I’ve always been a car nut, but never liked the idea of driving the same thing that everyone else drove. American muscle cars and “sports cars” have their own appeal, but they are a common sight. I like the idea of being a bit different, but finally getting into Ferrari took quite a while. Where I grew up you hardly ever saw an “exotic” on the road although I remember Robert Wagner’s TV show “It Takes A Thief” where he drove a Maserati Ghibli. The appeal of a foreign “exotic” started way back then, and the look of Ferrari was usually at the top of my favorite list. According to my dad they weren’t affordable, reliable, or practical. Later, while I was in college, the Magnum P.I. show really showcased the 308 and made the exotic car appeal even stronger. Who didn’t want to be Magnum? As I neared graduation from college (the U.S. Naval Academy, just like Magnum…) and about go out on my own there was no way I could afford a Ferrari and I didn’t have any rich friends with an estate that included an extra Ferrari. So, my first new car was an obscure British sports car (Jensen Healey). It was affordable, but not really practical or too reliable (so maybe dad was right?). I still loved it because hardly anyone else had one! Then my college girlfriend (and first love) gave me a poster showing the slightly silhouetted images of three items: a reclining nude woman, a fine bottle of wine, and a Ferrari 308, with the tiny caption: “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.” I think that poster really helped me make up my mind. It was simply a matter of making the right decisions! So, after getting dumped by my first love following a submarine deployment, and having consumed more than enough of fine (well, cheap wine actually… I was an Ensign in the Navy after all!), I started saving for my first Ferrari in earnest.
I had always heard my dad talk about the what-ifs and if-onlys of cars he would have liked to have owned, but didn’t due to their impracticality with a family so I told my next love that if we were to get married I wanted to buy a Ferrari BEFORE we had kids. That didn’t scare my new love so I knew she was a keeper and we were married in 1980. A few years later I was transferred from the east coast (an exotic car desert, at least where I lived) to San Diego, California and found myself in exotic car heaven. I had almost daily sightings of all sorts of great cars and found a real selection of used Ferraris within a few miles. In 1986, after a rather short search, I found a fantastic low mileage red/black 1984 308GTSi that became our first “child!” Fortunately, based on earlier good decisions, at least one Ferrari has been in our family ever since; even as real children came along. And, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a bad day, or knew I was going to have a bad day based on the projected workload, so I drove the Ferrari and it made me feel so much better. It wasn’t about power, or tearing around a track, or even the sound of high revs, just the feel and look (okay, maybe the sound of high revs too) of it that made all the difference in the world. I LOVE Ferraris!