I’ve been lurking on FerrariChat for years, now, every so often popping in, hoping I might find someone with whom our readers might identify; first time Ferrari owner, turns his or her own wrenches, etc. Recently, I got lucky, finding Gordon Choate, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He fit the bill perfectly.
A long time gearhead with that deeply rooted, burning desire for a Ferrari with which we can all identify, one day he was driving across town with his wife when they came upon a Ferrari Mondial. To his absolute surprise, when he mentioned some models were actually in his price range and he’s always wanted one, his wife told him to go for it.
Soon after, he had this 1984 308 GTS QV parked in the driveway between his Miatas, and his experience turning his own wrenches on the Miatas would prove beyond valuable in the months which followed.
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[bd] Introductions. Who are you, where are you, and what do you do for a living?
[gc] My name is Gordon Choate, I’m 55 years old, and I live in Calgary, Alberta (Canada) – on the western edge of the Prairies, in sight of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I moved here 33 years ago from Manitoba, where I grew up in a small town near Winnipeg. It was in the middle of the prairies, straight flat roads for hundreds of miles around – definitely not sports car country (especially in winter!), but there were enough British sports cars around that I could usually spot a few when we made the trip into the “big city”.
I studied engineering in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba, graduated in 1981 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, then worked in the oil patch in Alberta for 10 years as a drilling and operations engineer. It was around 1990 that I made a switch to Information Technology, and have been working in IT since then.
[bd] Briefly, introduce us to your car.
[gc] My Ferrari is a 1984 308 GTS QV. It’s a full European specification car (no conversion to US lights, bumpers, emissions, etc.) – it was originally sold on Jersey, Channel Islands, in September 1984, so is a mix of UK spec (speedo in MPH, dual rear fog lights under the bumper) and continental spec (LHD). Compared to the US spec versions, the Euro version is about 200 lbs lighter, has shorter, lighter bumpers, no catalytic converter, no side impact beams in the doors, smaller side mirrors, and a few more minor cosmetic differences.
The QV in the name stands for quattrovalvole, signifying the four valve per cylinder heads that were introduced in the 1983 model year. In European spec, it is rated at 240 HP, in US trim 230HP. I don’t know the early history of my car after delivery, but I know it ended up in Vancouver, British Columbia at some point. I have the documentation from the sale of the car from a Vancouver owner to an Edmonton, Alberta owner in 2000, and from there to a Calgary owner in 2007. I bought it from that Calgary owner in July 2013.
To be continued…
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