Join Date: Aug 2007
Ferrari Life Posts: 1,130
308 GTB drive
Inspired by fantastic recent driving reports by Barry, Boxer and 212Export, here is my report of a great drive this past Saturday.
Last time I was in town, over three weeks ago, we took a drive to my specialist to meet up with Onno and 550JM. A good 100km drive towards the south east. Above 4000rpm I noticed an occasional hesitation. Appointment booked at 9h30 this past Saturday to check the timing and look at the carbs after the specialist drove the car and said not electrics and not serious.
Fast forward to this past Saturday. Alarm went off at 06h30. Still night outside. Wake up by re-reading the December edition of Classic Cars, an article comparing the 246 gt with the 308 GTB and asking if the former is three times the car at three times the price. They conclude that the Dino is prettier and rarer. They say not to worry that the GTB is vitually mass-produced, it is the better drive. Suitably inspired, onto the bicycle for the half an hour cycle in the dark to the garage. Once awake it is magic to cycle across a slumbering city somewhere in the grey between night and day with no shadows on the ground, few cars about and no cyclists to be seen.
Open the garage and the Michalone never fails to take my breath away. So low, so wide and so beautiful, pictures do not do her justice. Fire her up in the pre-sun gloom and wait a few minutes to get fluids moving. She tells me when she is ready by settling into a smooth idle. Off we go. It rained last night and I am conscious of those wide 335 tyres at the back and the cold temperatures. We progress cautiously. The ride is lumpy on the cold tyres. As we near Utrecht, the sun appears below the low clouds. A glorious orange light adding to the warm cabin. She fits like a glove. Up to operating temperature and we settle into an easy cruise, keeping it below 4000rpm. At this rate and all is fine, perhaps I am being too sensitive. As we go the clouds lift with more and more blue sky appearing. With occassional showers. Michalone secure and planted despite wide tyres, cold air and wet road under the showers.
After a capuccino and catch up with the brilliant and personable specialist, he and mechanic whip off the airbox cover while I alternate between bothering them with my hovering and admiring the many Ferrari jewels in the workshop. Including the first Daytona that is being rebuilt (275 front, Daytona rear and unique single cam, three valve motor).
An hour later and the Michalone is purring. Timing was checked and some dirt found in two of the carburettor jets. Revs jump eagerly at the touch of the throttle. Time for the 100km drive home. In the sun under watery blue sky. A quiet bit of highway, up to operating temperature and we go to 7000rpm through the gears lifting off at 6000rpm in fifth. The gobble of the carbs at 3000rpm moves to an urgent wail of sound toward 5000rpm before the F1 Cosworth-scream soundtrack plays from 6000rpm onwards. Smoothly and effortlessly. We settle into a fast cruise of 4500rpm. Sweet!
Into garage and check oil level in dry sump oil tank while motor idles. All systems good. This car talks to me, telling me when she is ready to go, when something is not quite right like that dirt in the jets, and when she is enjoying herself. Which is most of the time. Particularly when we drive fast on the open road lost in the views framed by the steeply racked windscreen and spearing front wings, together with the music from that magnificent V8 heart.
Current: 365BB, 550 bluebird and a few 911's
Past: 246gt, 512BB, 308 GTB "Michalone" and a few 911's