�When asked, � What most impressed me with the car ?� my answer related to the fact that not only did I purchase the car, but also commissioned modifications solely by telephone.�
-Ron Busuttil, M.D., Ph.D.
"Doug, your reputation is beyond reproach. I have bought several Ferraris in my lifetime, and I know when I buy from you I am buying a car from a reputable person."
"The exhaust and engine work you did are spectacular! The car sounds completely wonderful - I can actually hear it swallowing air, and I have no doubt the bad headers were causing all kind of backpressure issues -- the increase in power is kind of breathtaking. Obviously the timing correction has a lot to do with that as well. I feel pretty sure the car runs better than it did when it was delivered new to Sonny Crockett back in 1997. And it sounds like a Ferrari again, not a landscaping truck!"
"The engine compartment is vastly improved as well, and the resurfaced console etc. looks most excellent."
"None of this was cheap, but it was all well worth it. A job really, really well done!"
This Issue's Trivia Question!
Last Issue's Fun Fact and trivia question:
For years I've heard Ferrari's Boxer engines referred to as '180-degree V12s'. I never understood why people couldn't simply say 'flat 12' - but who am I to question it, right?
I recently learned that Ferrari's Boxer engines are referred to as '180-degree V12s' because, technically, they are not true boxer layouts. A true boxer engine, used by both Porsche and Alfa Romeo before Ferrari was a company, is one in which the pistons move simultaneously - in an out at the same time like clapping hands, or two boxers punching each other. That means that each piston has to have a separate crankshaft pin - a setup that's as expensive as it is inherently well balanced. BMW's motorcycle (correctly referred to as a 'Beemer', whereas the automobiles are known as 'bimmers') is another example of a true boxer engine.
Getting the 'boxer' engine right was not an easy mountain for Ferrari to climb. In the mid-'60s, Ferrari's attempts were not notable. But by the end of the decade, Ferrari got it right.
So what was the only one-off Ferrari, in which a flat 12 was placed, that mopped up the competition in a series of events, and what was that series of events?
Our Fun Fact winners are:
Geoffrey Ohland was the very first to answer, followed almost simultaneously by Parker Hall, Bill Muno and Bob Weiner
Gary S., and Ivo Pucci from Switzerland.
Congratulations, gentlemen! Your Berlinetta Motorcars caps are in the mail. I wish you the best of luck with this month's trivia question.
Now for this issue's Trivia Question...
To mark Berlinetta Motorcars' 30 years of dedication to the cars you know and love, this issue features a trivia question worth $150!
The first person to submit the correct answer to the following question will receive a $150 gift certificate to the establishment of their choice. Good luck!
What is the year and model of the Ferrari on this page, 6th from the bottom,"Our Work Included: Metal fabrication, paint work, major engine service and tune up." ? E-mail your response to email@example.com.
Reading Concours d'Elegance 2009
Words by Carbon McCoy, Photos by Bill Proctor
What are all
of the clich�s you're used to seeing when you read about a Ferrari or a Ferrari
concours? Timeless lines? Beautiful Pininfarina curves? Supple leather
interior? Patina? The annual Reading Concours embodies all of these clich�s -
but not pejoratively.
Pietro Castiglioni's 25th Anniversary of the Reading Concours d'Elegance was, as usual, a multi-generational gathering of the best of the best Ferraris around. Not so much a prelude to Pebble Beach as it is an all Italian Northeast alternative, the Reading Concours features vintage, classic and contemporary Ferraris.
The weather was wonderful; threatening rain was all clouds and no sprinkles and both cars and attendees were spared a glaring, beating sun. But nothing came closer to perfection than the stallions that were on display. The beautiful Pininfarina shapes were mesmerizing and everything but clich�. Many of the iconic Ferrari models that are lusted over and sought after were present this year.
The first 250 GTO was there, a handful of 250 GTE 2+2s, a 330 GT 2+2, two Queen Mothers, a 1957 500 TRC (Marriott's 0698 MDTR), a black 410 Superamerica, and a couple of 365 GTC/4s. A dark red chairs and flares Dino 246 GTS represented the '70s along with a red 308 GT4 with Boxer trim. Speaking of Boxers, a carbureted 512 from Delaware made the trek to this annual gathering of prancing horses.
The angular, chiseled body of a metallic blue 400i was a stark contrast to the red curves of a C/4. The low-slung, sporty silhouette of a Grigio, fiberglass bodied 308 is as beautiful as it is different from the classic Rosso Corsa-liveried timeless lines of a 250 GT PF Cab. For those with a predilection for modern Ferraris, the variety was just as broad. The models - and colors - were a sweeping array of what you want and expect from Ferrari. A Grigio Titanio F430; a Giallo Modena 360 Spider; a Blu Pozzi 550 Maranello; a Bianco Testarossa - there was even a Rosso Corsa California!
But the show-stopper - at least in my opinion - was Admiral Robert Phillips's 1955 Series II 500 Mondial Scaglietti Spyder, s/n 0556 MD (0446 MD). Admiral Phillips showed this same car at Reading nine years ago and won the Preservation Award. He then showed it at 2006 Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet - as a paintless, stripped down shell. The long awaited restoration debuted earlier this year, and many people had the opportunity to see this amazing example at Reading.
Admiral Phillips' beautifully restored 500 Mondial went home a little heavier than it was when it arrived on the lawn - a trio of trophies will do that. But there's not much room in the boot of a '50s Ferrari race car for the Ferrari Spirit Award, a class Platinum award, Best Competition Car award and a Best in Show award. I'm sure his son, Bryan Phillips, who himself showed his Platinum class award-winning 1968 365 GT 2+2 offered to toss them in the back seat for the drive home to Virginia.
The judging staff were a veritable who's who in the what's what world of arcane Ferrari minutiae. An assembly of world renowned erudition, led by Chief Judge Phil Tegtmeier, scrutinized, combed over and otherwise verified the pristine and original condition of scores of Ferraris. Not an enviable task by any stretch of the imagination.
But, quite frankly, no one really attends a show like the Reading Concours d'Elegance to find who's going home with what trophy. The wide eyed, camera-wielding enthusiasts who circle each example, capturing details with their digital shutters, are not eyeballing Cheney hose clamps. The friendship, the camaraderie, the unimaginably breathtaking display of Ferraris of all eras are what bring so many from near and far. The only unappealing clich� about Reading is that it only occurs once a year. Maybe we can convince Pietro to host a monthly get together.
All images courtesy and copyright Bill Proctor, 2009 (thanks, Bill!).
Circuit de Monaco
Crown of motorsports consists of winning in a trifecta of venues so versatile,
so improbable, that only one person has done it in the history of motor racing.
In 1966 Graham Hill won the Indianapolis
500; in 1972, he won the 24 Hours of Le
Mans. The other race that completes this racing
trinity is the Monaco Grand Prix. Hill won the Monaco Grand Prix five times
(1963, '64, '65, '68 and '69). But it wasn't until 1972, when he won the 24
Hours, that he had finally claimed the unofficial Triple Crown of motorsport.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a grueling exercise in endurance, skill, and methodical racing. The Indianapolis 500, the largest single day sporting event in the world, is a 500 mile chase for glory in what's billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing. But of all the Grand Prix circuits in Formula One, why is Monaco favored as a rite of passage?
Monaco is the shortest circuit of the 17 tracks currently hosting Formula One races. But it is as technical as it is succinct. The lap record at Monaco is 1:14.439, held by Michael Schumacher, posted in a Ferrari in 2004; Monaco is 2.075 miles in length. To better explain the difficulty of Circuit de Monaco, let's look at Silverstone, whose lap record (1:18.739) is also held by Schumacher (posted in a Ferrari, 2004). The difference is just under five seconds - and Silverstone is more than a mile longer than Monaco at 3.194 miles.
So what makes Monaco so technical? Well go get your helmet because you're about to find out.
After having left the grid and already completed a lap, when you're coming down the front straight, you're in seventh gear going 160+ miles per hour before you brake heavily for turn one, Sainte Devote, where you're down in second gear at approximately 25-40 mph. You rocket out of the apex, flipping through the gears back up to seventh, clipping the Beau Rivage apexes at around 170. You brake and gear-flip your way down to just north of 100 mph in fourth gear as you round the left-hander Massenet, a wide sweeper that deceives you into thinking that turn four at Casino Square will let you maintain your current velocity. You drop a gear and apex Casino at 50.
As you exit Casino, your reflexes need to be as millisecond quick as your car's shift times, because if your back end gets squirrelly, that's it. There is no runoff at Monaco; no gravel traps or seemingly endless backgrounds of soft Bahrainian sand. Focus. You're barreling toward Mirabeau Haute in fifth gear, closing in on 140 mph. The stacked guard rails on either side of you are awfully close and woefully unforgiving. You brake hard for a tight turn five, whining second gear as you wrestle with the steering wheel to keep the back end in the back. Immediately exiting Haute, you're flying in third gear at 75 miles an hour down into the Grand Hotel Hairpin.
There is no time to think, but there is no margin for error. In between your fingers' rhythmic taps on the paddles, your thumbs are adjusting the differential and engine braking knobs fore and aft of each turn. In first gear your speedometer is telling you that you're going in slow motion. But the g-forces on your body as you round the tightest hairpin in Formula One tell you that you're hauling a...
You apex unscathed and accelerate in second toward turn seven, Mirabeau Bas. You clip the apex on this 90-degree turn, setting up for turn eight at Portier, exiting wide, hard on the gas, the fingers on your right hand tapping with seizure-like ferocity as you enter the tunnel. You're inside somewhere between third and fourth gear, blurring into the shaded sweeper at over 100 mph. Towards the end of the tunnel, a big white square jumps from the right into your line of vision. At this point, you're in seventh gear and waving goodbye to 170 mph.
The blinding white square grows huge and engulfs you in a fraction of a second. There are no knobs or switches on the steering wheel to increase your chutzpah, so the speed at which you exit the tunnel rests entirely on your cojones. If you're among the racing elite, you're flying blindly into an area of the track that you can't see at 180 mph. To intensify this harrowing experience, you need to drop five gears and shave about 160 miles off of your current speed - now. Turns 10 and 11 are the Nouvelle Chicane, a duo of closely cropped 90-degree apexes that you enter left and exit right before you apex left again, squeezing about 140 mph out of fifth gear before braking for, and apexing, turn 12's Tabac, swinging out wide to the right so that you can set up for a 125 mph apex through Louis Chiron at turns 13 and 14.
Now you're doing about 140 as you nail a right handed apex through turn 15, Piscine (the swimming pool), before practically pressing pause on reality as you drop down about 25 in second gear to negotiate the turn 16 apex. You zoom through the kink at 17 between 110-115, before dropping back down to second and crawling through the twin apexes of hairpin-like La Rascasse at turn 18. You're still in second as you zip past pit lane, apex turn 19's Anthony Noghes, and come out wide on the left, hard on the gas again back up the front straight at 150-160 mph.
Do that 76 more times and you can see why Monaco is revered as one of the most challenging and rewarding circuits in motorsport.
Circuit image courtesy Wikipedia.com.
Formula One Report
a slow start to the 2009 Formula One season, Ferrari is picking up the
pace, albeit lethargically, and putting more points on the board.
In Monaco, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa started second and fifth on the grid respectively, and placed fourth and third respectively, scoring a total of 11 points.
The race in Turkey wasn't as glamorous with Massa scoring just three points; Kimi finished, but not high enough to contribute. Ferrari collected a total of six points at Silverstone - five of those points thanks to Felipe.
But all of this racing stuff is kinda hard to focus on since the big announcement on Thursday, 18 June 2009. The Formula One Teams' Association announced that it is setting up a breakaway championship.
In the simplest terms, that means that eight of the 10 teams currently racing in Formula One will leave Formula One because they're tired of the FIA's nonsense (that last part is not verbatim from FOTA's announcement).
The eight teams are as follows: Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, BMW Sauber, Toyota, Brawn, Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso. The statement issued by FOTA explains everything: "The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental values of the sport and have declined to alter their original conditional entries to the 2010 World Championship."
The teams will finish out the 2009 season. FIA President Max Mosley wrote to the teams and offered some of the concessions that they [the teams] wanted to see regarding governance of the sport - but he made it crystal clear that he plans to go through with the introduction of a budget cap.
The FIA claims that Ferrari, Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso committed themselves to F1 in a deal made several years ago. Near limitless speculation offers myriad possibilities as to next year's reality. But there's no way to know for sure ...until next year.
As a precautionary aside, I should probably note that discussion are ongoing. There will no doubt be an update the minute we've decided to finalize this issue and press the 'send' button (who knew that Murphy's Law applied to Formula One?).
This Issue's Featured Ferrari Sale
|Here we have a beautiful 1966 Ferrari 275 GTS. Liveried in silver
with black leather, this stunning convertible is an excellent candidate
for Ferrari's Classiche certification. Additionally, if entered in
competition, it is a wonderful choice for Class and Preservation awards.
This 275 GTS is a totally original, unrestored car that comes with tools and a tool roll; 36,000 miles. Call Berlinetta Motorcars today to inquire about making this dream come true.
would you like to own Luca di Montezemolo's personal Ferrari? Yes,
that's right - you could drive around everyday in the 599 GTB Fiorano
that Luca once drove back and forth to the factory in Maranello.
Montezemolo and Ferrari recently announced the online auction of Luca's personal Ferrari. The proceeds from the auction will sponsor young researchers working on projects dedicated to technological innovation.
Liveried in Rosso Monza, the cockpit of this F1-equipped front-engined V12 grand tourer is tailored in supple charcoal leather, including the headliner, rear bench and steering wheel. Dark gray carpeting and stitching accent the interior along with carbon fiber trim throughout.
Additionally, the car features the Cascade satellite navigation system, Ferrari iPod, steering wheel LEDs, shields, monolithic wheels, aluminum calipers and has just 5,776 KM.
The Chairman says that Ferrari has always promoted scientific research and has been helping young researchers with their work. The auction ends 29 June 2009, and the bid is currently at 205,500 Euros ($289,918.64).
If you don't want it, you could always buy it for a good cause and give me a very happy early Christmas.
Ferrari press photo
1979 to 2009: Thirty Years of Renowned Ferrari Restorations,
Service and Repairs
For the July 2009 issue of The Berlinetta Letter we have some cool stuff lined up for everyone, including the answer to this issue's $150 trivia question and the announcement of our lucky winner.
Do you like the new look of The Berlinetta Letter? Well, it mirrors the new look of Berlinetta Motorcars' 100 point, ground up, freshly restored website. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out now - at BerlinettaMotorcars.com!