I finally moved from the cute little carriage house on the river to a regular house in New Canaan, CT. Now I had room for another car or two, and I accelerated my search for the Ferrari V-12 of my dreams. There were a lot of V12s, but the prices were going through the roof. I wanted another convertible, but the prices seemed twice as much as berlinettas. Better a hardtop, than no car at all, I figured.
Soon I found a yellow Ferrari 365 GTC. Yellow was a good colour for Ferrari, although Rosso Corsa (race red) was the customary colour of Italian cars. The 365 was essentially a re-engined 330 V-12. The new engine went from 4.0 litres and 300 hp to 4.4 litres and 320 hp. Only 168 were produced between ’68-’70. This was a real Ferrari!
I was worried that soon I would not be able to afford a V-12. Prices were starting to go through the roof. Most Ferrari enthusiasts of the time considered the V-12 the only real Ferrari. The V-8 and V-6 were called Dino’s, in reference to Ferrari’s own son Dino who died at 24 of muscular dystrophy.
It was amazing. I absolutely loved the car until my friend Gary came over one day with his red Daytona 365 GTS/4. We had essentially the same engine, except Gary’s Daytona had over 350 hp. A few weeks after buying my 365, I was offered a light blue 365 GTB/4 for $40,000. The Daytona was much harder to drive in normal conditions (steering, clutch and brakes), except at the track, so I unfortunately I passed on it. I didn’t have enough money to buy both then, and the 365 was easier to drive on a daily basis.
The Merritt Parkway in CT had overhanging branches, that in the summer acted as a tunnel. I would wait till there was no traffic in the middle of the night and then I would drive at high speed with the windows open under the trees, allowing my karma to rebalance after a long day trading of commodities. It was the best way for me to find tranquility. I mentioned it earlier, it is all about the SOUND of the engine at about 4,000 rpm. Each engine has it own sweet spot. It is not about how loud it is. There is a harmonic balance between the sound of a Colombo V12 (250 and 365 V12 engines) at 3,500 to 4,500 RPM, and the fluids that compose our bodies. You just feel better when you drive an older Ferrari in the “sweet spot”, it cures ALL your ailments -at least it did mine. The new Ferraris have lost the magic. (I know this is going to piss of many enthusiasts, but it’s my blog so I can say what I want). A little further east on the Merritt, there was a real tunnel. That was my destination most nights.
I joined the Ferrari Club of America and kept looking for Ferraris that were not overpriced. One day a friend dropped by and asked to see my 365 GTC. After taking him for a short drive on the Merritt, he asked me what I wanted for the car. I told him I’d think about it, as I’d never thought of selling it.
That weekend I had lunch with Gary and another Ferrari collector friend of his, Peter Sachs. Peter mentioned that he wanted to buy a GTO, but they wanted $1 million for it. Gary told Peter that the minute he paid $1 million for the GTO, the wall would break and another half dozen GTOs that were available would sell for way over a million. Then his GTO would be even more valuable. (Peter did buy his for a million, and the rest is history)
After Peter left, I asked Gary if he thought I should sell the 365 GTC. He told me that he thought only the unique cars like the GTO would keep on climbing. Well, that didn’t help me at all. So I decided to sell the GTC to my friend and look for something else.