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  1. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    #1 nicolaprince, Aug 31, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2021
    Dear all, of course the title of this thread is half a joke, but at least I tell you here at the beginning! :)

    What is happiness? Can it really be reached? And can a Ferrari help you reach happiness?

    I believe that everyone would define happiness with different words, and I am not sure which ones I would use. I think that a debate to agree what happiness is would last at least for months, nonetheless when your own happiness arrives you feel it immediately with full certrainty. You feel light, you smile, you feel the chills on your forearms, you don't care of anything else.

    I don't know how many of you had the luck to get to this heavenly state, but I can tell you that so far I got to feel my eyes wet with joyful tears on four occasions: the first two times were with my wife, the third one when our baby was born, and the fourth one a month ago when... I purchased my Ferrari!!! :)

    So yes, before you continue reading I can anticipate you that a Ferrari can help you reach happiness, but only if you had the right imprinting, ahah! :)

    I come from a well-off family, yet not a rich one. My parents and relatives have degrees, always worked hard and earned a nice living, but nobody ever dreamed or purchased an expensive car.

    I, instead, was infected with the horse fever since a very young age in the early '80s, when here in Italy was rather common to see Ferraris driving around. I just loved them, even if no one ever encouraged me to. I had just two 1:24 scale models, a 308 GTS with carburetors :) and a Testarossa, the first one naively given me by an aunt without knowing what strings she was touching.

    All this said, like most of you at five I was already wishing to own a Ferrari and possibly to work for the Ferrari company itself. I pursued thse objectives with the feeling that I could not change them, so I got a degree in mechanical engineering. In time I also had few interviewes in Maranello with Ferrari, but never managed to get hired - the last time, almost 10 years ago, somebody from the personnel department on a summer afternoon rang me up asking if "I might ever be interested in a V8 product management position" :). I gave all my best, and during the interviews with the head of product marketing and the head of sales I demonstrated all my competence and enthusiasm, but in the end the job wasn't mine - and I still can't figure who else could be more suited than me, being grown up in Emilia Romagna, having studied mechanical engineering in Bologna, having worked around the world, having a calling for the fine arts, knowing every single detail about the Ferrari cars, and above all having a true passion that I never saw in anybody else!

    Anyhow, life is life and I moved on, knowing that if a Ferrari job could not depend just on myself, the Ferrari ownership did. So I worked hard and took every opportunity to accumulate the right savings to let my family live well, without any sacrifice, and yet to become able to comfortably buy the Ferrari.

    Ten years ago I was 34 and, while feeling a bit uncomfortable and out of my places, I entered the Modena dealer for the first time asking if they had a 328. To my surprise, I was welcomed with great kindness and the marketing manager drove me in the underground warehouse where dozens of cars were stored. Amongst them were Daytonas, F40s, Testarossas, everything, and also a 328 GTB: the car was on consignment at 36.000 €. I could afford it, but I did not have a garage and thought that I could wait. Then 2014 and quantitative easing and speculation arrived, and while I had the garage the Ferrari prices had more than doubled, so I had to park my plan for another while.
    Like many of you, I spent most evenings of the last years checking classifieds :) until last April I decided that it was now or never, because after the prices had lowered a bit I could see all the signals for possible rises, at the end of the pandemic - back in April it seemed it could end, someday :( - or because of the free money that all governments kept printing. So one night I decided that I had to move from dreaming to acting, and 15 weeks later I finally did the purchase.

    The search was fun and tiring at once, because while I have met a number of very nice people and cars, some of them were getting sold before I could ponder my decisions. Some cars were in great shapes, while others far below their descriptions, but this post is getting too long to tell the whole story of my search, so I think I will write another one later. All this said, the day I checked the most discouraging 308 GTSi in Firenze, on my way back to Bologna I rang up the owners of a 208 GTB with carburetors, just to check if I could have a quick look even if I had never considered this model before for its reduced engine displacement and power. I found two very passionate persons like me, father and son, and their car was the most beautiful I had ever seen! She was not just the most beautiful 208/308/328, or the most beautiful Ferrari, but literally the most beautiful car I had ever ever met. It was original in every single nut, and I could not stop looking at her from every angle. She was near perfect, with only 35.000 original kms. So I fell in love. :rolleyes:

    Fast forward, some weeks later and after walking back from a 348 TB deal I had closed just in words, I purchased her and felt those tiny wet tears in my eyes and my jaw stiffening of happiness for the fourth time in my life. Strange enough, this did not happen in the office where we made the transaction or when I got the keys, but few days earlier in the bank when I got the cashier's check and fully realized that what I was doing was real - nothing is more real than seeing your bank account going down by several dozen thousand euros in seconds, ahah!

    The day I drove her home through the Appennine mountains, with my father driving behind me in his car, understanding that I finally realized my childhood dream, thinking of my lovely wife and daughter, entranced for hours by the sound of the engine and the carburetors, I truly and fully felt I became the happiest person in the world. And I still am. :)

    So if you want to become the second happiest person in the world, just get your Ferrari! :D

    This is mine:


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  3. RodC328gts

    RodC328gts Karting

    Aug 17, 2021
    117
    Mexico
    Full Name:
    Rod C
    Congratulations.

    I am also looking to fulfill my dream .... but I'll go with a 328 instead.

    I clearly remember talking to my father, "the problem is that when I grow old, and have enough money to get a Ferrari, they will not be the same... and probably uglier" this was like 81 when I was 11.
     
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  4. Nospinzone

    Nospinzone F1 Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    6,069
    Weston, MA
    Full Name:
    Paul
    Congrats and I wish you good luck with it!
     
  5. Regular Guy 01

    Regular Guy 01 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    May 10, 2011
    350
    Tacoma, WA
    Full Name:
    Eugene Greer
    Thank you for sharing your great story and adventure.
    Congrats on finding your new toy!
    You will find your journey will only get better and the people you meet in your future will add to your experience.
    Enjoy the ride and have fun!!

    Best wishes,
    GG
     
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  6. ferrariwithsnowtires

    ferrariwithsnowtires Formula Junior

    Dec 17, 2005
    272
    Thanks for sharing your adventure

    Looks ideal

    I hadn’t heard of a 208 before, more Ferrari trivia added to my old mind
     
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  8. SRLC716

    SRLC716 Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 15, 2019
    174
    Buffalo
    Full Name:
    Sam
    Epic thread - thanks for sharing your passion and story! I totally, 100%, viscerally understand what you mean!


    Sent from my iPhone using FerrariChat
     
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  9. PaulK

    PaulK F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 24, 2004
    4,090
    Michigan
    Full Name:
    Paul
    A massive congratulations to you! I too have been touched by Ferrari when I was little and nothing else will do. I am a servant of Ferrari and that is that.
    However I wasn't happy when I bought my dream car. Like you, I just knew it was the one. I didn't even test drive it. I just knew she was it. And I bought it and I was depressed.
    But I am still happy I have it if that makes any sense.

    How did you go on finding the strength to keep at it after Ferrari themselves rejected you? Did it sour your love of Ferrari?
     
  10. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
    27,052
    PNW
    Full Name:
    John
    Cool story, thanks for sharing. I never dreamed I'd one day own a Ferrari but I managed to get there. Had my '78 308 GTS for almost 12 year then moved it on to the next caretaker. Now I have another Italian steed in my garage, a 2009 GranTurismo S. Very different car but both have that almost indescribable Italian soul and sound.

    Enjoy your new car in great health!!
     
  11. buenavides1

    buenavides1 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2019
    37
    Full Name:
    Calvin
    I enjoy reading posts like this one. We all have different sources of happiness and you just found yours.
     
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  13. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Wow, did you already have that feeling at 11??? How wise... :)
    Personally I thought that the 328 was the best model for me too, until I grew a bit disappointed by the styling changes vs the 308 (especially the front end and the central console) and the low engine sound under 5.000 rpm. But she's a great car and I will be very glad to know that you will get one!
    In case you want to make yourself a little culture on these cars before the purchase, I recommend you the book by Foskett.

    Fun enough, a very badly preserved 328 GTS was the very first car I checked during my search, and in the interior she was so ugly that a friend of mine suggested she had been probably owned by a hooker! I made a list of damages to fix and it was like two pages long.
    I started from that car simply because she was the less expensive in Europe, and there was a reason!
    Then the next I checked was a red 308 GTS of 1978 with carbs. She was not perfect, but the style and the details totally got me. :)
     
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  14. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Thank you very much! :)
     
  15. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Oh yes, thank you very much for your message!
    I dreamt of my Ferrari for the last 40 years, but the one thing I would have never imagined is how nice are most of the people you can meet in the Ferrari world, be they owners, dealers, service people, and so on. I was really delighted to met a number of great persons - and had few laughs rethinking of the less great ones! :)
     
  16. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Thank you dear! :)
    The Ferrari 208 was a specific downsize of the 308 for Italy and, I've heard, New Zealand, driven by tax reasons (not the greatest driver to design a sportscar, btw!). It was made in very small numbers - some 300 vehicles between GTB and GTS - before Ferrari introduced the fuel injection and the Turbo. In fact the 208 Turbo with f.i. replaced the 208 with carbs.
    But I will write more extensively about the car herself in other threads, otherwise this one will get too long!
    All the best,
    Nic
     
  17. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Wow! Your compliment made me shivering, literally, thank you very much! :)
    Actually this is only a part of the story, becuase the 3 month search in itself was quite fun and in the next days I will try to share all the details!
    Stay in touch!
    Nic
     
  18. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Dear Paul,
    thank you for your message.
    I am really surprised to read that you got depressed after you got her! Which one do you have? The gorgeous F355 in your photo?
    Actually I talked of a similar feeling to a person a month earlier before my purchase, just after I checked a 328 GTB and had a test drive sitting on the side of the owner.
    During my search I had driven a 308 GTS with carbs but she had flattened wheels and with the top off I felt cramped because of my height, so I felt close to disilluded; then I tried a mint 308 GTBi but she was too expensive and I got a bit frustrated; and then this 328 that had few signs of neglect. On that same afternoon, while I was showing some of her pictures to a friend, talking of my search I said "you know, it's like when they say to never meet your heroes. You idealize them, and then you meet them and they all look pretty normal. And you feel a bit disappointed and lost, nearly cheated".
    This person is a motor enthusiast, and replied me not to give up!
    So I didn't, and when I found the right one I realised that not all Ferraris are the same, that while some, or just one, can sort of change your life in positive (please keep in mind that we are simply talking of 1:1 scale toys) others might leave you cold, or worried, or provide other unpleasant feelings.

    To reply to your last question, I don't think that as a kid I was too different from many others. Most kids like cars, most who like cars like Ferraris, and most who like Ferraris think that one day they want to build them. But until you are a kid it's easy to think it's just you, because another friend wants to become an astronaut and another a doctor. Then you grow up, and as you enroll at mechanical engineering in Bologna you suddently find yourself surrounded by a group of 300 other people all having your same crazy goal! :)
    Another thing I realised only in my adulthood - sorry if now I will look this ingenuous - is that having a Ferrari and working for Ferrari are two goals that only a handful of people can reach. I cannot tell you how shocked I was when I approached the Ferrari plant in Maranello for the first time and noticed how cheap all the cars in the employee car park were. I could not accept how you could work for Ferrari and go to work in a Fiat Punto, but that was it. And it was so because most people are so passionate about the pranching horse that they would almost work for free just to enter that door everyday and feel that feeling of belonging.
    In conclusion, I believe that I would have been quite glad to have a Ferrari professional experience, and back then I can confess I would have made it nearly for free too. Of course I was disappointed, very disappointed, and felt also a bit angry because I had the impression that the prospect bosses who interviewed me were not quite competent on the cars and passionate as I was - nor that they had a Ferrari even if they could afford one! But life is life, and you always must get what comes to you and keep smiling, and look or invent a positive side of every experience. Today I have my vintage Ferrari with carbs in the garage, which belongs to an era that will never come back. I am very satisfied on the professional side too, even doing completely different things than I ever imagined, so if some day my phone will ring up again and somebody will ask if I want another interview in Maranello I will try to answer "well... let me think about for a moment, let me check my calendar..." :)

    All the best and please try to figure why you felt depressed and if you can do something about it! (i.e. get carbs?:))
     
    Julia likes this.
  19. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Wow, thank you for your feedback! The first 308 I test drove was exaclty a red 1978 GTS. It was nice but not in great shape, and her flattened tires didn't let me fully understand what it was. Unfortunately she left me a bit disappointed, but now that I know how a great Ferrari drives I wish I could add one too to the garage, some day. But it is fantasy, and the one I have will be enough forever.
    I also love the Granturismo too, it's one of the best looking cars ever, imho! congratulations to you too!
    All the best,
    Nic
     
  20. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
    Thank you for appreciating!
    Of course the happiness that you can experience when your little daughter is bouncing on your face on the floor cannot be matched by anything else, but I must admit that a Ferrari can be a very sweet cherry on your cake.
    The real important things in life are others than cars or brands, but it's very curoius to see how intoxicated we all Ferrari enthusiasts can be!
    All the best,
    Nic
     
  21. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 22, 2002
    16,504
    congrats!!!
     
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  22. Max4HD

    Max4HD Formula 3

    Jun 20, 2006
    1,004
    Florida
    Enjoy & drive in good health!

    Cheers
     
    nicolaprince likes this.
  23. nicolaprince

    nicolaprince Karting

    May 16, 2021
    145
    Bologna, Italy
    Full Name:
    Nicola Prince
  24. Rossospider

    Rossospider Rookie

    Sep 3, 2021
    6
    Northwest Arkansas
    Full Name:
    Richard Reagan
    Beautiful car! I too imagined my very own Ferrari as far back as 10 years old. I definitely appreciate your story.
     
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  25. RodC328gts

    RodC328gts Karting

    Aug 17, 2021
    117
    Mexico
    Full Name:
    Rod C
    Thanks for the book recommendation.
    At that time it was the 512BB and the 308 that had my love.

    I started looking for a 308, but the US bumpers really are ugly. and start reading and learning and a good 328 cross my path. I am now the owner of a 1988 328.
    it will be shipped in aprox a week, going to Broadwalk Ferrari for service and then home.
    I already bought a TUBI exhaust . LOL
     
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