[bd] How long have you wanted a Ferrari? Did you ever think you would? Why or why not?
[gc] As a kid, I knew the American cars of the 60s. My mom had 2 Mustangs (a 65, then a 68), and Dad had a 70 Toronado, so there was a bit of a family inclination to interesting cars. I became “sports car aware” around 1970, when I was in Grade 5 and read “The Red Car” by Don Stanford from the elementary school library. That book really opened my eyes to a scene that was fascinating, and I began to notice the MGs, Jaguars, Triumphs, and the more rare Porsches, etc. when we’d visit Winnipeg.
A Ferrari is mentioned in the book as the ultimate sports car, but I had only seen them in the pages of Road & Track, which I started reading in 1971. It was 1972 before I saw a Ferrari in person, at age 12 – it was a 72 Dino GTS, in yellow, in a small foreign car showroom along the main road in Winnipeg, and it blew me away! I made my Dad turn around and pull in, and we went inside to have a look at this otherworldly exotic machine.
I still remember the price at the time, they wanted $17,000 for it… and a Daytona would have been $33K. At that point I knew of the Dino and Daytona from the pages of R&T, but at the time I didn’t know of any Ferraris in Winnipeg. That’s probably the time when I began wanting a Ferrari, it was confirmed as my dream car after seeing the Dino in person! I had become a die-hard sports car nut, enough so that my first car was a 1974 Alfa Romeo Berlina (I couldn’t afford a GTV), bought in 1978, and it was pretty impractical for Canadian Prairie winters!
By the time I finished my Engineering degree and moved to Calgary and started working in 1981, there were 308s around the city and I’d spot a couple per week through the summers. At the time, they were priced at 3 times my annual gross salary, and at that point I never thought I’d be able to own one. It just seemed so far beyond reach, completely unaffordable, when I was paying off student loans, getting a car loan for an 83 Honda Prelude, then getting married and starting a family.
Fast forward 10 years to the mid-90s, and used 308s were on the market, but after a divorce and a reboot of the getting married and starting a family phase (now with alimony and child support!), buying a Ferrari still seemed completely out of reach. I was still a sports car nut, had managed to have an old, beat up sports car once or twice (the Alfa, a 240Z), and saved up for a few years to buy a new Miata in 1996.
By that point, my “library” included every issue of Road & Track since 1972, many Car and Driver, Automobile issues, a bunch of CAR issues when I could find them, then most issues of EVO. I was also buying British mags like Classic & Sports Cars, Thoroughbreds and Classic Cars, Grassroots Motorsports, especially when they had articles about owning a classic Ferrari.
I was immersed in the Miata scene, both online and with the local Miata club. The Miata was a genuine sports car providing the thrills of a great handling, fun, nimble convertible without breaking the bank – I was completely satisfied with the Miata for the enjoyment of the sports car experience, doing club drives, autocross, track days, long road trips, etc. Yet I still followed the magazine reports about new and old Ferraris, read about them online, checked them out in the showroom or on the street whenever I came across one in the wild… the dream was still alive, even if I never thought to be able to achieve it…
To be continued…
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