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Discussion Starter #1
Would anyone be interested in answering a couple of questions about their Ferrari? It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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I think some people here (myself included) would definitely be interested. But may I suggest that you introduce yourself and provide a little background information? Something to the effect of:

"Hello, my name is . . . . I am a student at . . . . for my ____ class, I need to interview . . .. . . .the purpose of this assignment is to . . . . "

Just simple good communication practice and manners. :)

Best regards,

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the feedback, I'll try this again. :)

Hello, my name is Doug Hardy and I'm from New Mexico. I am a senior at Los Alamos High School. I have always been fascinated with Ferrari and thus, chose to do my senior paper on this topic. I would like to ask a few questions to anyone who has owned a Ferrari or currently owns one. I ask this because one of my sources needs to be an interview, which means the questions and answers would need to be put in my paper. I want to make sure that whomever I interview is OK with there answers being published in my paper.

Thank you,
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can just post my list of questions all together and have you answer them collectively, or I could post them individually. Whichever would be easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would prefer to talk to just one person because this would be easier to put in my paper. Would you be interested?
 

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Maybe you could post all the questions, we can look at them, and maybe some will answer some and some will answer all.

If respondents feel each does not want to publically state the info each can respond to you by PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for taking the time to do this. Please feel free to elaborate on your responses as much as you would like. Also, you can skip questions that do not apply to you.

Interview Questions:

1) How long have you owned a Ferrari and what model is it?
2) When you drove it for the first time, what thoughts or emotions went through your head?
3) Did you ever dream of owning a Ferrari as a kid?
4) If you have owned or driven multiple Ferraris, which is your favorite and why?
5) Is there something that you think sets Ferrari apart from other high class auto makers? Is there a particular reason you bought a Ferrari and not something else?
6) People have said that Ferrari's have a tendency to require a lot of maintenance, but that gives the car it's character. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?
7) What do you think Ferrari stands for? (i.e. wealth, status, speed, racing, etc. )
8) Do you prefer the V-8 cars or the V-12's? Why?


Thanks again for your time.
 

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Interview Answers

Hello Doug!

I am glad to answer your questions to the best of my ability. My name is Michael Humphreys, and I live in Maryland. I too, have been fascinated with Ferrari for quite awhile. I am now 54 years old, and purchased my car about a year and a half ago. I have been having quite a lot of fun and enjoyment with my Ferrari, and I will be glad to answer your questions.


Interview Questions:

1) How long have you owned a Ferrari and what model is it?

I purchased my Ferrari on September 28, 2007. I own a 1983 Ferrari 308 GTBi Quattrovalvole, and it is a European model. There were a total of 12,004 308's produced between 1975 and 1985. Mine is one of only 748 made, and being a European model, is very rare. It is 300 pounds lighter than the American model, and since it has 4 valves per cylinder, it is the fastest 308 produced by Ferrari.

2) When you drove it for the first time, what thoughts or emotions went through your head?

At first, I was very nervous. I never drove a Ferrari before, and wasn't sure how it would handle or if I could handle it very well. I drove about 2 miles, then started feeling very comfortable with the car, its handling, and my shifting. I did the speed limit, but the sound it made had me thinking I was going too fast. I knew it was a fast car, and I was used to shifting early (around 3,000 RPM). These Ferraris have a 7,800 RPM redline shift, so technically I could easily drive on a major highway in second gear and still have 3 more gears to go, but I shift around 5,000 RPM. Back when this car was new, most cars only had 3 speeds. This has 5 speeds.

3) Did you ever dream of owning a Ferrari as a kid?

Yes, I did. I think most Ferrari owners dreamed about owning a Ferrari when they were a kid. A good reason I think this is true, is because many Ferrari owners own a few model cars that they had when they were young, and still collect them today. Yosho makes limited Ferrari model cars that have the same paint used by Ferrari. Many of the car owners also own models of their car. I think the "kid" stayed in most of us.

There are many types of racing, but Formula One or Grand Prix racing is considered the world's greatest. Ferrari has lead the field for this type of racing consistently - both with the world's most famous drivers, and as a manufacturer which constructs these handbuilt cars. These cars go straight, left, right, fast and slow from zero to 100 in less than 2 seconds, maintain speeds of over 200 mph, drop down to 70, go back to over 200 and do this for hours while inches away from other cars. That's racing! And, those race cars cost millions each.

4) If you have owned or driven multiple Ferraris, which is your favorite and why?

I wish I had driven or owned more than one, but this was my first and only. I have no plan to sell it, and if I buy another one, I'd still like to hang on to it. My favorite Ferrari is the 1985 288 GTO.

5) Is there something that you think sets Ferrari apart from other high class auto makers? Is there a particular reason you bought a Ferrari and not something else?

Yes. Not many car companies make a car costing over $1 million (Enzo), with a waiting list longer than the production number of cars being built before the first car is even made. Ferrari does. Ferraris are handbuilt in Maranello, Italy. A handbuilt car takes time, and Ferrari is never in a rush to meet demand. Also, Ferrari has been winning races since the 1930's, and has a reputation as the company with the most wins in the most races, in the world's top races (Grand Prix, 24 Hours of Le Mans, etc). The leather is handstiched, the carbon fiber components are perfectly made, the hand built engines are visible under glass hoods in many of the cars, the exhaust sound is like no other car (not even Lamborghini), no expense is spared on parts, the frames are built strong for racing, and they are such exciting cars to see as well. I have owned other fast cars (Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, and American muscle cars), but they are not handbuilt in limited quantity.

6) People have said that Ferrari's have a tendency to require a lot of maintenance, but that gives the car it's character. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?

Well, not "a lot" of maintenance. Ferrari owners have a reputation for keeping their cars properly maintained. A Ferrari does not require much more maintenance than most other vehicles. Of course, a Ferrari engine is much more complicated than most other vehicles, and many of the Ferrari engines need to be taken out of the car and maintained on a table, then put back in the Ferrari. It is not unusual for a $10,000.00 service to be performed on these cars. Most of these services are "preventive maintenance" not break-downs, and the owners are aware of this at the time of purchase. For comparison, my BMW runs like a champ, but requires around $1,000.00 a year to keep it running properly. It is preventive maintenance (upkeep), and not break-down costs.

7) What do you think Ferrari stands for? (i.e. wealth, status, speed, racing, etc. )

Ferrari is the best. It is the ultimate by which some other companies try to aspire, but in my opinion I enjoy the racing heritage it represents, and enjoy owning and driving a small part of that handbuilt reputation. I drive it for "me." I enjoy the winding turns as well as that flying feeling over the hills. I've had it off the ground a few times, and it is built to withstand that. In my old 1983 Ferrari, going around 160 MPH only takes very few seconds to get there. Of course the newer Ferraris are hitting 200 MPH, and on a properly designed race course with all the right equipment, it's fun. Ferrari stands for the best in speed, design, components, drivers, and racing reputation.

8) Do you prefer the V-8 cars or the V-12's? Why?

If I were younger, I might prefer a V-12, but with Ferrari suspension, a 7,800 RPM redline and 5 speeds, my old V-8 is about all I can handle. It can give a modern V-8 a run for it's money.

I hope you like my answers, and I'm sure there are many others who may have much more experience and exciting Ferraris than I do.

Take care, stay in school and do your best in whatever you do. Ferraris are not bought by dreams alone.

Michael
 

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Okay, I'll give it a shot. Let me preface my answers by saying that I might not be a "typical" -- or at least "stereotypical" -- owner. So these may not be the answers you are looking for!

1) How long have you owned a Ferrari and what model is it?

I have owned my 1980 308 GTBi for one year. It is my first Ferrari.

2) When you drove it for the first time, what thoughts or emotions went through your head?

My first drive was a test drive, part of my evaluation. I was listening carefully for all of the right and none of the wrong noises, and paying attention to the feel of the steering and suspension and gearshift. I'll explain my emotions in question 5. I had owned and driven many sports cars prior, including a number of exotics, so I was well past the "oh my gosh, I can't believe it" stage. :)

3) Did you ever dream of owning a Ferrari as a kid?

Yes. I dreamed mostly of Lotus Esprits and Lamborghini Countaches, but I had the occasional Porsche and Ferrari dreams, too. They were 308s.

4) If you have owned or driven multiple Ferraris, which is your favorite and why?

I am not the best person to answer this question, because I have only driven 3-liter V8 Ferraris; a bunch of people on this board have driven a much greater variety. I have driven more than half a dozen 308s, more or less at least one of every kind except for fiberglass, and several 2-valve injected models.

My favorite is the 308 GTBi. I would have preferred a 4-valve version, but they are extremely rare in the U.S., so I bought a nice 2-valve car. I prefer injected over carbureted because they run better and cleaner, and the carburetor noise that some people enjoy gets loud and annoying to me after a while. I prefer the berlinetta (hard top) over spider (removable roof) because it is structurally stiffer, less likely to leak (rain/washing), and I like the uninterrupted curve of the roof line and rear quarter window without the slats. My vision and intention for purchasing this car was as a Grand Touring car, like the name suggests (GTB), and the Berlinetta just gave it that character and feel that I wanted. I wasn't picturing fun-in-the-sun, going to the beach, car shows, or "hey, look at me" when I bought it; I was seeking a fast and pleasurable precision driving instrument . . . with a bit of flair and passion.

5) Is there something that you think sets Ferrari apart from other high class auto makers? Is there a particular reason you bought a Ferrari and not something else?

Prior to buying my Ferrari, I owned cars from Lotus, Porsche, Jaguar, and Lancia. I had opportunities to own Maserati, TVR, Lamborghini, and probably a few others I'm not thinking of. I always thought 308s were beautiful on the exterior, and that their interiors had a seductive, Italian, classical simplicity about them. But the first time I drove one, I wasn't impressed. I was already used to other cars, and to be honest, the 308 just wasn't inspiring from the driver's seat. For the guy who has been driving BMW sedans his entire adult life and takes the plunge into sports car ownership with a 308, I'm sure it's like an orgasm, but having driven nearly every mid-engined car I could imagine prior to driving my first 308, the 308 felt like a sled. I was disappointed. I felt like it was the ultimate poseur car.

To go back to question 2, I could best describe my feeling as "crossing over to the dark side". I asked myself, "why am I buying this?" as I test drove my car, with the conscious decision made that if it all checked out I would lay out the cash. It was, to me at the time, an absolute poor value for the money. The Esprit -- any Esprit -- was (IS) a million times more fun to drive. Any Merak was a more comfortable and easy (yes, easy) car to drive. (Those are the cars I had narrowed my choice down to.)

The dark side: I felt like I was buying it just for the badge. I am a gearhead through and through -- have owned around 40 cars, and have been working on engines and things with wheels my entire life -- and that Ferrari went against every instinct of mine. Every car I could think of was a better value -- offered better performance and/or qualities, and usually for a LOT less -- so much less that it made no sense. I just couldn't see any reason to pay all that money for the Ferrari other than for the badge. I felt like I was betraying my own sports car values.

I rationalized my decision to buy by saying that I wanted a sturdier and more reliable (gulp) car than the Lotus, but still wanted the fun and excitement of an exotic, mid-engined car. I further rationalized my decision by reminding myself that 308s are fully depreciated, and while it may be overpriced now, it will still be overpriced for the next person who buys it. In other words, I'm just parking some money in it; not spending it and it's gone.

So, I bought it.

And slowly, my appreciation began to grow.

And I began to see the value. (I now think 308s are way undervalued, as well as Esprits and Meraks.)

So what sets a Ferrari apart from other high class auto makers? My list is 308-sepcific:

- Craftsmanship. I don't know how much of the bodies are hand-made and how much are machine/robot-made, but there is no car from its era with as exquisite of a body, period. Except another Ferrari, like a Berlinetta Boxer. The fit and finish is great for a low-volume production car, and better than most cars from its era. The shapes and curves and details are exquisite, beautiful, and functional. True beauty inside and out, and certainly not cheap to build.

- Durability. A 308 is, as I have learned, actually a heavy-duty car. We have these images in our heads of exotics -- especially from that era -- as being fragile and temperamental. Many of them are, but the 308 is a well-developed car with a stout frame, rigid body shell, strong suspension, and mechanicals designed to be driven hard. The success of the 308 GTB rally cars proves this . . .

- Engine. I gained the understanding that nobody can build an engine like Ferrari. Silky smooth, pulls eagerly to red line in every gear, good torque, high horsepower output (especially for 1980) -- and from only 3 liters! And I've seen a few 308 engines apart and did a bit of work on 308s, and everything is very stout. When it came to engines, Enzo didn't mess around.

- Precision. The level and degree of precision to many of the parts on the 308 is Porsche-like . . . but still has some intangible human quality to it that Porsche and other mass-produced cars lack. Can't put my finger on it. Doesn't matter. At first the mechanical layout and the infinite number of parts used to build these cars seems like an Italian nightmare, but once you get into it, you see the purpose for everything and realize how well-developed the car is. And there is precision in the mechanical parts, in the body, and most importantly, in the steering and handling. Once you get comfortable with a 308 and begin to explore its capabilities, it shows you what a high performance, precision instrument it really is.

- Racing heritage. You'll hear lots of people talk about this mindlessly, like it were some kind of marketing campaign. Let me tell you what is real and tangible about racing heritage. Any manufacturer can make a car look fast and generate some impressive numbers in a road test. But when a company spends its years actually racing, then they actually know how to make a car handle predictably at high speeds. And withstand repeated accelerating and braking, sustained high speeds, and the general abuse of racing, or just driving fast. A Ferrari is not just a poseur's toy -- it is a serious machine that incorporates lessons learned from the race track into its mechanical design. The more you drive it and the more intimate you become with it, the more you see and feel it.

But it doesn't end there. Those are the obvious and easily explainable things that set Ferraris apart. But all of the above are qualities you can find in other cars, notably nearly any Porsche (although I'd say "build quality" instead of "craftsmanship"). All of the above doesn't really add up to make a Ferrari worth buying. They add up to a more expensive car, but most cars are still a better value. But there's more, and it really took the better part of a year of ownership for this realization to settle with me, and to see the light in what I thought was the dark side:

Passion. Beauty. La dolce vita. You can live a life of toil and subsistence, or you can live a life of zest and flavor. No matter who you are. It's inside of you. You can mindlessly take the world as it is fed to you, or you can be a renaissance man. You can live in a flat world, or you can live in enlightenment. You can seek joy and pleasure in everything you do, even the most basic chores. You can cherish friends and family and the love and time you share. The way you dress yourself and the food you prepare can be simply function, or it can be art. You can surround and decorate your life with beauty and art and passion in everything you do. It goes beyond just seeking to educate and better yourself and be the best person you can; many people do that, but in a boring way. There's more. Every moment of life can be enjoyed. Everything you do can be done with passion and beauty.

It doesn't matter how much money you have. A poor person can plant bright red petunia seeds in a home-made flower box and hang it from her window, and it makes the world a more beautiful place. It's not about being materialistic, and is nearly the exact opposite of being a slave to brands and marketing and all that garbage that they try to feed people. It's a very human way to live -- indeed, it is the essence of the human spirit, and the fuel for all art and culture.

Now, to apply that to Ferrari and cars. It all makes sense to me now: Why buy just a sports car, austere in character and really only performing its task, even if it performs it well? Why not instead do it with passion and beauty and life? Open your eyes to the timeless, classical beauty and passion in every inch of the Ferrari. Not only is every mechanical and structural bit there for a purpose; every cosmetic bit has a purpose, and no one does it more or better than Ferrari. All of the spirit of all of the hands and minds that made that car reach out to you and everyone else who sees, touches, hears, and smells it. It is more than just a car -- it is an inspiration and a connection for people.

This is why people stop and stare when they see or hear one. This is why people crowd streets to see these cars. It is a treat for bystander as much as owner/driver, and it never loses it's thrill. Life, no matter whether rich or poor, easy or saddled with hardship, can be sweet. The Ferrari is just a thing, just a car, and life is about infinitely more than just cars -- but the Ferrari is the epitome of this mentality in the automotive world. This is how it is designed and made, and it exudes it. There are many great automobiles, and many have great and unique character, but Ferrari is at the top of the mountain when it comes to la dolce vita. I don't know where the phrase originates, but this is the connotation I have for it.

So, yes, there is something that sets the Ferrari apart, and you either "get it" or you don't! :)


6) People have said that Ferrari's have a tendency to require a lot of maintenance, but that gives the car it's character. Do you believe this to be true? Why or why not?

As noted above, there is far more about a Ferrari that gives it its character than the maintenance schedule. In any sense, needing to take care of something means more involvement with it, which typically leads to greater mental or emotional investment in and therefore fondess toward something.

But the maintenance is simple: When you have high peformance stuff, things are more stressed and wear out faster. The servicing costs of any Ferrari are really not bad when compared to the cost of purchasing it new! If you have something that expensive, that intricate, and that special, wouldn't you want to give it an annual checkup? And the timing belts are only every few years; really shouldn't be a big deal!

7) What do you think Ferrari stands for? (i.e. wealth, status, speed, racing, etc. )

Passion. Art. Culture. Life. Speed. Racing. Italy. Beauty. Humanity. Heritage. Horsepower. See #5 above!

I don't really get into the money/status thing. Maybe that's because I don't have much status! But on the other hand, look at all of the adoring fans of Ferrari. Look at all of the red and yellow flags waving at an F1 race. Look at the excitement these cars inspire millions of people! They are a major part of who validates Ferrari's place in the world. What Ferrari stands for is made up of millions of people -- rich and poor -- and the few lucky ones who get to own and drive these cars owe the legend and priviledge to the millions who dream about it.

You will encounter many Ferrari (or other expensive car) owners who are caught up in status and prestige. Yes, in our world, owning something expensive and coveted is a symbol of status and prestige. But for that to be the main motivator is to not get it. True status and prestige need no symbols. And status and prestige turn to arrogance and ugliness without humility.


8) Do you prefer the V-8 cars or the V-12s? Why?

I don't have a preference. My personal preference at the moment is for the V8 because I like smaller engines and cars (coming from a Lotus background). For me -- both my driving ability and my self-concept -- a 12-cylinder car is just a little too much; but for someone else it's probably just right. I love the sound that all of the engines make!


Thanks again for your time.

You're welcome! :D


 

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Thanks for being brief, Tony!!!

Seriously though good statements.

Nice car, too.

Looks great in black.

Interior black?
 

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LOL! :D Thanks. :)

Yes, black on black.
Wow:yikes: What a write-up:thumbsup: Good job, and as always the 308 is immaculate.
 

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That's a stunner.

very nice.

Was that last shot at Concorso?
Thanks. It was at a local Maryland car show. I've enjoyed car shows almost my entire life because as a boy I could talk with owners about their cars, and now that I'm an owner, I enjoy letting parents take pictures of their kids at the wheel, instead of just standing in front of the car.

The previous owners have taken great care with it. It is all original, never restored, and in top physical and mechanical condition. It has won several times for Best In Class, as well as First Place. The (orange hat) Judge in the picture told me it was considered one of the top 5 People's Choice from a field of almost 700 cars that day. I was amazed.
 

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