I received my new 1981 308 GTSi on 19 May 05. It was really a day made in heaven for me. I received a call from one of Jonathan Peck’s drivers stating he was actually ahead of schedule and would be able to deliver the car that afternoon and not the next morning. I immediately want to thank Jonathan for his impeccable service. He more than met my request to deliver on a specific date to a fairly remote area that is southern Idaho. Thank you, Jonathan.
I fly for a living. I needed a day flight but managed it so I could get it done and still meet Mr. Roger Dawson (Jonathan’s driver) by 5:30 p.m. The photos are of the afternoon flight and, yes, the weather sucked. Brad, a fellow pilot and car enthusiast (he just bought a NSX), drove me down to my storage facility. I’m what most would consider a grown man; a 33 year-old military pilot for crying out loud. Having said that, I teared up when Roger opened the trailer door. This 308 was absolutely stunning. I just couldn’t believe I had made this happen and that Jerry Hawley had entrusted me with his treasure. Thank you, Jerry and Susan.
Lt Cdr Alan B. Shepard, Jr., prior to his maiden space flight, was quoted, “Please, Lord, don’t let me f—k up…” I thought the same thing as I sat in this beautiful machine for the first time. I backed the car out of the trailer and immediately put her in a temporary home. It was raining but no worries; towels were readily available to shed what water had contacted the rossa corsa “canvas.”
I am not a smoker. However, Brad and I each had a Djarum Black clove cigarette. We stood there and marveled at what an amazing piece was in our company. I still couldn’t believe I was fortunate enough to experience this great joy.
Brad and I needed to fly that night so we left the little Italian beauty secure and headed for the flight line. I flew twice that day; the afternoon and night flights. Brad and I flew together that night. As I was strapping the “rig” on that night, I yelled back to Brad (I was in the front seat) stating how fortunes never land in your lap. You have to go and get them. I fly AH-64A Apaches (attack helicopters). That takes as much brain power as I am able to muster but, despite the nay-sayers, I made it happen. I now am able to experience my one, true, materialistic joy; owning, operating and, hopefully, maintaining this elegant piece of automotive art. Despite those nay-sayers, I made it happen. I am not rich so it does take some sacrifice. Above all, my wife understands. I called to let her know how much I appreciated her putting up with my stuff. She said, “You’re fine, dear…” Boy, do I have her fooled.
I experienced the joy of 208 miles over the course of four days. I refused to take the 308 out unless the weather was perfect; no wind, no rain. I admit. I used the weather radar at work to see what was coming; “fraud, waste and abuse?” You be the judge! I found this great route that took me from Boise, onto the highway and then back onto this scenic road through Boise. I must have done this at least fifteen times. I love the joy that is motoring with an open top on a four lane road with the Rockies in the background. Never mind the fact I was experiencing this in a Ferrari. “A Ferrari,” I kept thinking as I cruised along in fifth gear and 3K RPMs. I will never take it for granted. It looks as if we’re Afghanistan bound early next year for a full year. We live in a great country. Here I am, a kid from small town Montana who was able to live out his dreams. Plus, my kids will be able to say, “my pop served our country during the war on terror….and, oh by the way, he’s a Ferrari fanatic…” These are good times, friends. I will never take it for granted.
Thanks for reading. Dane