I was at a local country house on Sunday. There was a bike race on in the park - cyclocross - a lot of fit looking people on push-bikes racing around in the mud and wet grass. Despite the conditions on the grass, it was a glorious day and the car park was full of VW Transporter vans with bikes and riders leaning on them.
In amongst them all was the unmistakeable gleaming rosso red of a Ferrari 308 GTS. It was parked at the end of the row, in the most visible spot, but equally the most vulnerable spot for such a classic and desirable (and therefore) expensive car. It was barely two inches from the car in front (I hope the Ferrari had parked last - it would have taken a brave Golf driver to edge that close to that iconic bumper.
It was certainly an expensive car to be jaunting around in. Even a casual look at the small ads reveals that an original RHD 308, targa topped GTS is somewhere north of a hundred grand.
But then I thought, ‘Why the hell not? It’s a glorious day for it. What better day could there be for driving your 308? And you never know when we’re going to see the last nice day of the year. If you can’t (or more importantly won’t) drive your pride and joy on a cloudless day in November, then when are you going to drive it?
Sure, it’s expensive, but then that’s why there’s car insurance. And if you don’t drive a car, regularly (and preferably with a little vigour… ahem) the seals will start to dry out, the tyres will flat-spot and before you know it, your precious car is suddenly a restoration project.
Nice watches are meant to be worn, classic guitars are meant to be played, fine wine is meant to be drunk - and classic, epic cars are there to be driven.
And as I left the park, the unmistakable burble of the V8 cruised up behind me on the road. As he passed, I could see that the targa top was stowed, the cockpit was open to the blue sky and the guy driving it was cashing in all of that hard work needed to earn that car, by simply driving it as it was meant to be driven.
by Chipps Chippendale at 8 Nov 2017, 00:00 AM