“When asked, ‘ What most impressed me with the car ?’ my answer related to the fact that not only did I purchase the car, but also commissioned modifications solely by telephone.”
-Ron Busuttil, M.D., Ph.D.
"Doug, your reputation is beyond reproach. I have bought several Ferraris in my lifetime, and I know when I buy from you I am buying a car from a reputable person."
"The exhaust and engine work you did are spectacular! The car sounds completely wonderful - I can actually hear it swallowing air, and I have no doubt the bad headers were causing all kind of backpressure issues -- the increase in power is kind of breathtaking. Obviously the timing correction has a lot to do with that as well. I feel pretty sure the car runs better than it did when it was delivered new to Sonny Crockett back in 1997. And it sounds like a Ferrari again, not a landscaping truck!"
"The engine compartment is vastly improved as well, and the resurfaced console etc. looks most excellent."
"None of this was cheap, but it was all well worth it. A job really, really well done!"
This Issue's Trivia Question!
Last Issue's Fun Fact and trivia question:
What is the chassis type of the 360 Modena?
ANSWER: F131AB E.
Our Fun Fact winners are:
Paul Harris: "The chassis type for the 360 Modena is F131AB E."
John Burke (a repeat winner from last issue): "I enjoyed the July Newsletter, as well as the new website. Nicely done!
In response to this month's trivia question, the 360 Modena Chassis type is F131AB E."
Ivo Pucci: "Thank you again for the newsletter - always interesting to read! The answer for the chassis type of the 360 is F131."
Honorable mentions include: Paul Bianco, Teritius Fortune and Keyvan Milani for correctly identifying the 360 Modena chassis as an aluminum space frame monocoque. But we were looking for the chassis type, not the construction or material. Next time we'll be clearer; sorry for any confusion!
Now for this issue's Trivia Question...
Where is the Daytona's matching engine number stamped? E-mail your response to email@example.com.
2009 Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance
blissful ignorance are not mutually exclusive. The still of the night
is a myth. There is only the focused, industrious hum of feverish
striving, as much a constant as the crepuscular tent under which last minute
labor is deftly engineered. There are some who care not for the fruits
of their affluence. And then there are car enthusiasts.
The 2009 Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance (4 October 2009) was the 27th iteration of this event, but it was a first for me. I never knew it existed. But like a child discovering chocolate for the first time, it was incredible and surreal in Dali-like proportions. How come I'd never heard of this before? Why has my life, hitherto, been bereft of this yearly gathering? Is it some sort of local secret? Will I be chastised, stricken from future invitations, for making known the details of such an experience?
At the risk of future proscription, I reveal for you, dear reader, the wonders of this annual automotive assembly.
It was the day before the event that I learned of its existence from none other than the event's media liaison, Arlyn Timmes, who is also a weekly volunteer at the Irvine Spectrum's Cars & Coffee.
"The Concours starts at 10am," she said, "but everyone starts unloading and setting up at six. This year it's taking place at the St. Regis in Dana Point."
So naturally that meant that I had to leave the house no later than five. Besides, who can resist a traffic free cruise down the Pacific coast before dawn? It was a no brainer. So, windows down, I hit Pacific Coast Highway and headed south. Ante meridian waters were glass-like, and so the jagged coast was remiss of the foamy climax that is the brackish digits of the Pacific's symbiotic tendrils futilely clawing at the shoreline.
I didn't bother to print out directions because ...well, because I forgot. But I had Arlyn's cell phone number and since she was the media liaison, she had to be up, right? A quick call told me that I was close. Once I found the huge Meguiar's trailer, I knew I was in the right place. As I left pavement and slowly rode cobblestones, rounding the pre-courtyard courtyard, I realized that the St. Regis is a special place.
"Might as well act the part," I said, and pulled up to the valet as if I do this every day.
The aesthetics of the St. Regis were indigenous to Southern California; the terra cotta roof tiles, the palm trees, and the manicured shrubbery that trimmed the walkways. But the place was Arabian in decadence. It was a subtle ostentatiousness, much akin to the paradigm impossibility of a screaming mute. I liken it to a Saudi Prince's Taj-Mahalic study of sybaritism; a free-flowing brainstorm of luxurious inebriation, resulting in expertly tasteful details. A flawless execution of no-expense-spared epicuriosity. Palatial would be an insult. The French have a phrase for such lavish substance. And one day I'll learn French and tell you that phrase.
The staff were invisible except when I needed something. I was all grown up in an expensive department store. No one telling me what I could and couldn't touch, no one incessantly asking if they may help. I was free to roam and soak in all that is the St. Regis Resort. The labyrinth of corridors, about which I aimlessly roamed, was a sensory overload of marvelously blended marble, ceramics, ornate chandeliers, lacquered oak and plush furniture. As I wandered, I surveyed bars and sitting rooms and breakfast halls. My tour was complimented by a sort of fragrant change of seasons; the aromatic gradient of blooming flowers to leather to freshly squeezed orange juice was as much an olfactory expedition as it was an indication that the day was soon to begin.
If the host hotel was this intense, then nothing could prepare me for the colorful pre- and post war chariots and race cars that sprinkled the links of the on-site golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., this 18 holes course features the ocean's bluffs as a powerful backdrop. Guests who wanted to play a round on that Sunday were redirected to the hotel's broad array of activities like the tennis club, the salon or the spa.
Tickets were $30 - unless you're able to convince Arlyn that you're a writer. The admission money went to two charities: The Assessment & Treatment Services Center (ATSC) and The Mary & Dick Allen Diabetes Center at Hoag Hospital. Since 1972, Orange County has been home to ATSC where it first operated as a demonstration project for the diversion and prevention program for youth offenders. Thanks to Mary and Dick Allen, Hoag Hospital is developing a comprehensive diabetes center that will cater to insured, underinsured, and uninsured children, adolescents and adults alike, delivering a major blow to the increasing statistics of diabetes in this country.
The altruism of the two charities was deserving of the very best automotive examples that owners in the area could provide. The greens were split up into groups, and so enthusiasts with specific tastes weren't forced to suffer through Italian sports cars if their predilections were more suited for Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs. Even the Ferraris were split up into groups. One section of the course was host to vintage Ferraris: 250 GT Lussos, Daytonas, Series I 330 GT 2+2s and the like. Far away on another green was the super car set: an Enzo, F50, F40, Carrera GT, BMW M1, Mosler, Lamborghini Reventon, two Bugatti Veyrons, Shelby Daytona, Ford GT, Porsche 959 and more. The array was as broad and colorful as it was rare and powerful. A driving enthusiast's heaven; a photographer's hell (because every car was a magnet for a crowd of people).
Maybach was one of the event's sponsors as they unveiled the new Maybach Zeppelin. This car is a must have for anyone who appreciates mobile extravagance in the highest order. But they stole their own spotlight by displaying this new development next to an original 1938 Maybach Zeppelin. Other marques took this opportunity to brandish their wares. Rolls-Royce exhibited a black Corniche with locked doors (I checked!) and Porsche introduced their new - and very controversial - four door Panamera. Nary a Porsche representative was there for me to incessantly request a test drive. Should I ever get my mitts around the steering wheel of this Stuttgart tourer, you'll know all about it.
As much as I enjoyed hanging around the Ferraris and other super cars, the real gems of the show were the pre-war American and European classics as well as the featured marque, Mercedes-Benz.
Hand crafted, coach built vehicles from an historic period in the life of the automobile, these were the best choices to represent bygone eras. No manufacturer today can emulate the timeless, sublime artwork that is a 300 SL Gullwing or a 1956 Continental Mark II Coupe (brought by Vin DiBona). The event's name, d'Elegance, embodies both the style and grace with which these cars were built and then today shown. Stroll the grounds and marvel at a 1941 Packard 190 Touring Sedan, or admire the intricacy of a Lincoln K Sport Sedan.
The sheer number of cars and their owners are all deserving of mention - and that would be an article in itself! But there are a couple of vehicles that caught my eye above and beyond the rest. Having just returned from the Colorado Grand, Tom Shaughnessy drove his 375 MM, s/n 0362 AM/0374 AM, to the event. Unlike the other entrants, it was coated in filth. The egg crate grille in between the two round headlights was a haven of rock chips and a ground zero for a veritable insect genocide. Terminix should consider sponsoring Tom's car on his next rally, as he will undoubtedly rid this mortal coil of more bugs than you and I can fathom.
The 375 MM's red paint didn't shine like that of a Packard or a Talbot Lago. It was still reflective, but closer to a dull flat than to a gleaming racing livery. The thick black stripe covering the middle of the car from end to end was blacker in some areas than others; the rear certainly blacker than the front. In all of its disarray, Tom's racecar, gumballed with the number 14, embodied everything that a Ferrari racecar should represent. It wasn't over restored. The gray, tarnished wires in the foreground of the two-eared knock-offs reveled in the unspoken words of competition. Tom's MM exemplified everything about the Scuderia that Gerald DePersio's retractable hardtop Chrysler Thunderbolt epitomized about the 2009 Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance.
Liveried in a brilliant turquoise from end to end, the Thunderbolt featured a copper-colored retractable roof whose color matched ribbed rocker panels, wheel trim and bumpers. A single, silver thunderbolt adorned the door; covered flip-up headlights were a contributing factor to the smooth continuity of the car's every curve. Price tag notwithstanding, it was the show-stopping attention stealer of the day. Nothing in color or form could, from any angle, replicate the crescendoed culmination of beauty, avant-garde design and originality with which DePersio's Chrysler scythed through the competition. In its own way, it was a sort of tip of the hat to the host hotel, saying, "You have your beauty and, in my own right, I have mine."
While I'm certain that the judges have different tastes and interpretations than yours truly, they are to be commended and recognized for the agonizing efforts and decisions that go along with being forced to pick winners. With that, I would like to thank, and am sincerely grateful for, Dale Becker, Marcy Becker, Erwin Benner, Alan Bishop, Dick Boberg, Gary Bobileff, William Boezinger, Fred Bogardius, Rich Bond, Mitch Bohn, Mark Buehler, Tom Brockmiller, Jack Brown, Loren Burch, Sam Cabiglio, Harry Clark, Wally Clark, Tom Collet, Lance Coren, Nick David, Steve Freeman, Bob Geco, Gordon Glass, Paul Gleason Judd Goldfeder, Roger Grago, Byron Grenfell, Philip Guiral Tom Hansen, Dale Hansen, John Heath, Lynn Hern, Gary Hunter, Ray Hyland, Elliot Jones, Peter Kjellbert, Ron Klaus, Diane Klayman, Jerry Klayman, Bob Knaak, Marv Landon, Ron Lefler, Betty Lopez, Darwyn Lumley, Richard Lynch, Steve Marshall, Bob Maxwell, Bart McGrath, Rod Miller, Mitch Mrazek, John Nolan, Jack Oliver, Rex Parker, Paul Pfanner, Mark Ramsaier, Bob Reinfried, Richard Riddell, Sean Rosenstock, Tom Shaughnessy (didn't he get mentioned enough already?), Franklin Shirley, Steve Snyder, Shin Takei, Charles Taylor, Ken Thomas, Creighton Turner, Monte Voight, Kent Wakeford, David Walmsley, Owen Ward, Steve Waterman, Walter Watson, Gerry Willburn, David Woodhouse, Robert Woods and Sheldon Zide (Sheldon, I just e-mailed you last week, did you get it?). I would also like to take this time to thank Arlyn Timmes and Barry Meguiar.
I didn't stick around for the judging, nor do I care who won. I don't say that to be rude, I say it with all of the honesty that a young man can muster. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who was there to see the cars was a winner. The efforts of the unsung hotel and event staff made the day a winner, and I dedicate these words to those who so fastidiously and tactfully turned an annual car show into the year's finest automotive gala. Opulence and blissful ignorance are not mutually exclusive. The still of the night is a myth. There is only the focused, industrious hum of feverish striving, as much a constant as the crepuscular tent under which last minute labor is deftly engineered. Pebble Beach, eat your heart out.
There IS an 'I' in Daytona!
alphabet is 25 letters in length and is remiss of the letter 'y',
According to legend, Enzo's initial plan was to dub the 365 GTB/4 the
'Daitona', borrowing the same sounding name of the Floridian race track
where Ferrari pulled a 1-2-3
P4 win at the 24 Hours of Daytona. But rumor has it that the press got
wind of Ferrari's Italian spelling and laughed at him. "To hell with
them" was his reply, and the car received the name 365 (the cubic
centimeter displacement of each cylinder) GTB (Grand Touring
Berlinetta)/4 (the '4' representing the engine's four cam a la the
second iteration of the 275).
But the name 'Daytona' stuck, albeit with the American spelling. But 41 years later, the Daytona once again has an 'I' in it - and when I say 'I', I mean me!
Last week, I had the chance - no, the opportunity - scratch that, the ULTIMATE PLEASURE - of commandeering what is often revered as Ferrari's most iconic front engined V12. Highschoolers in the 1970s plastered their bedroom walls with posters of Daytonas and Daytona Spyders, covering up older, less intense posters like the lime green fenders of Miuras and the lithe, scantily clad poses of Christie Brinkley. Even if Sports Illustrated decided to photograph Brinkley in an SV, I doubt it would've trumped the powerful, sexy lines of Fioravanti's genius.
Coated in Argento, I bent forward and inserted the key into the door lock, located way down on the door just above the body line. Once unlocked, I pulled on the horizontal, curved door handle, which seemed to be created just so that a single finger could tug on it, releasing the latch to unveil a no-nonsense cockpit. The entire door weighs less than the gas pump used to fill up the car. The whole body, consisting of flawless lines penned by Leonardo Fioravanti (an aerodynamics specialist) during his quarter century tenure at Pininfarina, was hand beaten in an era by panel beaters whose descendents are fewer than the chances to experience \this Scaglietti-built Ferrari.
Unlike Ferraris of today, the Daytona is stricken of bullshit. There is a metal floor that features a fore and aft sliding track that permits the seat to move the driver's feet closer or further from the pedals. Black inserts compliment the Bordeaux Daytona seats - is it superfluous if I refer to the seats in a Daytona as Daytona seats? I came to rest in the bucket - my body virtually 90-degrees at my hips, my feet extending into a claustrophobic foot well. The Daytona is a car whose proper footwork manipulation requires that of driving shoes. Your average leather soled tennis shoes just won't cut it.
The two keys are as nondescript as the metal ring around which they jingle. The Daytona pre-dates the existence and/or need of fancy beeping fobs. The round, silver ignition hole lubricously accepted the key that easily turned to ignite the 4.4-liter Colombo power plant, sucking air through six Weber carburetors to breathe life into the 352-horsepower 60-degree V12. I slid the gearshift into first and pushed it up towards reverse. Unlike newer Ferraris, the lever doesn't need to be depressed before reverse can be engaged. I slid the stick back into neutral.
It didn't really hit me that I was in a Daytona until I started the engine. As I got in, part of me expected something to break - for the mirror to fall off the door, or for the engine to seize right when I turned the key. I'm not trying to imply that Ferraris are unreliable or fragile; I'm just a skeptic when it comes to my own personal dreams coming true. And being behind the wheel of a Daytona - a running Daytona - and actually making it go, has been an intense dream for quite some time.
As the Daytona warmed up, I got out and wiped down all of the windows. Windex and paper towels rid the glass of morning dew and previous insect-filled escapades. I got back in - everything was still running and nothing had fallen off - and a dream was about to become reality. I nudged the stick shift toward reverse but nothing happened. I pushed down on the ball and nudged again; nothing. I knew something would go wrong! I knew it! I slipped the lever right into first, so the box was obviously okay. But plowing through the garage door, into the garage, was not an option. I tried reverse again and it went in without a hitch. The temperamental ol' girl just needed some personal attention and not merely unemotional direction.
I backed the Daytona out of the driveway. The steering wheel is wide and thin and the gas pedal is ...weird. These were immediate impressions. The throttle isn't situated like a Porsche, but the pedal is long and flatter than it is angled upward. This gives the impression that one must be more generous with the gas if one wants the car to move. The broad, emaciated steering wheel was a quick study and was soon easily manipulated. But backing out of the driveway, and then turning to head down the street, I fostered a new appreciation for any truck driver who has to make three-point turns.
Once the Daytona is moving, it's moving. A milestone is in the making. I skipped second and shifted directly from first to third. A Ferrari trick everyone knows; one I learned in a yellow Testarossa years ago (77762, where are you?). My life as a writer is pointless if I can't describe to you the sound of a Daytona engine, running, in gear ...but it's not gonna be easy, I can tell you that.
After a few blocks of getting acclimated with body number 610/B and engine type 251, it was time make it all come together. This particular example is the 572nd Daytona built, and my casual motoring warmed up the oil in the type 605 gearbox. Save for the speedometer and tachometer, all of the other gauges' needles were pointing up. Time for this impromptu conductor to bring in the reigns on this symphony.
After a stop light and a left turn, I had a long, open runway-like path at the end of which was a result I was destined to know. Still in first, I pushed my foot forward and down. The rumbling became an agitated growl as mere motion quickly turned into acceleration. The car is from the '70s, but the sound - the raging, thunderous ululation at speed - is pure Jurassic. We joke about vintage Ferraris being dinosaurs, but they are T-rex in ferocity and pre-date any mamby pamby personalization program that distracts from the driver/driving interface.
With all due respect to the contemporary Ferraris that I know and love - from the 360 through the 599 - the Daytona is minimalist in options. When new, you had a preference of what color you wanted the car painted. You were also able to choose the interior color as well as, if you so desired, the contrasting Daytona seat inserts livery. Borranis or mags were also a choice. But iPod connectivity and Infotainment? The cockpit is the 'Pod', you are the 'i' and the 'Infotainment' is under the hood.
I pushed my left sneaker past the foot rest and floored the clutch. Precisely snapping the gearshift from first to second like I'd done this a thousand times before, I released the clutch while my right foot transformed into the baton that a maestro uses to manipulate his orchestra. The 365 lunged for the future as 12 cylindrical instruments played in unison, pumping up and down, constituting a chaotic harmony. A millisecond gap of muteness interrupted the performance as I clutched, palmed the shifter ball and brought the shifter down. With my foot back into the throttle, my velocity increased and all of the 'music' pieces of speed began once again contributing to my rhapsody. The percussion within the block, the exhaling Weber reeds, the constant baritone arpeggio hum of the chains, and my own tambourine-like shifting clanging through the fretboard-like gate.
I was an unwitting virtuoso, composing aural mastery. Melodious, harmonious, euphonious resonance, occasionally skipping a beat with a staccato shift. Then the pedal in the middle eventually came into play and so I thrust the shifter from fifth to fourth, a moment of nadir before bringing her down from fourth to third, and as I twisted the thin wood to round a corner and simultaneously matched the revs with second gear, my right foot malleted on the throttle and I repeated the process. I can't play an instrument or hold a note to save my life, but I bet Pavarotti would have traded his voice for a Daytona in a heartbeat ...and maybe even change the spelling of his last name to Pavarotty.
One 2+2 or Another? Or Two?
|Oh, no! Not another
Ferrari 2+2 comparison! How many times has this subject been rehashed
because some schmuck got to drive two 2+2s and wants to write about it.
Well, I guess I'm that schmuck this time, and now it's my turn to bore
you to death with my own personal 2+2 impressions.
First let's look at the two cars in question. First we had a 412 Automatic - not exactly a Ferrari that inspires excitement. Unless you're intimately familiar with the car and have Schumacher-like talent, you will not derive from this car a seat-of-your-pants thrill ride. Trust me, I tried. But there were things about this particular example that I like. It's black - so it's subtle, as a 2+2 should be. The tan leather interior was supple and in great condition. There was no sticky dash parts or buttons, further adding to the pleasantness. What's funny about a Ferrari is that it's not like other cars. The myriad stalks on the steering column function differently than they do on, say, a Nissan Sentra or a Chevrolet Suburban.
On the right, there's a stalk that I think controls the windshield wipers. This is Southern California, so that stalk has never been touched. On the left, there are two stalks. Turn the knob on one and the headlights flip up; push it down and the brights come on. But push it up (as if it were a blinker stalk and you were making a right) and the headlights turn off completely. Ironically enough the blinker stalk does exactly what it's supposed to do.
The ride is low, like a sports car, and there's plenty of room in the interior. I drove this car in a suit (not on purpose) and was relatively wrinkle-free after my drive. The chain-driven V12 up front is no slouch, and pulls when want or need the extra power. The sound is closer to that of vintage Ferrari acceleration than it is to the classic sounds of a Boxer or Testarossa. But the howl of that 12 is a glorious roar nonetheless.
The back seats are suitable for small children and Chihuahuas. Skinny Chihuahuas. Putting an adult in the back seat of a 412 is not possible without forcibly breaking bones. It's best used as an extra boot to which you have immediate access. If you're looking for a 2+2 in which you can comfortably fit four adults, you'll want a 612. But for $35,000, you can pick up a pristine 412 Automatic and fund cabs for your friends if you're all meeting somewhere.
The other 2+2 I had the chance to pilot was a 456 GT. What made this 1995 Ferrari so special is that it is one of three Straman cut convertibles. There's only one thing in the world that's better than a Ferrari - and that's a Ferrari convertible! Aside from the automatic top - which dropped in about the same time as a new California - the most important part of the car is the gate in the center console. A Ferrari should have three pedals and a spherical-topped metal shaft jutting from an H-pattern gearbox that sits at about four o'clock from the steering wheel. The sharp metallic snick that emanates from this brilliant creation is an integral part of the Ferrari experience.
As the successor to the 412, there is no missing lineage between the F101CL-AR chassis and the F116CL chassis. So evolution aside, the F116B motor of the 456 feels like it could be lower in the chassis and/or closer to the firewall than the automatic gearbox-hosting motor of the 412. The 412 has a 60-degree V12 with a dual overheard cam and two valves per cylinder. The 456 has a 65-degree V12 with a quad overhead cam and four valves per cylinder. The 456 has a bigger displacement (5,473cc) than the 412 (4,942cc) but the 456 weighs less (3,726 lbs.) than the 412 Automatic (3,979 lbs).
Worldwide production of the 412 Auto was limited to 306 units between 1985 and 1989. Ferrari pumped out 1,534 456s around the globe from 1993 to '97. But Pininfarina converted six right hand drive 456 to Cabriolets for the Sultan of Brunei, and Straman only cut three LHD cars for the US. So the rarity of this particular 456 (a Cabriolet) trumps the 412 production.
The 456 is also infinitely nimbler. It is light years ahead of the 412 but not as bulging, body-builderesque as the Maranello. Could be the fact that the top isn't there, but despite the front engine, the 456 Cabriolet carves corners like a sporty V8.
I suppose the preference comes down to two factors. First, subtlety versus noticibility. The black 412 is as noticeable as dandruff on a white sweater. And I couldn't photograph the 456 anywhere without pausing to answer questions and accept compliments (it's not against the law if I 'forget' to tell people that it's not mine). The other factor is demographic. If you live in Seattle, the 412 is the easy choice. You can drive it in the rain and its gentlemanly stature blends in with modest surroundings.
But the 456 Cabriolet - a borrowed car with which I seriously contemplated absquatulatory behavior - is for places like Miami and Palm Beach and San Diego. It personifies Ferrari rarity, exclusivity, panache, style and sublime power and performance. Its gleaming Rosso Corsa paint is a flashy contrast to the supple tan Connolly leather. The back seats are worthless outside of a great place for a second set of golf clubs. But hot damn if it's a car you couldn't drive around everyday in Southern California.
The bottom line is, if I had to choose between the two - knowing that I have no children - the converted convertible 456, with the manual box, the zippy operation, the open-air motoring, the stylish flair - oh, heck, you already know which one I'd take. Chances are you'd take the 456 too.
|Have you ever wanted to buy Tom Meade a cup of coffee and pick his
brain? Have you ever wanted to meet Matt Ettinger - you know, that
infamous Californian who once owned the Breadvan? Do you like independent
and/or foreign film interests and like discussing them with like-minded
people and/or actors and actresses and/or film makers and directors?
Ever wonder what it'd be like to shoot the breeze with someone like
These are all people and characters who assemble weekly just to hang out. Some come for the conversation, some come to see who might pull up in what, and others come for the bakery's superb cheesecake and Napoleons.
One night, while everyone was talking, I sat with Stephen Mitchell (a former 250 GTO owner and the guy who started the whole get-together). Down block, across the street, parked in front of a quaint Italian restaurant was a beautiful 360 Spider. I desperately wanted the serial number for my database, but couldn't inconspicuously walk past the car and see the information clearly so late in the evening.
Stephen said to me, "Do you really want the serial number?" I said yes and next thing I know, I'm following him over to the restaurant. He walked right in, surveyed the patrons for a moment and made a bee-line for a couple sitting by the window.
"Hello, my name is Stephen Mitchell," he said, "and this is my friend Carbon McCoy. Is that your Ferrari outside?"
"We were just admiring it and Carbon here runs a database and he was wondering if you knew the serial number."
The man wasn't phased a bit, and while he didn't know the serial number, he had no problem with us going out to the car to have a look while he sat there and ate his dinner. I was amazed at the whole thing. And that was just one instance of one Wednesday night at the Elysee Bakery
So if you're ever in Westwood Village in Los Angeles on a Wednesday night, stop by the Elysee Bakery on Gaylee Street. We'll be there, talking about or becoming infamous Californians.
Formula One Report
No one has any opinions on what's going on? Last issue I opened the
floor, inviting any and all comments and opinions from fellow tifosi.
Not a single e-mail was sent. Are you just as saddened as I am about
the inevitability of this season? Or is your frustration so fraught
with profanity that if we printed your comments, they would simply be a
string of asterisks?
The Singapore Grand Prix was great to watch - but not for Ferrari fans. Raikkonen and Fisichella both finished the entire race, but Kimi started 12th and finished 10th; Giancarlo started 17th and finished 13th. Needless to say, the Scuderia left Singapore holding the same score with which they arrived.
The Japanese Grand Prix was a little better for Kimi, starting fifth and finishing fourth picking up five more points for Ferrari this season. Fisichella started 14th on the grid and placed 12th. Someone please tell this guy that he's supposed to be competing.
Next issue we'll know the results of the season after the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paolo and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.
This Issue's Featured Ferrari Sale
|Here we have a beautiful 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS. Liveried in silver
with black leather, this stunning convertible is an excellent candidate
for Ferrari's Classiche certification. Additionally, if entered in
competition, it is a wonderful choice for Class and Preservation awards.
This 275 GTS is a totally original, unrestored car that comes with tools and a tool roll; 36,000 miles. Call Berlinetta Motorcars today to inquire about making this dream come true.
issue's premier sponsor is Alpha Watch USA. Alpha Watch USA is the U.S.
distributor for Alpha Hong Kong. In addition to this presence in the
United States, Alpha Watch USA is developing new product lines that are
both original as well as heavily modified versions of their homage
Their newest piece - and my favorite - is The Carbon. Limited in its edition, only 300 were made. If you want one, you'd better order it now. Mine is already on its way, and from what I understand these things aren't exactly sitting around - but I guess at this price, time really does fly!
To check out The Carbon, or to see the other pieces offered by Alpha Watch USA, go to their Website, www.AlphaWatchUSA.com. If you would like to read an independent review of The Carbon - written by some lucky stiff who received it! - then click here.
If you would like to advertise in The Berlinetta Letter, or if you would like to learn more about advertising in The Berlinetta Letter, please e-mail Carbon McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1979 to 2009: Thirty Years of Renowned Ferrari Restorations,
Service and Repairs
For the October 2009 issue of The Berlinetta Letter ...I'll be honest, I haven't a clue what's going to be in the next issue. There is so much car stuff going on out here. I'm supposed to go see some guy's Ferrari collection - it's huge! - there's a biweekly lunch gathering of like-minded Ferrari owners and enthusiasts that sounds like fun, and the Village Coffee Roaster Super Car Sunday event in Los Angeles is a must-do - especially since there's a chance I could meet automobile collector and aficionado, Jay Leno!
So who knows... Don't you like the excitement of not knowing? Or would you rather have some idea of what's coming up in next month's issue?
Do you like the new look of The Berlinetta Letter? Well, it mirrors the new look of Berlinetta Motorcars' 100-point, ground-up, freshly-restored Website. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out now - at BerlinettaMotorcars.com!