Ferrari on Mulholland (again)...‏ - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Ferrari on Mulholland (again)...‏

Mulholland Drive is an iconic road to anyone growing up in Los Angeles combining the properties of a Lover's Lane and a Mille Miglia-style road course. It overlooks the San Fernando Valley on one side and Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Hollywood on the other. It represents a sort of carefree abandon that cuts across and through the serious nature of a sprawling city. It is escapism from an enforced reality and the reality of those who have escaped, if only for the duration of an exciting drive.

In my youth, I enjoyed such a reality when Peter Helm, his friend Rick and I took our Ferraris onto Mulholland for some fun which Peter captured with his 8mm camera. Yesterday, at the instigation of Elysée Wednesday regular Richard 'Bongo' Mitchell of Black Horse Motors, we took a literal and figurative trip down memory lane and drove a Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 along the same stretch of Mulholland between Beverly Glen and Laurel Canyon. We were accompanied by Jeanette Dumouchel, a producer with me on the Carrera Panamericana documentary, and Chad Glass who rendered the poster for the doc. We all took a turn at the wheel of the Ferrari and while the vintage handling of this thoroughbred was a new experience for a couple in our group, it was a strong dose of déjà vu for me. The familiar sound of the free-revving 4-litre V12, the feel of the big Nardi steering wheel and the action of the 5-speed transmission (it was a late series model) conjured an era that is long gone but no less exciting for its passing.

We documented the entire drive with the Panasonic P2 HD camera and, at one point, we stopped along the side of the road to shoot static shots and stills of the car. The 330 2+2 is much more compelling in life than in any photos I've ever seen. This one, originally sold by a wily Enzo Ferrari to Pat Boone who had really wanted to buy a Superamerica--no one ever made a success of saying no to Il Drake--is in beautiful condition and attracted the attention of one the ubiquitous tourist vans that cruise the city which stopped in the middle of the road to gawk at us.

Though I felt at home in the 330, I told Richard I would need at least an hour with the car to be comfortable finding its limits. As a 2+2, it is not the Lusso and far removed from the GTO in which I enjoyed this road in the past but it was great fun to drive and was really intended as a comfortable, high-speed touring car for the Friday night rush from Paris to Toulon for a weekend of sailing.

My thanks to Bongo and Black Horse Motors for a most enjoyable morning!
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post #2 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 12:40 PM
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Stephen- That looks like a really fun day. And "they" are wrong. You can go back.

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post #3 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Stephen- That looks like a really fun day. And "they" are wrong. You can go back.
I agree!
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post #4 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 12:55 PM
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Great report, Stephen, and that is a serious videocam ! Sure sounds like the great escape, the Mulholland. I do recall Mr. Jay Leno mentioned the Mulholland in one of his video series. Wouldn't there be cops lurking along he road to catch their preys or is the road still somewhat deserted (for LA) ? w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #5 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:04 PM
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Jimmy, Stephen- Mulholland makes me wonder if Stephen ever hit Palos Verdes in his Lusso or GTO back in the 60s. I lived there from 1961-1965 (graduated from PV High in 1965) and there were great driving roads, mostly empty, and with very little development. Only restaurant in PV was the Red Onion back then. I learned to drive in my father's 61 Corvette and PV was a great place to drive a sports car back then.

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post #6 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:12 PM
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Jimmy, Stephen- Mulholland makes me wonder if Stephen ever hit Palos Verdes in his Lusso or GTO back in the 60s. I lived there from 1961-1965 (graduated from PV High in 1965) and there were great driving roads, mostly empty, and with very little development. Only restaurant in PV was the Red Onion back then. I learned to drive in my father's 61 Corvette and PV was a great place to drive a sports car back then.
Indeed, Terry. I am familiar with PV Peninusla. As you say. How fortunate to spend your teenage years in PV. Seems like lately it has become a high end real estate, the region. Always cooler than LA basin with fog due to current pattern, a bit like the Bay Area up north. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #7 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Jimmy, a couple of squad cars drove past while we were shooting stills at the side of the road but they paid us no heed.

Terry, I participated in a rally with my first Lusso that took us through Palos Verdes. A very pretty area but I don't get down there very often.
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post #8 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:22 PM
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Jimmy- Affirmative, PV peaked at 1457 ft so most of the smog was well below us and there was usually fog in the morning that burned off at 10-11 am. Great place to grow up. Mostly wheat feels back then. Our 1800 sq ft house with a view of LA down a canyon cost ~$35K. Average price now is $1.3M or so and peaked higher.

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post #9 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:25 PM
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Jimmy, a couple of squad cars drove past while we were shooting stills at the side of the road but they paid us no heed.

Terry, I participated in a rally with my first Lusso that took us through Palos Verdes. A very pretty area but I don't get down there very often.
Indeed, good that they did not hassle you.
Come to think of it, LA is not too bad after all with the Mulholland to the north and PV to the south, east you have the desert and west the coastline !!! w/ smiles Jimmy

PS. No wonder I miss the place. But then, come to think of it, I shall be back in LA next week, again.

Last edited by Italian Lover; 09-17-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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post #10 of 27 Old 09-17-2011, 01:33 PM
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Stephen- It is pretty much solid houses and development now, so you are probably not missing much on the driving front. Last time I was there was in 1985 for my 20th year highschool reunion. Food at the Red Onion was still outstanding.

In the good old days of the 60s, there were only two types of trips in greater LA. It took 30 minutes to go anywhere, but you could cover the entire area in an hour. A bit different now. Have spent many an hour on the 405 and 101 working defense contracts. In this particular case, you definitely cannot go back.

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post #11 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 02:10 AM
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Excellent read as usual .
You have not posted in a while I was getting worried . I was lucky enough to drive Mulholland and will do again in 4 weeks time as I go back to Cali & take my baby down the PCH to San Fran.

Night life........ain't a good life........but it's my life -- Willy Nelson
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post #12 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 09:35 AM
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Somethings never get old - cept living in St Louis and seeing roads like this!

Thanks for sharing
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post #13 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 01:34 PM
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Is it true that they are letting the road surface of Mulholland crack and deteriorate in an attempt to make it less desirable for high speed runs?
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 04:16 PM
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Driving Mulholland

Stephen, I'm lucky enough to have been driving Mulholland
for years, first in my SWB 250 and now in my 550 ....
I just got back from 3 hrs on Mulholland Dr to Mulholland Hwy to PCH and back home,( I live right off Mulholland ).

cheers,

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post #15 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 04:18 PM
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Is it true that they are letting the road surface of Mulholland crack and deteriorate in an attempt to make it less desirable for high speed runs?
No, There are some bad spots but they do a very good job of keeping it up.

cheers,

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post #16 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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The roads in Beverly Hills are far worse! Mulholland is still well worth the effort and is a rewarding experience. On, the day in question, I drove both the 330 and an ultra fast modern--different realities but both cars were a kick!
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post #17 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Stephen, I'm lucky enough to have been driving Mulholland
for years, first in my SWB 250 and now in my 550 ....
I just got back from 3 hrs on Mulholland Dr to Mulholland Hwy to PCH and back home,( I live right off Mulholland ).

cheers,

Bill
Next time I head up there, I'll give you notice!
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post #18 of 27 Old 09-18-2011, 09:46 PM
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Bill, Stephen, et al ...you people ought to be known as the" lords of Mul".
w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #19 of 27 Old 09-19-2011, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
Bill, Stephen, et al ...you people ought to be known as the" lords of Mul".
w/ smiles Jimmy
I've certainly been called worse!
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post #20 of 27 Old 09-19-2011, 01:28 PM
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I've certainly been called worse!
Shucks ! w/ smiles Jimmy

PS. Hope to show up at your Wed. Elysee Gathering.
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