As luck would have it, I ended up in a cush job as a base photographer and my 3-year tour of duty was pretty much spent in an 8 to 5 job with lots of time off and money in my pocket. Not a whole lot of money mind you, but certainly more than most civilians. Also as luck would have it, after about six months in the country I bought a car. A wonderful little Fiat 500 Abarth. It wasn't much more than a go-kart with a body but it was just as much fun to drive as a go-kart and got something like 40 miles to the gallon of gas which cost me 11 cents a gallon (on base)(gas was over $2 a gallon on the economy). No sooner had I gotten the car than the next piece of luck fell into place.
An airman who had served out his term and was about to rotate home befriended me so that I could chauffeur him around to his favorite saloon, which was located in a small hamlet not far from the air base. He would buy me beer for my trouble and introduced me to his friends, all of whom were German. He would go to Nuenkirchen because there were very few Americans there and no GI bars. He spoke fluent Deutsch and hung with the locals. It was there that I met two young friends and we became inseparable. But that's another story.
This story is about the reason, when given the choice, I chose to serve my country in Germany rather than Bermuda... my love of European auto racing, or more succinctly, my love of Ferraris. No sooner had I gotten my little Fiat than a journey to the Nurbergring beckoned. Nestled in the hills of the Black Forest region, the Nurbergring was the most challenging, and dangerous race course in a world of dangerous race courses, but a wonderful place to visit.
In my last post I reported that this year's Amelia Island Concours de Elegance featured the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari GTO. Seeing those cars brought back a rush of memories, for I was there to see them race and photograph them lo those many years ago and the memories and photos are still fresh. With your indulgence, I'll share a couple with you.
|The red beauty at speed, Nurbergring 1963. The red beauty at rest, Amelia Island Concours 2012.|
|Ferraris weren't the only thing running that day. The Shelby Daytona Coupe. Same car, different number. Dan Gurney at the wheel.|
|What $50 million looks like. There were only 33 GTO's manufactured, and 17 of them were at the Concours.|
|The prettiest fanny this side of Marilyn Monroe.|
|However, sometimes the real beauty lies under the bonnet. The famous Ferrari V12 with Webber six-pack. None other like it.|
Alright guys, this will be the last car post for a while. Hope you enjoyed it.