The Lighter Side of Owning a Ferrari

The Car Show  by john babos


I never thought I would catch myself saying this but I truly enjoy local car shows such as the Concours díElegance, the Automezzi, and Hudson Gardens.  In addition to getting our Ferrari out for a breather there are a number of really cool things about the car shows that Crystal and I treasure.  Itís a great opportunity to learn more about our car by comparing it against other similar or like models.


The food is always great.  Most of the time however, itís whatever we bring, and combined with the ambiance of the cars even a baloney sandwich is kind of special.

             I usually regret not investing in Meguiarís and Armorall as we watch what must be the complete allocation of the Front Rangeís car waxes and polishes being applied before judging. In fact the ritual upon arriving at the show usually involves the guys cleaning their car and then abandoning their wife while they canvas the area and take in the sights.  The wives donít seem to care; in fact they never stray beyond the Ferrariís designated parking  (thatís probably a hunter/gatherer thing that goes back a bezillion years, i.e., guys hunt and the women folk mind the village). 

We also like the tremendous enthusiasm of the lookers as they attend in all shapes, sizes, ages and gender.  They can bombard you with thousands of questions: How long have you had your car?  How much does it cost to maintain? Can I sit in it?  Can my son sit in it?  Can Louie my third cousin twice removed sit in it? Why ainít your car red?  And the kids are always super.  Their faces light up with surprise as they watch their candy coated fingers glide effortlessly across our newly applied wax job.  Ferrari enthusiasm starts young.


Literacy at cars shows should also be appreciated.  I guess about 80% of the lookers can actually understand the ďDo Not TouchĒ sign.  Itís a true testament to the success of public education.


One of the high points of the show is the arrival of the kit cars. Iím constantly amazed by the kit car ownerís imagination and engineering ability. Shaping the plastic to almost look like a real collector car is something special.  I wish I had that talent, to build a kit car and then appreciate it.  I canít even begin to imagine how many tubes of Testorís model cement a kit car requires.


Seeing the other marques such as Jaguars, Maseratis, Alphas, to name a few, fill me with both admiration and envy.  However I had a rather sad realization at the last show.  I now understand that I could never own a Porsche. I donít have enough friends to push it to the designated parking spot.  Too bad because I noticed that if a Porsche owner ever gets lost he can follow his oil leaks home.  Thatís better than our GPS.


Its true as well that on occasion a dog might want to take ownership of your Ferrari in the natural way by marking one of your P Zeros, but hey, consider that a compliment.  You will never see a dog give any attention whatsoever to a Lamborghini and I dare say, an Iso Grifo. 


A few of my friends will inevitably show up and itís always good talking to them. I do have to apologize by telling them that I didnít bring my 250 GTO, number 18 of 39 that I speak so highly about at work. Instead they see my little 328 and shrug.  Although they seem a little disappointed they appear to get over it as they inspect other classic Ferraris and ask the owners if they can sit in them.


Above all, what Crystal and I enjoy most is visiting with the other members of our Ferrari Club, what a great bunch of people.  And as a Ferrari owner we can return home and have our own car show whenever we desire.  All that is required is a nice day, a comfortable chair, a glass of chilled wine, and our little Ferrari.


Oh by the way, if you plan on attending your first car show here are five key points that every Ferrari owner should know:

1.        Always arrive early so you can park in the shade.

2.        Understand the organic chemistry that comprises the appropriate solvent required to dissolve the wasp intestines splattered on your grill.

3.        Offer wine to the panel of judges grading your car.

4.        Speak in an Italian accent.

5.        Have a good time.



-- john babos --