V.I.S.I.T. – Don't See That Every Day Edition

Go ahead and make your Tom Selleck jokes now. I'll wait. Done now? Okay good.
This was one of those vehicular discoveries you just never expect to see; and when you do see them, you don’t expect things to work out so well that you get to chat cars with the owner for a half-hour or so. But nevertheless, that’s how it all turned out.
Like true car guys, the blue one almost went unnoticed.
Coming home the other day, I heard a signature exhaust note. The fact that I was able to hear it over my own rumbly exhaust should give a good indication of how enthusiastic the tone was, and it was of that sort of note that immediately makes a car-guy’s ears perk up and take notice. Sure enough, ripping through the empty parking lot I was crossing was the bright red silhouette of a Ferrari. Now, let’s be honest, Ferraris don’t usually interest me too much. New ones are rarely owned by people interested in cars. They’re more  of a status symbol, a look-at-me piece of jewelry designed to attract attention and/or buxom blondes. This, however… this was a bit different. Any car guy knows that an older Ferrari requires a great deal of time and attention. They truly were like Italian supermodels. Temperamental, expensive, and pretty to look at, but all-too-seldom willing to let you drive them. So for someone to own one of theses, and in such good condition, was a clear sign that they were not your typical Ferrari owner. And after talking with the owner, I was proven correct; but not in the way I expected.
Classic lines, even 25 years later.
The owner, who asked to remain anonymous, admitted freely that he is not a huge car-guy. But all his friends were, and it always made him curious. He liked cars, he appreciated their beauty, but he never truly loved them. And it was the pestering of one of these friends — whose beautiful Viper ACR happened to sneak into a few shots — that finally got him to dive in. His friends pestered him and asked what it would take to get him interested. Was there a car that really pushed his buttons? Was there anything that would really get him excited. And instinctively he knew there was only one answer, and this was it. Car guys and Ferraristi will doubtless click their tongues. We all know the 308 was not the finest of Ferraris ever made. They’re great cars, sure, but there were better Ferraris. There were sexier Ferraris. There were faster Ferraris. But none of this matters in the slightest, because this is the Ferrari that fans the owner’s flames. This was the car that inspired his imagination; and let’s be honest, we all have that car. For some, it’s a gutless old Rambler. For others, a god-awful ugly Corvette. For still others, an old Chevy pickup. This was this man’s Eleanor.
Every detail was immaculate. Better than it left the showroom.
So he and his friends set out to find one. And the one they found was a work of art. A 1984 Ferrari 308 Quattrovalve. I think. I got so caught up in his excitement, I cant remember the details. Every service had been completed not only diligently, but with a level of attention that surpasses Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If any routine maintenance had to be done, it was done along with anything else that could be done at the same time. Have to change a belt? Why not rebuild a few things at the same time? Rad flush? Why not rebuild the radiator and install a new rad cap while you’re at it? The paint finish, legendarily uneven due simply to the hand-built nature of the car, was reworked completely to give it a mirror shine. Purists will likely recoil in horror, but it truly made the car look better. Everything was done with care and attention… and a very obvious and sincere love. But all that is immaterial. The true story is the enthusiasm of its new owner. I caught him on the day he took delivery of his new car, and the excitement on his face, and as he told me about it, was infectious. I remembered how exciting cars could be, and how much fun it was to finally get to spend time alone with your dream car. Like it or not, this man and his car are the embodiment of Hooniverse. Welcome them to our fold, I’m sure they’ll be reading it. And maybe, if we ask nicely, he’ll let me do a road-test review on it. Because anything that makes a man that excited is clearly something we want to know more about. (The owner kindly sent me all the photos he used to make his decision to purchase the car. What do you think? Would you have made the same decision? I gotta admit, I think I probably would have.)

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