Thursday, May 31, 2012

Slow Hand is a Gear head

This is a Ferrari SP12 EC. The SP stands for "Special Project", the 12 means its the 12th custom car to come out of Maranello's specialty shop and EC is for the owner Eric Clapton. Clapton has owned dozens of Ferrari's over the years and this is truly a custom since Ferrari gave him the molds for the body panels and another will never be built. I fully expect this car will show up 50 or 60 years from now at a classic car auction and sell for double it's current price of about 5 million.

In his biography Clapton wrote that after Cream returned from their first world tour the first things he did was to buy a house (he still lives there) buy a house for his Grandparents who raised him and then he bought a Ferrari. Since he didn't know how to drive (neither did John Lennon) he used it as his training car. Clapton has a nice collection of cars in England and at his home in Ohio (his wife's home state) including a few classic American cars and hot rods.

Here's my Ferrari story

A few years ago when I was making the big bucks (hah!) running a radio group (that's being generous,too) a guy I knew told me about a great deal on a Ferrari 348. The price was so good I drove to Long beach to look at it. It was a '93 and only had 31,000 miles on it, new tires and had just been serviced. It was sexy as hell. It had that Ferrari sound, more of a scream really. I was in love, crazy, movie star kissing in love. The price was right, I thought the car had some real upside since it was about 14k under book.

As I drove home from Long Beach, I called my stellar, retired foreign car mechanic, who has taken such great care of our old AMG Mercedes. I asked if he knew anything about Ferrari's. He said "Of course, I do." I told him about the car and that I wanted to buy it. He said, "Forget it, it will drive you fucking crazy and make me crazy, too. If you need brakes, it will cost over $2,000 dollars, a simple tune up is $16 hundred dollars, to change the belts and the fuckers wear out every 7-8 thousand miles, you have to pull the engine to change them and it costs close to two thousand dollars to do that job." The mechanic finished off my Ferrari dream by adding this gem, "Think of it this way, my friend, a Ferrari is like a beautiful woman with a bad temper, a bad attitude, expensive tastes and no matter how much you love her, you can't afford to keep her and sooner or later she will drive you crazy."

6 weeks later I bought a C-6 Corvette. I drove it 33,000 miles and all I had to do was change the oil. As a bonus it was faster than the 348, too.

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