Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Of Old Friends and $2 Million Cars

This past weekend was the 17th Annual Amelia Island Concours de Elegance, one of the nation's premier classic auto shows.  I believe I have attended every one except one and for the past 7 or 8 years it has become an annual pilgrimage for my old buddy Punch.  But this year was special, for this year the show celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari GTO, one of the most celebrated, sought after, and expensive cars in the world.  This occasion was enough to lure another of my oldest and dearest friends into town which made it really special to me, for Mel, Punch and I go all the way back to High School marching band and a lifelong love of Formula 1 and international sports car competition.  We were cheering for folks like Juan Fangio, Sterling Moss, Phil Hill, Dan Guerney and Wolfgang Von Tripps when everyone else we knew were cheering for folks like Fireball Roberts, Junior Johnson and Cale Yarborough.

As we were all sitting around the dinner table enjoying martinis and conversation I was reminded of a photo shoot I once did with another old friend, Neil, who is a crackerjack architectural photographer and hopeless gearhead.  I dug through the closet and found the photos to share with the group and now, with you. 


Neil had befriended an exotic car mechanic locally who cared for a stable of rare automobiles for a wealthy attorney.  The attorney owned a one-off Ferrari GTO and wanted it professionally photographed.  The mechanic suggested Neil and he got the gig.  At the time, I was working part-time for Neil as his lighting assistant and second critical eye.  When Neil asked if I wanted to come out over the weekend to help with the GTO shoot, well... suffice it to say I got there before he got there and was rewarded with 15 minutes alone with the car.  Of course, I sat in it.  Worked the clutch and the famous Ferrari gear gate.  My heart was racing as a lifetime dream was partially fulfilled, I was sitting in a Ferrari GTO.

Mr. C and the sexiest car on earth.  As I mentioned, this was a custom one-of-a-kind body by Pininfarina, without question the world's quintessential automobile designer.  This car was valued at $2 million at the time, early 90's.



A couple of the studio contact prints.  I don't know the exact age of the car, but GTO's were produced between 1962 and 1964.  When the shoot was finished, the mechanic drove the car outside, where the shot of me with the car above was taken.  He offered to take Neil and I for a spin.  I couldn't believe my good luck.  The rest of a lifelong dream about to come to pass.  Just the sound of this thing made my willy tingle, a ride might cause outright orgasm.  Neil got in first and as the mechanic shifted into gear and started to pull away, the car lost power.  After a quick inspection, the mechanic declared it was a throttle linkage problem that couldn't be fixed on the spot.  Aaaarrrggghhh!  I was heartbroken, but not surprised.  It is, after all, a Ferrari.



Mr. C, photo lighting professional and critical eye, hard at work.  You know what?  I loved every minute of it.

21 comments:

  1. What a beautiful car. The closest I've been to a '62 GTO is the cheap (and currently dusty) Burago cast model I have. It has the generic body :-)

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    1. I'll follow-up this post with some photos from the Concours and GTO's with the standard nose.

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  2. Wow, wow, WOW! Sorry you didn't actually get to go varoom in it.

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    1. I knew you would like it Susan. Show hubby this one. More to come.

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  3. What a beauty! It's a good thing you didn't get going very fast or your willy might have embarrassed you.

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    1. My willy has embarrassed me so many times one more wouldn't have hurt, especially this one!

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  4. Now that Ferrari is awesome and classy, even to someone like me who truthfully knows next to nothing about cars.

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  5. Replies
    1. thanks Tom. Did make me a little itchy hanging around the 1% at the Ritz Carlton.

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  6. You know my feelings about cars in general but two things i agree with you on Mr. C.

    1. That has to be one of the most beautiful cars ever designed, it looks great.

    2. The first time i drove a Porsche 928 over 130 my willie didn't tingle it got full on hard.

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    1. To quote that great philosopher Punch... Amen Brother!

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  7. Replies
    1. You would look cool tooling around in one of these Granny. West Texas would never be the same.

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  8. Mr. C, you are telling fibs.
    That was a toy car, right?

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  9. The owner of that car is my neighbor, He's nearly 90 yrs. old, I once saw him get in that car in front of his house and drive it to storage. He could hardly get his left leg in but once he did he drove that car like Dan Gurney!

    He's in an assisted living facility & the family is having an Estate sale today. Thought about going and see what kind of car stuff they have for sale.

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