Back when they were just cool cars and not commodities! - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Back when they were just cool cars and not commodities!

Hi there!

This thread is being started as we were having waaaay too much fun and were waaaay to far off topic in a thread that started about 512BB racecar.

We started rambling on about the "good old days", mainly in Southern California in the Seventies and early Eighties, when a lot of us were just driving the wheels off those old suckers instead of watching them go across an auction block at multi-million dollar figures or sitting spotless in the grass at some concours.

I'm David Christian and I bought the 275 GTB/4 #10531 for $15,000 in 1974. Paid top dollar for the time. This thread is dedicated to both all of those who were part of that crazy scene and also those who never really have heard about it.

This is going to be fun!!

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post #2 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 05:11 PM
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10 years 100,000 miles three colors.....

Used as a DD, loved every second !

cheers,

Bill
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post #3 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 07:05 PM
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Great shots and looking forward to some glory stories.

Do you guys still retain ownership - 15k in 1974 ... life must have been good
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post #4 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 07:06 PM
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David, Bill- $5000 plus a Dino 246. Different times. Chump change now compared to either of your cars. Too bad none of us still have them, especially the SWB.
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post #5 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 08:08 PM
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Mazda RX Rotary Engine Early Model:

Well, not a Ferrari but this was the first car I bought back in college days.

Back then, my knowledge of cars, I can proudly claim, was equivalent to an E.T. landing in Southern California, zilch, near zero. I believe I paid something like 3000+ USD for it then. With a finite budget, it was hard to say the least. Owned it for several years and criscrossed the US both ends several times with this one.

After working and living in Massachusetts for two+ years, my last trip was from Springfield, Massachusetts to LA, California by myself. I was in a hurry and with no money to spare, I decided to blast thru the continent. My first day, I started from Springfield, MA thru Conn, NY crossing the Washington Bridge, thru Pennsylvania, and thru other states all the way to Indiana, I believe where I had to stop to take a nap along the roadside. Then, it was thru Oklahoma and few more states in between down to either New Mexico or Arizona where I had to take a nap again, roadside. From there, it was all the way to LA, CA. I clocked myself at the time and if I recall it was 56 hours trip from MA to CA.
w/ smiles Jimmy

PS. Sorry, it's the first pic of the two. I believe that was taken somewhere along the trip in Texas or New Mexico.

The second pic was several years later in LA with my lemon Mini Cooper. That is another story in itself.
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post #6 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 08:27 PM
 
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great thread!
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post #7 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 09:40 PM
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I have nothing to contribute as I was only 4 in 1974 and dad was driving a Renault 16TS, but boy am I enjoying these stories. Keep them coming!


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post #8 of 57 Old 02-11-2012, 11:35 PM
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I have nothing to contribute as I was only 4 in 1974 and dad was driving a Renault 16TS, but boy am I enjoying these stories. Keep them coming!


Onno
I'm with Onno, though I wasn't even born in 1974. But cool thread. Keep the stories and pics coming....

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post #9 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 05:18 AM
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Bill, great shots, Bertone 250 SWB ? Unbelievable. How long do you owned it ?

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post #10 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 07:27 AM
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I'm with Onno, though I wasn't even born in 1974. But cool thread. Keep the stories and pics coming....
In '74, I was a year away from purchasing my very first car, a 67 Triumph TR4A. Athough I don't have any digital photos of her, next month we'll celebrate 37 glorious years together. She's been my daily driver for about 25 of them.

Of all the narcissists I know, I love me the most.
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post #11 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 07:27 AM
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David,

Please fdo reach out to all the old crowd from the FOC. There are so many good stories that come to mind.

1. Bloomer backing over the award cup at Mark Dees.

2. Queener having the choice of driving Starbird's or Earle's car to the first Historics.

3. Me driving Epstien's 250LM for a couple of months.

4. The silver boxer that backed into the out wall at Riverside Turn 9 then declared that the car needed a color change anyway.

5. The pre-Daytona shakedown of the Comp Daytonas - Eastwood, all the Caradines, the Smother Brother that drove, all in attendance for an FOC Riverside gathering.

That is just a start. We had some real fun people in that group.

Jeff
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post #12 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 07:36 AM
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Used as a DD, loved every second !

cheers,

Bill
Bertone knew how to make some beautiful out of the box stuff. Love it!
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post #13 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Let the games begin!

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David,

Please fdo reach out to all the old crowd from the FOC. There are so many good stories that come to mind.

1. Bloomer backing over the award cup at Mark Dees.

2. Queener having the choice of driving Starbird's or Earle's car to the first Historics.

3. Me driving Epstien's 250LM for a couple of months.

4. The silver boxer that backed into the out wall at Riverside Turn 9 then declared that the car needed a color change anyway.

5. The pre-Daytona shakedown of the Comp Daytonas - Eastwood, all the Caradines, the Smother Brother that drove, all in attendance for an FOC Riverside gathering.

That is just a start. We had some real fun people in that group.

Jeff
Jeff,

I think this thread is going to turn into a monster, but a great one.

I'll start getting this to some of the old crowd. I have emails for many and they can send to more.

Of all of the great people back then, Bill Shanbacher gets a special vote from me. He was just such a gentleman and a great guy. Sadly, he was killed in a, I think, Mille Miglia accident a number of years ago.

Others were there for sure, and please don't think I'm trying to list them all, so please forgive any immediate omissions. I know they will come later.

Fo the names that come to mind immediately, first would naturally be my partner in party crimes, Larry Bloomer (and of course Diane).But then there were Larry Crane, Kirk Axtell, Joe Crevier (and Diana), Brad Balles, Jack Stewart, Phil Conte (I think that was his Boxer at Riverside, but we'll find out, I'm sure), Mark Dees, Ed Niles (and Phoebe), Chuck Queener, Steve Earle, Matt Eddinger, Bob Epstein (another madman), Jeff Kennedy, Fred and Rick Knoop, Bruce Meyer, Bruce Sand, Ken Starbird (and Rosie), Gary Brutsch, Sam Drummy, Chris Cord, Stoney Stollenwerck, Lou Sellyea, Walt Ward, June Pruden (later Mrs. Schanbacher), Erich Laetsch,Dick Barbour, Stu Baumgard, Dean Batchelor, Phil Bronner, Harley Cluxton, Bob Donner, George Dyer, Harry Eberlin, Frank Farace, Luke Fratello (and Lea), Larry and Pat Gosh, Bud Keeney, David Kopf, David Love, Kim McCloud, Walt McCune, Larry Menser, Al and Stella Mohr, Gary Snell, Gil Nickel, Paul Pappalardo, Alessandro Pedani, Jess Pourret, Bob Runyan, Mark Schroeder, Bill Schworer, Mike Sheehan, Lyle Tanner, Chuck Thornton, Ron Tonkin, Dan Ward, Don Wasserman, Bill Ziering, Allen Bishop, Alan Bolte, Bobby Carradine, Otis Chandler, Don Corbin, Joe DiLoreto, Clint Eastwood, Peter Helm, Jim McRoberts, Dick Merritt, Otto Zipper, Chuck Reid, Bill Rudd, James and Linda Stone, Steve Tillack, Claudio Zampolli, and many more.

The track days were crazy and the one with Eastwood, the Smothers and Carradines was especially great. At one point, Eastwood was driving his 308 with Milt Minter giving pointers. I passed him in my RHD Fly Yellow 1275S Mini Cooper. Eastwood told me later he was not surprised as he had one in Carmel and knew what they could do.

Although the club had a rule you had to run a Ferrari at a Ferrari track day, they bent it to let me run the Mini at times. The new rule was you had to OWN a Ferrari, but could run something else. This opened the door to some pretty fun and unusual cars.

Bruno Borri, Luciano and Pete with Modena Sport Cars kept many of our cars running. Sadly, Bruno passed away a couple of years ago. Sometime in a coming thread, I'll tell the story of the famous 1979 Daytona run. I was there through the whole thing and took lots of photos. No Hollywood writer would dare write a story like that!

Jeff had some good topics to start.

I'll let Bloomer tell about our converting his 57 Chevy from high school into a Tijuana Taxi and taking it to Mark Dee's beautiful picnic on the grass in front of his wonderful house.

As they say, that's another story....

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post #14 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Used as a DD, loved every second !

cheers,

Bill
Breathtaking! I knew the car, but not who owned it.

Congratulations!

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post #15 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 01:39 PM
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Bill, great shots, Bertone 250 SWB ? Unbelievable. How long do you owned it ?
10 years ....

cheers,

Bill
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post #16 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 01:42 PM
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I forgot some of those names. A few I did not know and with Jess met him around 1980 in Minneapolis.

We are going to have a fun time collecting these stories.

I don't if you ever knew many of the San Francisco club members. [I was from that area and would return home for semester breaks] There was a woman with a 308GT4 that was a bail bondsman. She did not look to be the type that would be in such a business. There was also Marshall Mathews in Atherton. He did some activity on epstien's LM and had an SWB he was doing a restoration on.

Another Art Center student brought out an Opel (sedan version of the Manta) to one of the Ontario track meets. He was turning laps faster than a bunch of the Dinos.

There was a time that a series of the club members started to use some Ferrari alternatives ont he track because of the cost of breakage. A couple had GT350 since if they broke it was just a common Ford to fix.

Jeff
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post #17 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 03:53 PM
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Dear Jeff,

What time frame were you in the San Francisco area? I was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Oakland (not Alameda) in 59-60 and found my Mondial in the back room of the Richmond Rambler dealership.

Best regards,

Robert

Past: 500 Mondial S2 0556(0446)/MD owned 58 years from June 1960 to August 2018
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post #18 of 57 Old 02-12-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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There was a time that a series of the club members started to use some Ferrari alternatives ont he track because of the cost of breakage. A couple had GT350 since if they broke it was just a common Ford to fix.

Jeff
Hah! I had a laugh on that one, as there were several of us that started taking that path when we feared buying Ferrari parts. Erich Laetch bought a 289 Cobra about the time I got my Mini. The only problem was that a forged piston for the Mini cost almost precisely the same as a Ferrari piston. AND the Mini and Cobra were blowing up all the time while THE F$&@:@NG FERRARIS WERE BULLETPROOF!!!

Live and learn.
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post #19 of 57 Old 02-13-2012, 04:40 AM
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Dear Jeff,

What time frame were you in the San Francisco area? I was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Oakland (not Alameda) in 59-60 and found my Mondial in the back room of the Richmond Rambler dealership.

Best regards,
I grew up in Castro Valley (next to Hayward and San Leandro). Went off to college in Los Angeles in 1974.

Clearly remember going out to the Alameda NAS and Treasure Island but not an Oakland NAS. My dad was in the Navy Reserves.

Jeff
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post #20 of 57 Old 02-13-2012, 05:01 AM
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Here is a story from back in those Los Angeles days. It should be around late 1976 or 1977.

There was a track event at Riverside Raceway for the FOC. I recall it as being a real good turn out that weekend. At the end of the gathering on Sunday there developed two different groups that were going to head off to dinner. One group knew some white tablecloth place in Redlands and the other was going to a Mexican place in Redlands. I opted for Mexican (in the correct direct for heading home and as a college student a more reasonable $ proposition).

Our group had maybe 10-15 people so we had to wait for a table to be set up for us. As we are sitting on the beches in the waiting area Ken Starbird starts talking. "Did you all see Epstien's LM?" Well of course we had. This car was well known as it had been restored to (for the time) perfection by Steve Griswold in Berkley for Fred Knoop, it had been raced in the innagual Historics at Monterey and won its class with Bob Bondurant driving, then won its Pebble Beach class on the Sunday. Bob Epstien had recently bought the car and driven it down from the San Francisco area leading a group of SF area FOC members on the drive.

Next question by Ken: "Did you hear how much he paid? $70,000." Everyone was in amazement. That was monster money for any Ferrari at that time. We all were just shaking our heads. his is for one person in the group. He leaned back and just started to smile. His comment: "Any GTO is worth more than and LM." This was Stoney. He had bought his GTO for $45,000 from his brother-in-law, Chris Cord.

In the parking lot were:
  • Stoney's 250 GTO on a trailer
  • Bill Ziering's 121 LM (ex-Doheny/Chris Cord)
  • Can't be certain if Bill Schanbacher was in our group that time - if he was then his 308GT/4 LM was on a trailer.
  • Ken Starbird's Comp Daytona was still laid up with a broken motor from the last 24 hour Daytona so he was driving Rosie's 206 GT Dino.
  • There were others too. Bloomer might have been with us and that would mean his Daytona was there (ex-Schanbacher)
There were no guards on the cars on any of that. The trailered cars were across the street because it was easier for the trailers. The driven cars were in the parking lot but in door ding protected locations.

Epstien sold the LM about 1 1/2 years later for $120-140,000. Stoney a few years later sold the GTO to a guy in New York for $320,000 or so.

Jeff
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