Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dream come true

There is a theory that you should never meet your heroes. It is not a view I share, especially not since meeting one of my four-wheeled heroes at the weekend.

It was a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB, in silver on alloy wheels; one of only six alloy-bodied, right-hand drive cars built. My ride came about through the Sporting Bears Motor Club, which raises funds for charities by selling off 'Dream Rides' at the Classic Motor Show.

First impression of the Ferrari: it is small; not so much short but low and narrow, especially compared to the Ferrari 599 that was nearby. Inside there is plenty of room; mainly because the gearbox is behind you and there is no massive central console, in fact there is nothing but the essentials. A simple, crackle-finish dashboard with dials for everything you need to monitor; big, well-spaced pedals and a left-food rest; and the gear lever and steering wheel looked well placed.

It might not look impressive inside but it is surprisingly comfortable with decent seats (non-reclining buckets, as I recall) and firm but well controlled ride. It went well too, and sounded great as the red line approached (about 6,500-7,000 I think). But if you're just cruising it is quite civilised. It also seems nicely balanced. Jerry, the owner wasn't hanging the tail out or anything dramatic like that but you could feel how the car could be steered with the throttle. I was also impressed at how, when we returned to the NEC, happy the car was to sit at tickover for several minutes. The water temperature rose a little but other than that there were no signs of temparament.

Add to that a glorious view down the bonnet, with the front wings curving up and a cinemascope windscreen to frame the scene. Although I noticed that there were dints on the passneger-side wing, looks like someone rested their elbows there and left an impression in the aluminium.

The 275 was everything I hoped for, a glorious experience for the eyes and ears. I still grin when I think about it.

Oh and I've added a few more Ferrari 275 GTB photos, because I can.

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