Highlights: The Ferrari Club of America International Meet
The Ferrari Club of America held its annual International Meet in Columbus, Ohio, June 18-22, and welcomed a record attendance of vintage Ferraris, including a featured class of exceptional 1964-1968 275 series cars.
Ferrari enthusiasts from around the world came together for 4 days of concours, rallies, seminars and track time at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, sponsored by Shell Oil (fuels).
The parking lot at the Columbus Hilton-Polaris host hotel became the most valuable acre of land in Ohio during the event, which welcomed more than 175 registered vehicles.
Equally valuable to the Ferraristi was the time spent communing and exchanging information on their beloved Maranello-built sports cars.
Jim Fuchs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, answers questions about his 1953 166MM Vignale Spyder. The car was one of six Ferraris to finish the Mille Miglia in 1953, and the number it wears refers to its starting time of 4:47a
Sunday’s Concours d’Elegance was held on the grounds of the Brookside Golf and Country Club in suburban Columbus.
This year the show was open to the public, with ticket proceeds benefiting the Arthritis Foundation.
Classes spanned the range and history of Ferrari models, with a Special Class honoring the 50th Anniversary of the 275 GTB and NART Spyder, one of the rarest of Ferrari variants; only 10 units were commissioned by Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti, and many consider it the most beautiful car ever constructed.
One of the most expensive cars in the world- a Ferrari 275 NART Spyder. Only 10 were ever made.
Interesting seminars included topics such as the basics of car photography and concours detailing tips.
Shell Fuels Scientist Sarina Arnold was on hand to speak with car owners about the importance of using premium fuels and addressed concerns about ethanol and octane in vintage cars.
Shell’s Sarina Arnold takes questions from Ferrari owners.
A special class of competition Ferraris were assembled as a tribute to recently-deceased Ferrari guru Wayne Obry.
His firm, Motion Products of Neenah, Wisconsin, had restored all of the cars in the group, which included a white and blue 1954 250 Monza and a silver 1959 250 LWB California Spider Competizione.
The cars were simultaneously started by their owners and revved 3 times to honor Obry’s achievements. Many fondly recalled Mr. Obry’s encyclopedic knowledge of Ferrari models, his friendly demeanor, and his trademark Sherlock Holmes tobacco pipe.
A 1954 250 Monza, foreground, with a 1959 250 LWB California Spider Competizione.
Driving events filled the calendar for the following days, with a gimmick rally through the rolling central Ohio countryside, and a more-serious competition on the race track to become accredited with the FCA’s “Coppa GT.”
It’s the Club’s highest award, which considers not only the correctness and functionality of the car, but the driver’s proficiency in operation. A thorough understanding of the car’s instruments and controls, as well as competency in smooth shifting and heel-and-toe clutch operation, are just some of the criteria considered when judging for the award.
A special class honored the 275 GTB, with beautiful coachwork designed by Scaglietti.
Models which until recently were undervalued and underappreciated as “true” Ferraris, like the mid-engine 308 GT4/GTB/GTS’s, the angular-shaped 400i touring cars, and even the 365GTC/4 2+2- have joined nicely into the pantheon of vintage Enzo-era cars and taken their place in prestige and price.
Many interesting examples were present during the week.
The 365GTC/4 (left) and 308GT4 have risen in value alongside other vintage Ferraris.
Despite the influx of new buyers and the rise of Ferrari values, you can still find a number of long-term owners who bought these iconic berlinettas and spiders when they were simply used-up old sports cars.
Guys like Bill Muno from Wilmette, Illinois, who has owned his white 1967 330 GTC for 38 years, and still enjoys every minute of it. “I never bought it as an investment,” said Mr. Muno, “I bought it as a hobby.”
Bill Muno of Wilmette, Illinois, and his 1967 330 GTC.
By William Hall, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Paul Ebeling, Editor