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Could Ferris Bueller’s day off have really happened?

Figuring out if Ferris and company could pack that much fun into just one day is a good time for mathematician Simon Pampena. Get the full play-by-play timetable in Cosmos Magazine issue 91.

By Simon Pampena.

As much as I wanted to believe that a high school student could pack that much fun into just one day, the story needed to add up, numerically speaking. The deadline we have is Ferris’ parents returning home at 6pm. So let’s get started.

Morning – Bueller residence

By the middle of second period of the school day, Ferris had just stepped into the driver’s seat of a rare 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider. According to the Chicago public school timetable this puts us at 9:30am. “Che bella.” Time to swing by Shermer High and pick up Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane.

9:45am – Shermer High School

The shortest route from Cameron’s house to their high school is 12 km. Given that the journey was in a 30 mi/h (48 km/h) speed zone and their car could accelerate from 0 to 100 in 6.3 secs, I estimate that they got there in 15 minutes. They spent 2 minutes at the school and then they were off to the big city. This mid-morning transit takes approximately 45 minutes, so let’s put them in downtown Chicago by 10:30am.


Cosmos Magazine issue 91 goes on sale on Thursday 3 June 2021.

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