Instagram star’s amazing Ferrari collection

We explore Josh Cartu’s incredible garage, which includes a LaFerrari Aperta, Ferrari F12tdf and 488 Challenge race car

He’s a racing driver, an entrepreneur, an Instagram star, and he also happens to have a rather impressive collection of exotic cars. We delve inside Josh Cartu’s garage.

Born in Canada, but now residing in Hungary, Cartu created several successful media and software companies. This has allowed him to indulge his many hobbies, such as skydiving, rallying, drifting, and most importantly collecting cars. Josh has given us his own words on why he owns the cars he does, and what makes them special to him.

Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta

Every car collection needs a mid-engined V8 Ferrari, so what better place to start than with the ultimate version of the 458 sports car? The Speciale was a hardcore limited-edition model, with extra power and a more aggressive bodykit. ‘Aperta’ means ‘open’ in Italian – hence the convertible roof. Just 499 examples were built, all with a 597hp version of the naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre V8.

But what does the man himself think about having the Speciale Aperta in his collection? “This was a very special car because it’s super-limited,” explains Josh, “and it was the first love Ferrari showed me for being a passionate client and racing driver.” He also reckons that they “made an instant classic” and that best part is “that noise!!” Two exclamation marks needed.

With a wealth of cars, and a high-flying lifestyle, Josh has proven to be a hit on Instagram. Over 417,000 followers keep tabs on his latest photos, which cover both his road and race car collection. He’s also amassed over 13,000 followers on Twitter, with updates on his next exploits drawing in a crowd.

Ferrari 488 Spider

What’s better than one open-top, mid-engined Ferrari? Another one, of course. In fact, make that another two, as Cartu has the 488 Spider in duplicate. Replacing the 458 was a hard task, but a turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 with 661hp is the key attraction. The 0-62mph dash takes just 3.0 seconds in the Spider, with a potential top speed of over 200mph.

Describing the 488 Spider as “the best all around Ferrari” is high praise, with Josh reckoning that the folding metal roof allows it to be “two cars in one”. So why did he happen to buy two of them? Simply because he “put too much mileage” on the first car he bought.

Mr Cartu is clearly a fan of open-air motoring, not least because of the Ferraris mentioned already. Josh is also the owner of a BAC Mono – the extreme single-seater road car that owes more to motorsport than it does to street machinery. However, he did have an unfortunate accident while driving his BAC Mono in one of the tunnels beneath Budapest, where he lives.

Ferrari 488 Challenge

If you want to go racing against other gentleman drivers in identical Ferrari racing cars, you need to get yourself into the Ferrari Challenge. Held annually since 1993, this special single-make series gained a race version of Ferrari’s latest mid-engined sports car at the end of 2016. The 488 Challenge has the same turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine as the road car, but with a fully stripped-out interior and gigantic rear wing for downforce.

Why buy a 488 Challenge? Josh explains: “There are two options for racing in the Ferrari Challenge: 1) you can rent a car from a serious team like AFCorse or Kessel or 2) you can buy your own. I bought my own because I wanted to develop more of a connection with it and customise it more than I would if it were a regular rental. Most importantly, I don’t like anyone else driving my cars!”

Josh is currently competing in the European Ferrari Challenge series, alongside his brother, and the first round of 2017 was held at the Valencia circuit. In the Pirelli Trophy competition, aimed at professional drivers, Josh placed 6th and 4th respectively in the two races held.

Ferrari F12tdf

It’s not all mid-engined machinery in Cartu’s garage. The F12tdf – standing for Tour de France – features a 6.3-litre V12 mounted in the front of the car. Sending almost 770hp to the rear wheels, the F12tdf can hit 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, while top speed is 211mph. Limited to 799 units, the F12tdf cost £339,000 when new, with the price hike going towards the carbon fibre add-ons and lightweight technology.

So what exactly was it that attracted Cartu to the F12tdf? “Power and noise” are the two big things apparently, enough to make the F12tdf currently his “all-time favourite” car. Josh does believe that “if you don’t have the skills” the F12tdf can be something of a handful, but that it can “make mincemeat” out of the old Ferrari 599 GTO.

Being named after a famous road race – the Tour de France, where Ferrari proved successful during the 1960s – it seems right that Josh Cartu would own one. Having entered both the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio races, Cartu is no stranger to road racing, and has used his F12tdf in Ferrari Cavalcade events for owners.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Replacing the FF, the GTC4Lusso has a complicated name, which suits the complex mechanics beneath its shooting-brake body. A 6.3-litre V12, making 681hp, is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Uniquely for a Ferrari, the GTC4Lusso has all-wheel-drive, helping control the power on offer for everyday use.

With a garage full of extreme sports cars, Cartu rates the GTC4Lusso as an “absolute no-brainer” of a choice. The “comfort and convenience” it offers, along with the “ability to drive on ice and snow” clearly make the GTC4Lusso a winner for Josh. He also claims that as “it’s not a Porsche” the rear seats are actually big enough for grown adults.

When he’s not driving around in the luxury of his GTC4Lusso, Cartu likes to engage in more extreme pastimes, such as flying to the edge of space. In 2015, Josh took a flight in a Russian MiG-29, travelling to an altitude of 20km above the earth. That’s high enough to be able to see the curvature of the planet. The flight also included aerobatics, with manoeuvres pulling up to 9G at times. Just a little more than what the GTC4Lusso can manage!

LaFerrari Aperta

How do you make the LaFerrari more extreme? By producing an even more limited edition version, with a removable carbon fibre roof for open-air thrills. It makes hearing the 789hp version of the 6.3-litre V12 engine even easier, whilst the 161hp KERS hybrid system remains unchanged. With only 209 examples produced, for sale to special chosen Ferrari customers only, the LaFerrari Aperta sold out rather rapidly. Such was the lure of 217mph with no roof.

Why would you need to buy a LaFerrari Aperta? To quote Mr Cartu “Need I explain?” given that this is the “best car the human race has ever produced for ANY money”. Strong words indeed. Josh clearly feels quite a connection with the Aperta, stating that he is “honoured and privileged to be the custodian of such an awesome piece of history”.

What makes the LaFerrari Aperta a “piece of history” is that it forms part of the 70th anniversary celebrations planned by Ferrari. To mark seven decades of production, along with the Aperta, the Maranello firm is also releasing a range of special liveries inspired by famous Ferrari colour schemes. We imagine Cartu may well add a 70th anniversary car to his collection.

Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB

Although the previous slides have featured nothing but Maranello’s finest, Cartu’s garage does not only contain Italian machinery. Alongside the Ferraris is a Rolls-Royce Phantom – perhaps the ultimate in automotive luxury. However, this isn’t just any Phantom, it’s the EWB, or Extended Wheelbase. This adds an extra 250mm in length to create more interior space, but keeps the same 454hp 6.7-litre V12 engine.

With a garage full of supercars, what does a gigantic luxury saloon bring to the party? According to Cartu, after 6pm it becomes his “favourite car in the world” as it means he can give the keys to his driver and lounge in the spacious rear. Even though he admits it may appear “somewhat ostentatious” he has racked up “over 100,000km” in his time with the Phantom. He also admits that he “placed an order immediately” for the forthcoming new Phantom, having been given a sneak preview.

Cartu hasn’t only used the Phantom EWB for cruising around town. It has also been part of his Gumball 3000 Rally entry, under the name of Team Wolfpack. Nicknamed the Phantom Menace, it’s certainly makes a statement with this bold livery. Cartu’s Team Wolfpack won the Best Team Award at the 2014 Gumball, which journeyed from Miami to Ibiza.

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John Redfern
U.S. Editor with a love of all things Americana. Woodgrain-clad station wagons and ridiculous muscle cars a speciality.


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