by John Babos
I received a call from a coworker the other day informing me of a car show that was going to be held on the company campus. It was to be part of a charity drive for the employees, a good cause. The company flyer was calling for “Cool Cars.” He told me that he was going to enter his Porsche and that I should enter my Ferraris. After getting the contact name, I emailed the organizer to inform him that I would like to enter my Ferrari 328 GTS and 246 GT. I was going to drive the 328 in first and I was still working on the logistics of getting the 246 from home. (I thought about towing the Dino behind the 328 but couldn’t figure out how to stop it when I approached lights or a stop sign. And the more I thought about it the more I figured towing the Dino might screw up the clutch).While contemplating the problem of getting the 246 into work, I received an email from the organizer. In it he informed me, “The maximum of sixty “cool cars” are now registered, just bring in one car. One Fiero should be enough. Thanks anyhow.”
After pondering about it for a while, I realized that not everyone is knowledgeable about foreign cars. So, okay, it made my job easier. I only had to take in one car and it would be my trusty 328.
The company campus in Denver is really quite picturesque. There are six thousand acres with modernistic buildings and laboratories nestled in and amongst the red rocks and Dakota hog back. This would make the venue for the car show really something to behold and I was really looking forward to it.
On the morning of the car show as I drove my Ferrari 328 I couldn’t help but notice how well it was performing and the intoxicating sound of the little V8. I whisked through the gates and security guards toward the car show venue. As I passed the last manned check-point the Ferrari began to act peculiar. The engine began missing horribly and the brakes began activating. The headlights began flipping up and down, the radio began blasting static, and a CD ejected out of the player just missing my head. I began to panic and exclaimed, “What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on!” Within seconds it became obvious. It was actively resisting going any further! The parking committee was positioning my Ferrari between a 1964 P.O.S. Chevy Nova and a rusted hulk of what used to be a 1953 Studabaker. At this point my Ferrari was a pilgrim in an unholy land. With a lot of coaxing I was able to park my car. I then began walking away, back to the office for an unsettling day of work. I took a quick glance over my shoulder and saw all of the “cool cars”, all of the same heritage from a bygone era, except for mine and my friends Porsche, which was relegated to the back of the lot and hidden behind a small Douglas Fir.
After the work day ended I ran back across campus, literally, and jumped into my Ferrari. It has never started so quickly as it did on that day. In less than three seconds it was through the guards, past the gates and on its way back home and among its kind.
Of the sixty “cool cars” shown that day, I can honestly say the each and every one of them, regardless of the condition, was probably the pride and joy of its owner. You could see that in the owner’s faces and puffed out chests when they talked about them. But the Ferrari truly looked out of place, if you could ever imagine that. After all, what’s cool about a 1960 Dodge Matador? I don’t care how well restored it is. However, when all was said and done I felt some justification knowing my efforts went to a good cause.
I was told that the charity car show was a spectacular success and was part of the reason why the company has the largest employee contributions to charity in the state. But next year, I plan on borrowing my neighbors 1968 Buick. It’s up on blocks, needs a coat of paint, and the chrome on the bumpers has succumbed to oxidation, but it’ll fit right in; Right between the ’51 Ford Club Coupe and the 62 Chrysler Newport.