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Congratulations Wayne on FML article about our FC story!

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Cavallino Motors, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
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    Martin W.
    Wayne has done an excellent job researching the history of 0853GT and hence has uncovered one of our own lying about his possession of said car. The story will stick will us all as a reminder that this internet forum will not just bring good people together but also those that lie about their cars. Unfortunately that is part of the internet.

    As I said before. Information is vast on the internet and travels quick. Lies are exposed quick.
    On Ferrari Chat the enthusiast like DES is just as welcome as the big time collector like Mr.G. The 308 Owner is as respected as the owner of a One-Off.

    Again, Wayne, congratulations. Excellent writting. Glad FML took up your article and hard work.
     
  2. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Dirty Harry
    Cover Story, no less!
    Cheers for Wayne: Hip, Hip - Hoo-way!
     
  3. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 17, 2001
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    Andrew Menasce
    Why isnt he on fchat anymore ? Or not that much ?
     
  4. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    Congrats!!!!!
     
  5. F40

    F40 F1 Rookie

    Apr 16, 2003
    3,227
    What's FML? I feel stupid now...
     
  6. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 17, 2001
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    Andrew Menasce
    Ferrari market letter :)
     
  7. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Russ Turner
    Woo Hoo Wayne - great job.
    Looking forward to your first book!
    Congrats!
    Russ
     
  8. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
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    Carbon McCoy
    Wayne, Congratulations...! That is so awesome...! Any chance anyone can post the article or scan it or take a picture or something... i'd like to read it... Better yet, how would one go about getting a copy of the Ferrari Market Letter...? What issue is it published in...? Is there a date or an issue number on it...?

    Congratulations, Wayne... i think i speak for all when i say we'd like to see you on here, more... i know you were taking care of a few things a while back; i hope all is well... Please visit us, soon... Take care...


    Thanks, Martin... :)
     
  9. JaguarXJ6

    JaguarXJ6 F1 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2003
    5,335
    Denver, CO
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    Sunny
    Congrats Wayne!!

    I exchanged a note with him on Dec 15th... he's been really busy and knows he's been out of touch for a while. I'm hoping he'll resurface, especially for an event or two.

    Sunny
     
  10. jimpo1

    jimpo1 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 30, 2001
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    Jim E
    I'm w/ DES, can somebody post the article?
     
  11. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
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    Martin W.
    Okay guys without the authorization from Roush publication but I am sure they would not mind.

    To make clear that everybody should have a publication go to: www.FerrariMarketLetter.com and get updates in the Ferrari world for low cost subscription.

    The pictures I will not copy. If you want to see the baby, you need to subscribe to their service. Again, well worth it, you should all have one./


    Here is the article:

    THE STRANGE TALE OF 0853 GT
    by Wayne Ausbrooks
    THE STRANGE TALE OF 0853 GT
    by Wayne Ausbrooks

    For those of us who have somehow come to be cursed with a propensity for devouring every morsel of Ferrari lore that we can sink our teeth into, there is nothing more mouth-watering than a good old-fashioned Ferrari mystery. This is especially true when the mystery in question involves a one-of-a-kind Ferrari, European royalty, and a historical record so short that it appears to end before it ever really begins.

    THE HISTORY

    On December 13, 1957, three Ferrari 250 GT tipo 508C chassis were delivered to the Pininfarina plant in Turin, Italy. Chassis numbers 0841 GT, 0843 GT and 0853 GT were each assigned internal job numbers by the coachbuilder (15799, 15800 and 15801, respectively) and work began on the construction of three special coupe bodies. Referred to in Pininfarina’s records as simply "Ferrari Speciali," this trio would showcase conservative, modern lines that would inspire a whole new generation of 250 GT coupes and cabriolets.

    The bodies fitted to 0841 and 0843 were virtually identical in all respects, their forward sections sporting exposed headlights and bonnet scoops, their greenhouses characterized by large, wrap-around rear glass, and their derrières featuring a low bumper line which curved up at the corners and terminated into a pair of subtle "fins." Destined for Prince Bertil of Sweden, chassis number 0853 received coachwork similar to its cousins, but with several minor changes to include different tail light lenses, door handles, lack of a hood scoop and a more prominent step-up in the belt line where the doors met the rear fenders. The most notable change, however, was in the greenhouse. The body fitted to 0853 featured a smaller, more elegant rear glass, reshaped rear pillars and a pair of trapezoidal rear quarter windows. This treatment, along with a subtle crease running along the lower third of the body work between the front and rear wheel wells, gave the car a longer, and arguably more elegant look than the other two "speciali."

    THE MYSTERY

    Though Pininfarina’s records don’t indicate the date on which 0853 GT was completed, Ferrari factory build sheets place the car’s completion on March 29, 1958, and this is precisely where the history ends and our mystery begins. Strangely, there appears to be no record of the car being delivered to Prince Bertil or anyone else for that matter. The fact that Swedish automobile registration records bear no mention of chassis 0853 GT has led some to theorize that the Prince might have either taken delivery of this special Ferrari in France or picked it up in Italy and then brought it into France, where he spent a great deal of time at his home on the Riviera.

    Either way, photos of the car after departing the factory have never surfaced, and, though both French and Scandinavian Ferrari historians have searched for decades, they have failed to uncover any trace of the coupe, bringing about speculation that it might have been shipped to the United States at some point.


    LOST AND FOUND . . .



    The Internet has become an invaluable tool for automotive historians, providing them with a means to disseminate information quickly to a large group. It has also become a bastion for the unscrupulous and dishonest among us, however, as well as a blazingly fast worldwide conductor of disinformation and untruth.

    More than a year ago, I came across a 308 GTS owner on a Ferrari-related message board sharing with the rest of the members his struggle to resurrect a dilapidated 512BBi. My interests lying primarily with the earlier cars, I paid little attention to his project. Still, I met him in person a couple of times at local gatherings for board members and found him to be passionate about his interest in Ferraris. I was somewhat surprised, however, when he phoned to tell me that he had sold the Boxer and was looking for a replacement. This time he was considering something much more "vintage" and was looking for my opinion of several 1950s-60s Ferrari models. Flattered, I shared my feelings on the cars in question, provided some information regarding pricing and even faxed a few pages of ads from a recent issue of the Ferrari Market Letter to provide him with a some leads.

    After some time, I received another phone call from this gentleman. (From hereon, I will refer to him simply as "Mr. Phibbs.") Mr. Phibbs had visited the home of a man in Palos Verdes, California, who had both a 250 GT Boano and a 250 GT Ellena for sale. He was primarily interested in the Boano and wanted to know my opinion of this model as well as what I thought of the seller’s asking price. I strongly recommended that he try driving a 1950s Ferrari before committing to purchase one, informed him that whether the selling price was fair or not would depend largely on the car’s condition and offered to do research on the history of the particular Boano in question if he would be willing to obtain and share the chassis number, which he had failed to record.

    Days later, I received an e-mail from Mr. Phibbs. Unfortunately, he said the Boano had sold, but he was now considering the seller’s other Ferrari which, it turned out, wasn’t an Ellena after all. It was actually a 250 GT PF Coupe. The car was in an unrestored condition and had been sitting mostly idle for the good part of 40 years. The asking price was exactly the same as the Boano’s and, in my opinion, was much too high for a PF Coupe in the described condition. He had, however, taken note of the chassis number this time: 0853 GT.

    I quickly responded to his e-mail to be certain that he hadn’t been mistaken and received a telephone call from Mr. Phibbs in return. He was adamant that he had made no mistake. It was definitely 0853 GT. During the next few days, I had him revisit the car (I had offered several times to accompany him, but was told that the seller was sensitive to public exposure) and met with him to review archival photographs taken of 0853 GT by a Pininfarina photographer in 1958. He was certain it was the same car and, after learning of the car’s history, decided to go ahead with the purchase. Once the car was supposedly safely in his possession, I notified several Ferrari historians of 0853 GT’s discovery and set about trying to retrace the journey that had brought the Ferrari to southern California where it had managed to hide for so long.

    The only information available, however, was the story told to Mr. Phibbs by the elderly seller’s son. According to Mr. Phibbs, the seller, who was Swedish, had purchased the car in Sweden in 1964 and had it shipped to New York, where it remained garaged until the family relocated to Long Beach, California, in 1972, bringing 0853 GT with them. With the exception of a single road trip to the San Diego suburb of La Jolla in 1984, it would once again remain undriven in the family’s garage until their move to nearby Palos Verdes in 1986. Since that time it had only been driven once, up the street and back, in 1991.

    Phibbs described the car as being in completely original condition and said he would immediately set about bringing it up to a safe driving condition. We made arrangements for me to inspect and photograph the car and the mystery of 0853 GT’s hiding place had been solved at last . . . or so I thought.

    . . . AND FOUND AGAIN

    Several months passed and I had still not laid eyes on the long-lost Ferrari. Though I had scheduled numerous appointments to view the car, all had resulted in last-minute cancellations. Mr. Phibbs had even failed to keep his promise of e-mailing photos he had taken of the car in his garage. After a while, I gave up trying and disappointedly put my interest in 0853 GT aside to focus on other Ferrari-related projects that I had working. Then I received an interesting call from Mr. Phibbs. He had originally planned to present the car in its unrestored condition at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, but Ferrari club politics were preventing him from attending the event. He wanted to know if I would show the car for him. Of course, I said I would be thrilled to oblige him and, being content that I would be able to see the car in Monterey, my prior disappointment was relieved.

    A few weeks later I received an e-mail that Mr. Phibbs was facing a personal economic crisis and was going to be forced to sell the Ferrari. Knowing I had an interest in the car, he wanted to give me the first opportunity to purchase it. The price would be exactly what he had paid for the car, without consideration for the time and money he had put into it since. At first I told him I was not interested, having recently opened a new business, which had tied up most of my funds. After discussing it with my wife, however, we decided to go ahead with the purchase.

    We spent the next few days securing money to pay for the car and, when everything was set, I left a message for Mr. Phibbs that I was interested and wanted to make arrangements to inspect it. There was no response. Over a period of a week I left several more messages and even sent an e-mail. Finally, I received a short e-mail message in which his tone had suddenly changed. He seemed bitter about the fact that I insisted on viewing the Ferrari, immediately making me suspicious about all of the cancelled appointments and unsent photos. When I confronted Mr. Phibbs with my suspicions, he became irate and insisted that I was only trying to obtain photos of the car and had no intention of actually purchasing it. Fine by me, I had grown tired of dealing with the man and began to seriously doubt that he had ever purchased the car himself.

    Two days later, I received a telephone call from a friend who brokers special Ferraris asking if the Prince Bertil 250 GT was still with Mr. Phibbs as he had a client that was interested in purchasing the car. Keeping my unconfirmed suspicions to myself, I told him that I would check with Phibbs and get back to him. I did just that and was told that the Ferrari had just sold for nearly double what it had been offered to me. I passed the information along to my broker friend who asked me to keep him informed in case the deal fell through. I agreed.

    A few days later, my friend forwarded an e-mail message to me from a dealer in France. Apparently, his mention of the car to his client had triggered a reaction. Word had spread quickly and had reached the French dealer who swore he had seen 0853 GT in person, only a year before, in the collection of the late Charles Pozzi. That message set me going. After many phone calls and e-mails, I turned up yet another source that placed the car in the Pozzi collection and then, finally, confirmation came from the current owner of the collection himself. The car was indeed in his possession in France, where it had been since Mr. Pozzi’s death almost three years ago. Mr. Pozzi, it seems, had purchased the special Ferrari from Prince Bertil some time around 1967.

    In the end, I suppose some gratitude is owed to Mr. Phibbs. After all, it was his fictitious discovery that eventually brought 0853 GT’s true hiding place to light.
     
  12. spyderman

    spyderman Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Toronto - Canada
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    Spyderman
    Good job Wayne :) What did your friend Mr Phibbs have to say of himself in the end??
     
  13. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
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    Carbon McCoy
    Thanks, Martin... :)
     
  14. AJS328

    AJS328 F1 Veteran
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    Apr 23, 2003
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    Augustine Staino
    Very interesting story! And congrats on its publication! I think I need to renew my subscription to FML. :)
     
  15. francisco j. quinones

    francisco j. quinones Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2002
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    Francisco J. Quinones
    Thanks ,Martin cool story.
     
  16. I wonder what Mr. Phibbs' real name is. ;) :eek:
     
  17. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
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    Chris Cummings
    Nice to finally learn all the details - good article Wayne :)
     
  18. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    16,630
    socal
    Great story about our FC'er. It is really hard to confirm any story even the collector in France. Back in the 80's when Ferraris were hot there were all kinds of stories like people taking totally wrecked cars and chopping off the serial numbers to construct a frankenstein over -restored replica and sell it for 7 figures! It is really funny about those chassis numbers. Ferrari did not have any distinctive font for the numbers. In fact old pre-mass produced cars look like somone took a crude die and hammer to make the numbers. I'm no crook but pretty good with silicone movie impression material and lost wax cast metal. I bet even I could make a very good looking cast number plate or cast die to peen a number plate right in my garage. Anything Ferrari does is about 10 years behind the state of the art so the very first Ferrari was not to far ahead of leather bonnet latches and Babbit journals. Lindsaybooks tell you how to make all those things as home diy'ers. 1950 technology is pretty easy to do at home in 2004. Many old Ferraris are sort of not even Ferraris. The cars left the factory to be touched by outside coachbuilders for many one off items. Whos to say that in 30 years all those 250gtes that were chopped to make fake tesstarossas would be worth big bucks some day.
     
  19. El Wayne

    El Wayne Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Owner

    Aug 1, 2002
    17,952
    San Marino, CA
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    L. Wayne Ausbrooks
    Thanks to all of you for the kind words. The article was a little rushed and I had actually gone back and written a better closing paragraph, but I think I was late in getting the rewritten version in to Gerald.

    Billy Bob: This particular car, while being unique, is not valuable enough for someone to have spent the time and money it would take to create a fake. Also, though I didn't name him in the article, you might recall from our posts on F-chat that the "collector" in France is actually Daniel Marin, President of Ferrari Maserati France and a highly credible source. One of the other two sources that that has confirmed that the car is with Mr Marin is the owner of a prominent French Ferrari dealership. I have no doubts that 0853 GT sits with the rest of the late Charles Pozzi's collection, in the hands of Mr Marin.

    Spyderman: So far, nothing.

    Again, thanks to everyone. I'm still around and I check up on F-chat from time to time, however, I've decided to focus more of my time and energy on my business and with my family (we're expecting our first!).

    Happy Holidays!
     
  20. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 20, 2003
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    Nice, warm, fuzzy feeling followed by genuine smile that stays. Best wishes for you and yours!
     
  21. Ron

    Ron Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2002
    926
    LA
    Wayne, congratulations on your story being published and especially on your family situation.

    Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year. Please stay in touch once in a while.

    Ron
     
  22. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Owner Miami 2018

    Dec 1, 2000
    49,016
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    Rob Lay
    Great article Wayne! I'm not sure if I'm glad or not you didn't mention the FerrariChat.com name. I think I'm glad you didn't. Not a high point of FC, however, a very educational and entertaining one. Don't mess with FC! :D
     
  23. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    facinating.. thanks to WAYNE AND MARTIN. i love this place !!!!!
     
  24. francisco j. quinones

    francisco j. quinones Formula Junior

    Aug 28, 2002
    264
    Panama City,FL
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    Francisco J. Quinones
    Congrats Wayne ,on the article but most importantly on the new addition to the family.:)
    Frankie.
     
  25. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 13, 2002
    3,676
    Santa Fe, NM
    good work, Wayne! can't wait for the book! any ETA on the date of release?

    congrats on the baby! has your wife rejected 'Enzo' or 'Alfredino' yet?

    cheers,
    Bryan

    p.s. - "Mr. Phibbs" . . . . chuckle, good one!
     

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