How did you get into Ferraris?
I was at a lunch today and an older gentleman who knew I was a bit of a petrolhead ask me how I ended up getting into Ferraris. Took me a few minutes of pondering before I could give him an answer. The short of it is it started with a conversation I had with my father years ago when he was considering buying either a 308 or a Testarossa after sitting next to a senior Ferrari executive on a flight from Milan to NY. The guy from Ferrari really had gotten him interested and he was a tough sell, so I figured that must really be something behind these cars. For some reason that conversation always stuck in my head. Step two was ownership of a couple of Alfas followed by BMWs followed by Porsches. Then I drove a F355 and it was simply just that much more exciting than anything I could remember driving up until that point. So I bought it.
My first F car was a 1997 F355. Never was too keen of buying Ferrari, but my good friend, car guy whom I trust, "coaxed" me into buying. Prior to buying that one, I have had tried a different 355 but that was a F1 model. I drove that a bit but was not too impressed. Did not care for the F1, car was too low, getting in and out was a hassle, leathers squeaking during running. Besides, I was going so slow, maybe 40kph ?
There must have been a paradigm shift somewhere along the line. Despite all the negative rumors and horror stories one hear, I decided to give it a shot. Maybe I got a bit bored with other cars I owned then and wished to try something new. The rest is history. w/ smiles Jimmy
Grew up just out of earshot of Road Atlanta in Oakwood, Ga. Sometimes I would see amazing race teams with LeMans prototype cars on trailers stopping at local restaurants. Driving by the track I got to see all kinds of amazing cars from the first Panoz roadsters ripping up hwy 53 out of the shop to Ferrari street cars pulling in to watch the races. From the street cars on the infield to all out racers on the track, I knew I had to have one.
Funnily enough, my love of Ferrari started very early. So early that I can't remember my age. Equally strange is that my father (whilst he liked to own a nice car) never had any real love for exotic cars of any kind.
My earliest real memory and the one moment that I think cemented my path to becoming a lifelong Ferrari fan was back in the late 80's, I 9-10 years old. We were on holidays in the South of France and had taken a trip accross the border into Northern Italy. For no particular reason we stopped in a town whose name I cannot recall. We parked up and wandered aimlessly towards the town square. Rounding the final corner we uncovered a massive Ferrari owners meeting. There must have been nearly 100 Ferrari's of every type. Classics right up to modern day supercars. I saw 5 F40s that day - a car that I could scarcely believe existed, let alone ever expected to see in the flesh. Even now 25 years later it makes me smile to remember it. The sheer uncontrollable excitement of what was in front of me :).
Today, if you visit my parents house, the poloroid pictures of that day still adorn the walls of my old bedroom. My mother has redecorated the room more than once since I left many years ago, but she says she'll never take down those photos...
Mine's pretty simple. It was Magnum P.I. Corny to watch now but at the time it was a popular and good show. I thought Tom Selleck was cool (still do) and I absolutely loved that car! Of course I was just a teenager then but I was like, "One day I'm going to own that car." My mother was like, "Yeah right." It took a few years but the car ended up in the driveway.
back in 1983 -85 i was a valet at a couple of disco clubs owned by the same guy. a rich dude used to drive up in a 308 GTS , he always gave me 20.00 to let him park it in the front, one day i said , " Ken , when are you going to let me drive this ? " , he handed me the keys and i took it for a couple of laps in the large lot before i parked it . i tell you it was the first time i ever used a gated shifter and it came so natural to me , that was when i told myself that before i die ,i will own a Ferrari 308, lucky for me i was able to buy a 328 in 1999 .i was also a big fan of magnum pi,that show just cemented the idea for me !! i am also of the opinion that for some , including myself ,Ferrari is in our DNA !!!
I was 12 when the bug got me. Back then I was into Big American Muscle, Mopar to be exact. The day that changed me was actually centered around muscle cars believe it or not. My mother picked me up from school and told me we were going to an annual muscle car show and auction here in town. When we got there I was so excited, I was seeing all the cool, aggressive looking cars that graced the pages of my father's magazines.
We had almost seen all the cars when I saw something different. It didn't look like the other cars, it didn't look like it wanted to beat you up and steal your lunch money. No, its lines were graceful, it was beautiful. It was a Ferrari. A brand new 550 to be exact.
I took so many pictures. I remember I was so excited. The nice gentleman even let me sit in it. I will never forget that day. Ever since then I have wanted one and I decided right then and there that when I got older I would work in the car industry.
watching Alesi, Prost, Mansell, et al driving for Ferrari in the late 80's/early 90's (those V12s are still the best sounding F1 cars ever!)
a neighbor had a 275 GTB/4; he would blast through the neighborhood every so often. for some reason he had a tradition of going on Christmas afternoon drives. that car imprinted Ferrari on my brain for life. (275 GTB/4 is still my favorite Ferrari)
For me it was Magnum PI and during those years, one Saturday my uncle showed up at my house with a 308 GTS. He took me for a drive, then let me drive it.....I was 16, and had just gotten my license a few months prior. I was in heaven....
A Few years later, Miami Vice was the show, and guess what, he showed up in a 91 Red TR....I almost lost it. Then many years later a 430. Well when he let me drive it, I knew my time was near. Now he has a 430 Scud and little nephew trailing behind with his 348 screaming "wait for me, wait for me"....lol
TV created my fantasy, my uncle fuel my dream and my career helped me accomplish my dreams.
I showed my SL600 to my next door neighbor. He looked out of his back door and said "It's not a FERAAARI". That was it :)
All great stories:thumbsup:
My Mum and Dad took us, three little brothers, to Italy each year for a month's camping, between 1972 (when I was 2) and 1988. Italy was always the highlight of the year, the land of Milk and Honey. My Dad was big into Alfa's and we caught the bug early. But Ferraris - they were always the sort of "uberAlfa" - the stuff of legend. Very occasionally you would see one - on more than one occasion a Ferrari came past us on the Autobahn on the way to Italy, doing what I thought were amazing speeds. You would wonder what important person would be behind the wheel and where he was going - to his castle perhaps, his beautiful mistress on his side.
In the dark winter months, I would cut out the most beautiful cars from magazines and stick them in my scrap book. The Boxer was my favourite.
We followed the Formula 1 on TV and were always Tifosi, of course. When we were a bit older we would go to the Zandvoort track on Ferrari Club days and marvel at these wonderful machines. I always thought they were breathtakingly beautiful, much prettier than other cars.
Reality kicked in though, and I realised I would likely never be able to afford one. I went working in Africa and Ferraris moved into the background. Then my brother bought a 328 and now, at least, I had been able to drive one. It was pure magic - the sound of the engine, the beauty of the car. He had to sell it on due to financial pressure 3 years later - I was stung that I only got to drive it once!
Four years later I landed a nice job and now I started seriously thinking about affording my own. Initially I thought about a 355 but the gold market was doing well and I had been in love with the 550 Maranello ever since I saw it in the flesh in 1997. So that became my first Ferrari, spending all the money I had at the time. I drove it 500kms this weekend and it was just as magical as it was on that first drive in 2007.
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For Christmas one year around 1960-1962, my parents gave me a blood red cotton/nomex driving suit for kart racing, and it had the yellow shield with black prancing horse logo. My parents didn’t realize that for kart racing, we were more concerned about losing our skin from abrasion than fire, so I never wore the suit in competition, but still loved it. After doing a little reading about what the prancing horse was about, I was hooked, although as Onno said, they seemed to be the stuff of fantasy, not reality, and certainly out of the reach of mere mortals.
Fifty years and one heart attack later it was time to get serious about the bucket list. The 550 was the car that ticked all the right boxes for me, so after a year’s research, in October last year the right one came along & I bought it. Funny thing is that prior to buying the 550, I had never driven or ridden in a 550, or any other Ferrari for that matter. I just knew that the 550 would be "right", and it certainly was/is. It still gives me a chill/thrill every time that big V12 barks to life.
Great thread indeed. In the Spring of 1977 We moved from Tacoma park MD to the DelRay area of Alexandria VA. Heishman Porsche on Jeff Davis Hwy near 4 mile run had the Ferrari franchise then.
I remember very vividly dropping by on a sunday afternoon while they were closed to see a light metallic blue 308 GTB parked on their showroom floor. Around the side was a yellow GT4 that while striking didn't stir me the same as the blue one.
A couple of years later Magnum PI aired and I knew I had to have one of these cars one day. Flash forward to 1982. After school a few times a week I would hop the bus to my dad's office in the Balston area of Arlington, Va. The bustop would drop me right in front of American Service Center. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were selling Ferrari. And I could walk up and actually sit in one of them.
Back then all they offered were 308s and Mondials but I remember the strong aroma of Connally leather and the amount of detail in the interiors. That summer while on break I would visit my dad quite often at the office so I could get a chance to wonder around the area.
Thoroughbred Motorcars and a few other niche exotic and classic car dealers were scattered around Wilson Blvd. back then. I learned not only about the newest Ferraris but also about classic and vintage ones as well. Around the back from Thoroughbred was a guy who was restoring and selling Maseratis. Across the street was a guy who was selling classic T-birds and muscle cars. And up the road from them was a guy who was a porsche tuner. Good times!
In 1985 I got a job detailing Mercedes and Ferraris for ASC. This is where I first drove a Silver/red 308. The exact car I own now. I was detailing it as part of a promotion ASC ran on customers birthdays back then.
I grew up distinctively middle class, my parents scrapped and saved to send me to a top tier private school (would be a public school on that weird RHD island). While there, I got to see a fair share of Ferrari's come and go, with the 308/328 being quite prominent in my memory. That and the Cannonball run movies and Magnum always left me wanting to at least drive one. Fast forward quite a few years and having driven a few I knew that is what I wanted. Tada
I never thought I'll own a ferrari, got a poster of a 328 back in '88 / '89 and I remember it as a face-lift of the 308 which I had a toy car as a child, my little brother destroyed the little toy car, still got the poster and became a dream car for me to own, the last few years I was looking around for 308's / 328's available, could not find anything affordable, so end of 2010 I saw 'my' 328 for sale and I went to go check it out, test drove it, fell in love with it, bargained with the price and bought it early this year ! magnum p.i. might have something to do with it as it was one of the coolest shows in the 80's
As with many others, it was around the time of Magnum P.I. Back in JHB, South Africa, my dad had a friend that went out and bought the 308. He often used to come visit and I would sit in the car, walk around the car, sit in the car, walk around the car.... He once promised me that when I had my license I could drive it but never did (he certainly would have let me but it did not happen and I moved to Canada). I was always obsessed and being an F1 tifosi from a young age kept the fire burning. Could not believe that I was not dreaming the day it came to live with me. Actually I still can't believe how lucky I am. Never stop dreaming. It might just come true!
In 1967, over my older brothers shoulder I read the Road & Track road test of the 275 GTB4. It was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. Also the guy around the corner had a 166 Barchetta. I used to watch him work on it in his driveway. In those days it wasn't worth much, it was just an interesting old sports car.
I got into the business quite by accident.
I started working on cars when I was around 11 years old. They older guys in the neighborhood used to sit me in their engine compartments because I was small and could reach things with ease. Fifties and Sixties muscle was the order of the day, but Corvettes and Ferraris were the dream cars. Most kids in my neighborhood collected baseball cards - I had Matchbox and CorgiI toys and a poster of a 512S which I thought that was the coolest car ever created. In fact, I still have a Schuco wind up Ferrari I got as a birthday gift in the early 60’s.
A few years later, a colleague of my Pop’s had a 308GT4 as his daily driver. I used to see it parked behind his office on my way to school every day. One day while with my Pop, we arrived at his office just as the owner was leaving. My Pop mentioned how smitten I was with Ferrari’s and his colleague offered me a ride. I must have been about 13 or so. One of several “dream of a lifetime” event s I’ve had, I still remember it.
Who knows why even little kid are inspired by Ferrari? Perhaps it’s some deep-seated emotional response gene in our DNA.
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