company to offer an alternative; the big-boy Maserati Quattroporte.

The car is equipped with the F154 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8, which is shared with the Ferrari Enzo, although supercar’s version featured a flat-plane crank and dry-sump oiling.

The car is big, long and heavy, and needs every one of its 500+ HP to move it from Marina Del Rey up the coast on Hwy 1 to Santa Monica.

California really is beautiful, and having the opportunity to drive a luxury car up the Pacific Coast Highway was a wonderful experience for the Demaras family. In 2019, the family cruised California in a Camaro convertible. The Audi they drove around Denmark in back in 2022 was also a perfectly adequate near-luxury car.

The Maserati is just on a completely different level.

The Maserati rapidly transported the family up to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. It’s a shopping district with beautiful old buildings, dinosaur-shaped shrubs, but sadly, no cars. That’s right; motor vehicles are banned from the street. Can’t win them all.

A few steps down from the tourist district, closer to the shore, plenty of California cars were on display cruising up and down Ocean Dr..

Auto aficionados were treated to everything from late model Bentley convertibles to a late 60’s El Camino in Mulsanne blue with a racoon tail hanging from the radio antenna. It makes sense that Santa Monica should be car-crazy, as it is the end point of iconic Route 66.

After a day of fun in the sun, it was back to the hotel pool and a Wagyu beef burger. There would be plenty more day-trips to Malibu, Zuma Beach and Laguna Beach before the real reason for the California trip; the K1 Speed e-World Championship.

This year, the Demaras family would enjoy California in style.

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