Impressions of a Ferrari 250GTO - Page 53 - Teamspeed.com



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Old 03-18-2015, 02:43 PM
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Hi Krasnavian,

Another great story from your part. You got a good point on the value of the GTO nowadays. It's all about the financial aspect and not so much about the pure driving experience. I love to read your stories and experiences which are about passionate driving and not so much about the costs of everything.


I guess you are lucky to get to own/drive this car in the old days without thinking about the financial impact. Just jump in and drive...

All the best and again thank you for your posts.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CH. View Post
Hi Krasnavian,

Another great story from your part. You got a good point on the value of the GTO nowadays. It's all about the financial aspect and not so much about the pure driving experience. I love to read your stories and experiences which are about passionate driving and not so much about the costs of everything.


I guess you are lucky to get to own/drive this car in the old days without thinking about the financial impact. Just jump in and drive...

All the best and again thank you for your posts.
Thank you. Your comments are much apprciated!
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  #523  
Old 04-08-2015, 08:56 AM
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GTO or..?

Life is a series of choices; some are trivial and others heavy with consequence. Some are just plain fun, like deciding which car to drive when leaving home for the day (or evening). More often than not, it was an amusing act that could set the tone and supply context for whatever adventure was in store.

One day, I was going to lunch at The Brown Derby in Hollywood with an aspiring writer who, at the time, was a bartender at Matthew Ettinger's nightclub the Plush Bunny. On that day, I threw the decision to him about which car to drive. The selection included the GTO, a standard steel-bodied, dark blue S-Type Bentley and a silver and black James Young-bodied, R-Type Bentley. He chose the R-Type; I think he liked the understated elegance of the James Young lines and the rich burled walnut dash and trim complementing the sumptuous leather upholstery--an appropriate conveyance for two gentlemen on their way to a proper luncheon. After lunch, we exchanged the Bentley for the Ferrari and spent the rest of the day tear-assing around L.A. in the GTO.

One evening, Matthew Ettinger and I decided to drive to Palm Springs for dinner (4 hours round trip) with our girlfriends. We could have taken the GTO and Breadvan, as you might expect we would, but that night we took the James Young R-Type. I don't know why because the road from L.A. to Palm Springs is great for traveling at high speeds and cutting up the moving chicanes also known as freeway traffic. In any case, we all went together in the Bentley and sang songs in the car (not) and as Matthew explored a running stream-of-consciousness that touched upon lugubrious comestibles (butter, for example) and other less quotable topics in a desultory fashion, I held the Bentley rock steady and true at over 90 mph in the pouring rain until we reached Palm Canyon Drive. When Matthew and I were out together, dinner was always something of an articulated, three-ring event often conscripting diners we hadn't previously met and by the time we closed the restaurant, the rain had stopped so I didn't have to drive quite so carefully on the way home.

During a later era, my selection included a Maserati Quattroporte, two Maserati Mistrals and a bright yellow, 327 corvette Stingray with mag wheels. Each of these would set a different tone and tenor for the outing--even the two Mistrals had different personalities, if you can imagine, one being a little more raucous than the other. I really liked the Quattroporte--a series one with the rectangular headlights--and would sometimes go for rides up the coast at night and my father would come along. I liked this car so much that I drove it in spite of not knowing where to find reverse. A week or so after it arrived from Italy, I finally found reverse in a spring-loaded position alongside first gear; until that moment, I would have to push the car out of parking spaces or park at the curb in a red zone (leaving an 'out of gas/gone for gas' note on the windshield) where I wouldn't need to back up to leave.

You might think that deciding upon the right car for going on a date would be something of a fine art but, apart from a landmark occasion when I was working in Palm Springs on Dean Martin's film The Wrecking Crew where I suspect that the Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso may have had an influence on a woman in her thirties accepting my teen-aged invitation to dinner, I never got the impression the car I was driving factored into the situation.

On one occasion, I was on a first date with a very attractive woman and I was inexplicably driving a seven-year-old Chevrolet Corvair with (very) leaky seals that was pumping large quantities of oil onto the engine and exhaust pipes. It was a real treat for those keen on the smell of burning fossil fuels and the theater of stopping at red lights and having a mile or so of trailing smoke catch up with the car and engulf it was spectacular to say the least. Finally, my date asked me if the car was on fire. "Not yet," I told her.

I found that if you drive whatever car you have as though it were a Ferrari, there will never be a dull moment and who can ask for more than that?
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:09 AM
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Maserati and the branding of engine sounds



Of all the cars I've owned over the years, the most exciting ones came with a compelling soundtrack in the form of engine noise which, like the musical score of a great film, served as an emotional tour guide for the experience. The absolute best was the Ferrari GTO followed by the Berlinetta Lusso of the same brand. The Ferrari Pininfarina coupe was also very nice but seemed subdued in comparison and was more of a gentleman's GT than the racer-GT that I preferred. Riding in my friend Scott McClure's Dino confirmed that the importance of the soundtrack was still revered in that model range and driving a certain Ferrari F355 Spider with aftermarket exhaust was like listening to the Mario Lanza of Dinos. Having established that Ferraris were my favorite in terms of aural delight, I must say that the Series 1 Maserati Quattroporte offered quite a lot of pleasing sensations.

Though the Quattroporte was a sedan as the name implies, it was quick and responsive and came equipped with a DOHC 4-liter (252 cubic inch) V8 engine aspirated by four Weber carburetors. It was designed for racing and that heritage made itself known in the Quattroporte. This Maserati made all the right sounds--you could actually hear the engine breathing--unlike my Maserati Mistrals which had fuel injection and were more akin to the rather conservative Pininfarina coupe, in my view. I was living in a house above Coldwater Canyon at the time and can still hear the sound of that throaty V8 echoing off the canyon walls as I navigated the curves at politically-incorrect speeds with the windows lowered making full use of the ZF 5-speed gearbox.

The Frua-designed coachwork was distinctive--a legitimate 4-door GT--and the interior was opulent with leather on every surface. Driving the car was like being in a Marcello Mastroianni movie. Few people on the road knew what is was but they certainly knew it was something. It would cruise along at 130 mph with less effort than most cars of the day did at 65 mph. It was also a rare sight on the road and I was surprised on the three occasions when I came across one in the most unlikely placers; a carport at the Quintas Papagayo resort just outside of Ensenada, Mexico and another in the parking lot of the Sea Lion in Malibu (before it became Duke's) for example. On another occasion, a silver Quattroporte rolled past as I was taking a delivery of a steel gray (with Bordeaux leather) Series III Jaguar XJ6. The sound of the Maserati engine caused me to wonder if I was buying the right car. Those are the only times I recall ever seeing a Series 1 Quattroporte on the road. From 1963-66, only 230 Quattroportes left the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy.

The Maserati Quattroporte had another distinction--it was one of the special cars I would get into late at night for the pure pleasure of going for a ride, which I think is the ultimate test of a car's attraction, and the sound coming from that legendary engine played a large part. In recognition of the passions stirred by the sound of their engine, Harley-Davidson filed an application to trademark the distinctive sound. It was later withdrawn, but enthusiasts everywhere understood the point being made.

Trademarked or not, the sound of a car's engine is an integral part of its brand.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:23 PM
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Once Again......enjoying the way you make us imagine.

Congrats Stephen
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:27 AM
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Thank you!
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:01 AM
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(My) Lancia Appia, Series 3

Traveling back from Ensenada in the mid-80s using a remote rural road that, at times, brought to mind William Friedkin's film Sorcerer, I happened upon a Lancia like the one pictured here but in better condition. It was parked in front of a house along the road and, instinctively, I knew I wanted the car. I went to the door of the house and knocked having no idea of the reception I would receive but hoping for the best. A man who spoke no English answered and we managed to converse with my smattering of Spanish along with a word or two of English the owner seemed to recognize. I was able to convey the fact that I wanted to buy his car. All the while, I am wondering how a Lancia Appia found its way to a backwater village in rural Mexico.

I inspected the car and the paperwork that established the man's ownership. I listened to the sound of that lovely V4 engine and looked for signs of rust in the bodywork. I was falling in love with the car which, though hardly a performance car, was a gem of engineering excellence and the fine touches of Italian elegance could be seen everywhere from the design of the V4 engine to the manner in which the front and rear doors opened --the rear doors being of the 'suicide' configuration. We negotiated a price and I bought the car on the spot.

I spent the rest of the drive back to Los Angeles savoring my purchase and imagining how this jewel of a car ended up in my path in such an improbable location. I wondered, too, who would have been taking care of servicing the Lancia--when I looked under the hood, I had feared finding a replacement for the Lancia engine and happily that wasn't the case. In my mind, I planned on who I would ask to accompany me back into Mexico to take delivery of the car--probably Gary Wales--and what sort of paperwork I would need to clear customs and satisfy insurance. I had visions of the car fully refurbished gleaming in my driveway.

Inexplicably, I never returned to collect the car. I wonder if it is still there awaiting my arrival...
(Photo: astonnuts Laon, France)
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:54 PM
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good question............but now you can buy one on internet.....in México is very rare to see a Lancia, that Brand has never being sold in México
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