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Ferrari French Quarter Classic, Part IV

Discussion in 'Louisiana' started by 134282, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    The Ferrari French Quarter Classic. The most prestigious event of the year. Every year. 4 days of non-stop, in-your-face, VIP, no-holds-barred Ferrari. Couldn’t make it to the first night’s dinner with 5-star chefs cooking and an open bar, followed by a relaxed atmosphere in the VIP room…? Then surely you made it to Friday morning’s track event. You know, the track event with the high-speed police escort through New Orleans, all the way out to the Grand Bayou Raceway. The custom-fitted, red-and-blue-lighted police bars on top of a 360 and a 355, transforming them into Ferrari police cars. Couldn’t find a seat in the bleachers to watch the races…? Then you must have been taken to the stands in the sky. You know, the hot air balloon ride that gave you a bird’s eye view of the racetrack and the various exotica frantically circling it. It was too sunny for you…? So then you went and took a seat in John & Franco’s beautiful garage. Did you get a massage while you there…? There was a masseuse in the garage, giving massages to all who wanted one.

    VIP never felt so good. What’s that…? It was your first time bringing your F40 to the track and you wanted some instruction…? If GT champ Anthony Lazzaro couldn’t help you, then former Formula One driver, Eric Van De Poole certainly could. He’s all too familiar with the F40. And who ever said girls don’t like cars…? Every time I turned around, there was some beautiful woman walking by or rolling along in her Ferrari. It was almost as if Hugh Hefner had a Ferrari-themed party; gorgeous women, Ferraris, race cars, limousines, world-renowned cooking – and there I was, in the middle of it all…!

    But I wasn’t thinking about that at the moment. I wasn’t really thinking about anything. John scurried past me, keys in hand, as I looked on in a mixed gaze of confusion and wonderment. Dead ahead in his path was an Enzo. A red one. He was walking straight toward it and had beckoned me to follow. Who was I to disobey…? Just then, his body made a sharp 90-degree left turn as he rounded the front driver’s-side corner of the Breadvan. As he opened the door, he spoke:

    “C’mon, get in…”

    I was speechless. I skipped through a stutter but managed to snap out a question as I stood by the passenger’s side door.

    “In THIS car…?”

    “Yeah,” he said, as his thin frame delicately DEScended into the cockpit. Disbelief stifled screams of joy but I rationalized the whole thing in my mind: ‘Dude, this is probably a dream’, I thought, ‘so shut up and get in before you wake up!’

    Anticipating fingers nervously looped over the door handle while an excited thumb poked at the button to release the door and open it. Monte, the owner, came over and instructed me on how to get in the car. ‘Pockets!’ I thought. ‘Empty your pockets!’ First rule of getting into a Ferrari, empty your pockets. I grabbed my camera from my pants and shoved it into some guy’s confused hands.
    “Can you please hold that for me? I’ll be right back.”

    I stood with my back facing the car, bent at the waist and knees and eased my butt down into the seat. Clumsily, I shuffled my legs over the doorsill, into the car. The seat belt was a tight fit and it made me struggle before finally giving in. John was already buckled up and ready to go. Rather than on the steering column, the ignition is on the dash, to the right of the 6 gauges behind the steering wheel. That’s exactly where John aimed the key and before I knew it, this little 41 year-old racecar I so delicately slipped into roared to life with an authority I’ve never heard before. The idle was loud and constant, it’s rumble resonating for what seemed like miles; anyone within earshot couldn’t help but stare.

    The Breadvan is nothing like what it seems in pictures. It’s tiny. It’s lower to the ground than any photograph I’ve ever seen, dictated. It’s not the ‘60’s station wagon-looking thing a camera makes it out to be. It’s a real, 1960’s Ferrari racecar. 1962, to be exact. Built off of a 250 GTO short wheelbase by Ferrari’s top people. But you won’t find a prancing horse badge on the car. Instead, in its place on the fenders and in the back, you’ll find a sticker of a flag with the following below it: SCUDERIA SSS REPUBBLICA DI VENEZIA. The history behind this car is far more impressive than any other I encountered at the event. Mystery, sabotage, competition, intrigue – it’s a car DEServing of its own, separate book. All these thoughts raced through my mind as John put the Breadvan in gear and made his way to the grid.

    We sat on the grid for just a moment, awaiting the okay that it was clear to get onto the track. The wire wheels, surrounded by thick rubber, rolled to a reluctant halt. The front-end 12-cylinder throated a lion’s growl, rumbling with impatience.

    Then, suddenly, the okay came.

    We were clear to get on the track.

    Still in gear, John eased off the clutch and on the gas. The decibel level increased with velocity and things only picked up from there once we merged onto the track. Barreling down the straight, the Breadvan’s engine cut into my chest with a bass-like shriek; the deafening roar, an alert to all who were on the track. No sooner than turn one was in front of us, it was behind us as John downshifted, worked the brakes and got back on the gas, headed towards turn two. Although it his first time driving it, John quickly adapted to the Breadvan; his mind and body working with powerless steering and an unforgiving, 41 year-old gearbox. His grasp on the reigns of this one-off beast were tight as he negotiated each twist and turn on the track. For a car that was already 17 years old by the time I was born, the acceleration and speed were impressive. The look, the feel, the essence of being on a racetrack in a true Ferrari racecar is second to nothing. But the sound; the sound emanating from this incredible machine is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.

    Out of the half-million or so words in the English language, I can’t come up with one or even a string of a few, to accurately DEScribe my ride in the Breadvan. ‘Difficult’ and ‘impossible’ are the first two to pop into my head. Beyond that, I’m struggling for a third word, ANY word. It was just that incredible.

    Twice around the track then back into the pits, most of the ride was a blur. My memory, shaken from the engine’s bellow, which still echoes in my head today. The thoughts from that day fudged and smeared from the speed and force of the ride. But I’ll never forget that day; that ride, that car. The history is a cement in which the experience is planted, eternally introducing me to a new level of Ferrari, of which, I am now intimately aware.
     
  2. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,860
    Pensacola
    And if you don't believe him........I was the lucky "guy" that got to hold all his crap.:)
     
  3. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,860
    Pensacola
    Heading to the track
     
  4. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,860
    Pensacola
    Congrats on the ride DES!
     
  5. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,860
    Pensacola
    On the track!
     
  6. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    14,612
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    DES, The word you are looking for is OUTRAGEOUS!
     
  7. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    DES rules! I was missing him. :)
     
  8. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2001
    4,274
    dusty old farm town
    Full Name:
    Tyler
    Just incredible!! I'm speechless.
     
  9. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    14,612
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    Or how about ORGASMIC.

    Or maybe OUTRAGEOUSLY ORGASMIC!
     
  10. richard

    richard Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,394
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Richard Thompson III
    Cpngrats...Monte is a really nice guy :)
     
  11. Matt LaMotte

    Matt LaMotte Formula 3

    Oct 30, 2002
    1,860
    Pensacola
    That car is loud!!!! I was impressed that for being such an old car it handled the track pretty well. It was pretty to cool to see the legendary Breadvan in person.
     
  12. Enzo

    Enzo F1 Rookie

    Feb 14, 2002
    4,076
    MinneSOta
    Full Name:
    Pat Pasqualini
    Great Story is there going to be a part 5??????? If so can't wait there Juggy
     
  13. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Matt, thanks for posting pictures, i almost didn't believe it, myself...

    Spasso, ORGASMICALLY OUTRAGEOUS comes pretty damn close... :)

    Slag, i missed you, too...! (Um, who are you again...?)

    Tyler, i was speechless, too... It was probably the single-most breath-taking moment of my life...

    Richard, i concur, Monte's an awesome guy... We actually had some time to shoot the breeze the day after and he's a real down to earth, easy-to-talk-to fella... Really nice guy...

    Pat, as far as i can see, there will be a Part V and a Part VI; possibly a Part VII to wrap the whole thing up, but i can definitely vouch for 5 and 6...

    Brian, thanks for posting those...
     
  14. richard

    richard Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,394
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Richard Thompson III
    Now all you need is a ride in the 330 TR/LM ;)

    If you are there next year and don't know Jim (assuming he brings it), I can try to introduce you so you can get a ride...but I'm sure John or the other guys would be just as willing :)
     
  15. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 13, 2002
    3,676
    Santa Fe, NM
    great story! I had a feeling that once DES had a taste of a vintage Ferrari V-12 with a herd of Webers sitting on top, he might never be the same . . .
     
  16. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    I'm just another chatter who enjoys reading your stories. :) Was just missing you on the new boards.
     
  17. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    You enjoy reading my stories...? AWESOME...! Thank you...!

    i recognize the username "Slag" but i can't place it with your name, so i'm a bit lost... A lot of people changed their names during re-registration, so it's a bit confusing around here...

    Oh, by the way... i missed the new board, too... It's good to be back after almost a week of not posting...

    i MISSED YOU, FERRARICHAT...!!!

    Ok, i'll stop now. :)
     
  18. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Richard, were you at the event...? Your username isn't clicking, so i'm not sure...

    Bryan, it was intense... More than i ever could have imagined...
     
  19. johnhoughtaling

    johnhoughtaling Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 6, 2002
    2,042
    New Orleans
    Full Name:
    John William H.
    No matter how impressed I am with modern Ferraris such as the Enzo, nothing, I mean nothing compares to the fury of a vintage racing Ferrari v12.

    I must admit taking DES in a fast ride around in the Breadvan was a little bit of an experiment. I wanted to take a young Ferrari enthusiast, who's dream it was to ride in anything modern, and give him a taste of something truely on a different plane. It confirmed for me that the intoxication of such a car is an objective thing. Subjective experience, no way.

    The V12 of such a car rips through your entire body (especially when they are fitted with sidepipes like the Breadvan). There is an objectivity of value that is just not subjective. Like a Van Gogh painting or other priceless works of art, its just on a different level than anthing else. It assaults your senses. Its something that is legendary. Its the reason why the values of a car like this (like GTOs, TRs, P4s) can approach eight figures in the marketplace.
     
  20. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Feb 16, 2003
    14,612
    Land of Slugs & Moss
    Full Name:
    Han Solo
    After hearing the RRRRRAAAAAPPPP!!!! of a 250 LM and a 250 GTO race up the block in front of Ferrari of Seattle on a fine June morning I have to agree with John. Gets in your blood like nothing else. Wish I could have ridden in one of them!

    DJ
     
  21. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,617
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Hey, who 5-starred the post...? Very cool, thanks... (How'd you do that...?)

    Spasso, that sounds awesome, you should really give us more details...

    John, if opening me up to a world i'd otherwise never know was your goal, your experiment was a success. If milestoning my life in the Ferrari community (even before i have one!) was your experiment, again, it was a success... Above all else in my life, i'll always remember riding in the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Breadvan... Thank you.
     
  22. Cavallino Motors

    Cavallino Motors F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    May 31, 2001
    14,143
    Florida or Argentina
    Full Name:
    Martin W.
    You kept us waiting almost a week for that. I vote for DES to receive a one-day-no-Fchat-access penalty.

    UNACCEPTABLE!!!!! :)
     
  23. Edward 96GTS

    Edward 96GTS F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    3,226
    Des,
    Can you post pics of Daytonas at the event?
    TIA
     
  24. karmavore

    karmavore Formula 3

    Dec 29, 2002
    1,641
    Maryland
    Full Name:
    Luke Colorado
    Forget the Daytona's, who was the hottie in the purple stretch pants and the concur? ;)

    Luke.
     

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