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Insights: Indulgences

Fever Shopping for one of Enzo's creations? Don't let your heart rule your head
Matt Kramer
From the Print Edition:
The Cuba Issue, May/Jun 01

(continued from page 1)

Real Ferraris, you see, are 12-cylinder machines. Also, there
was a distinctly déclassé connection with Fiat, which made part of the car for Ferrari. "Pish," I said then and now. It's one helluva racy-looking, mid-engined beauty. I couldn't afford one back then, but maybe today I could.

"Perhaps," says Roush, doubtfully. "But keep in mind that a good-condition 246 Dino Spider [with a detachable roof] now sells for $75,000 to $80,000." That was a little more than I had suggested.

Like some cautionary Greek chorus, Guthrie puts the kibosh on my 246 Dino fantasy. "People who have 246 Dinos have more money than mechanical brains," he says bluntly. "Typically, they fall out of love pretty fast. With a 246 Dino they have to learn throttle control. And they have to learn how to handle its flatness on curves. It's not a creature-comfort car."

Well, neither was my Lotus -- but I don't say that. I keep respectfully quiet. You don't disrespect true Ferrari experts.

I keep plugging away. Gerald Roush says that in addition to the 328 series, I should check out the Ferrari F355, which, he admits, is definitely more expensive. This is one stunning Ferrari, especially in the convertible version, sometimes called the Spider, depending on who's talking. Introduced in 1995, a good used model starts at $120,000. It's a real scorcher, even by Ferrari standards. At zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, you'll fear lung collapse.

Here we reach a fork in the road: Do I want a historical Ferrari -- the 246 Dino, for example? Or do I want the greater refinements provided by newer Ferraris?

I ask Guthrie what he thinks of the Ferrari F355. "Really nice," he replies. For him that's saying a lot. Any vintage Ferrari he'd recommend?

He pauses for what seems forever. Finally, he says, "I'd suggest the Ferrari 330 GTC, built in the mid-1960s. They're really nice on the road. A real pleasure."

I can't recall the 330 GTC, so I look up some photos on the Internet. Sure enough, it's a classic all right; a powerful, almost lunging Ferrari with a honking 12-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower. Back in the '60s, that was muscle. They made only 600 of them. Cost today? About $80,000.

Rarity matters to Ferrari types. It's striking how few Ferraris are made, considering their fame. Roush is a fan of the Boxer series, which he considers an excellent buy among older Ferraris. He can rattle off the numbers like a baseball fan. "There were only about 2,000 Boxers built," he begins. "The 512BB had 929 cars built. The 512BBi had 1,007 made. And the 365 Boxer saw 387 made."


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