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Magnum Pi Birthday Party Pics

Discussion in '308/328' started by wildcat326, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    #1 wildcat326, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I FINALLY had some free time to go through my friend's 500+ pics from my birthday party, and picked out the best shots to tell the story. As some of you may recall, I posted a thread back in March asking if anyone near Chicago could lend a red 308 GTS - at my expense - for a Magnum PI theme party.

    The back story is, every year I host a birthday party for my closest family and friends, and we have a theme usually based on a vintage TV cop drama (per one of my best friends, who's an obsessive vintage tv fan). In 2012, it was Starsky & Hutch at a popular downtown bar; everyone showed up in pleather jackets, big-lapel shirts, and bell-bottoms. We had the last-minute idea to put a local ad on Craigslist to see if anyone would drive up in a red Tornio, but it was too late. For 2013, we needed better advance planning.

    I fell in love with Ferrari when I first saw a red 308 GTS drive past my house when I was three years old. I didn't know what it was, but I made my mother take me to every car dealership in Chicago until I found one and could identify it. When I was in elementary school, I recognized the car again on Magnum reruns, and vowed someday I would get one. I FINALLY had sourced a perfect, carbed red/tan example as a birthday gift to myself in early March, but the seller decided to keep it. I had planned on surprising my guests with my purchase by throwing a Magnum PI theme party at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion in River North. Invitations (shown below) already had gone out.

    So, three days before the party and without the starring prop, I cried out for help on F-Chat. TONS of enthusiastic offers from members to come party in their respective hometowns, but nothing local. I called a couple dealerships, offering to pay transport and insurance, but they were leery. Finally, I emailed eBay seller Perfetto Performance - a venture of a suburban businessman who buys tired Ferraris and either restores them or parts them out. At the time, he was selling what this board termed "The Subwoofer," because of its massive aftermarket speaker in the passenger foot well. Kevin, the owner, had a work commitment, but he was so excited about the theme, that he had his local mechanic get the car out of storage, prep it, and transport it downtown on a flatbed during my lunch break the next day, no questions asked.

    Based on the mechanical rundown, unsightly subwoofer, and aftermarket seat coverings, I didn't have high expectations, visually. HOWEVER, it turned out to be - externally - the finest 308 I've ever seen. Original smooth paint and the cleanest, most-unmolested FACTORY 16" wheels I've ever run across!

    To this day, I swear we only were able to successfully pull off driving a car into a downtown restaurant because the request was so absurd, the manager and event planner didn't know how to say "no." Since the restaurant is closed for lunch, they ordered the staff to clear out all the tables in the main dining room. Then, one of my friends came with me during lunch to place a tarp in the party room and lay down movers wrap to prevent tread marks on the carpet. We had CAREFULLY measured the emergency exit double-doors, but had a major "OH S#!T" moment when the car arrived with aftermarket side bumper trim. The car's body is normally 67.6" wide, and the doorway was almost 70." But, accounting for the extra bumper trim, we had less than .75" TOTAL of free clearance.

    I also rented a tiki hut, and had the pilot episode of Magnum PI, "Don't Eat the Snow in Hawaii," playing on a loop on the party room's big screen. We bought a bunch of Barbie 328's and used them as centerpieces, and also handed out leis and fake mustaches to guests as they arrived. For that night, Roy's renamed their signature drink the "Magnum Martini." And there was a photographer to take everyone's picture behind the wheel of the car before they left.

    Tragically, I look awful in all the pics, owing to a bad back injury that has caused me to gain some 30 pounds in the past year; my girlfriend said I look more like Luigi than Thomas Magnum in my mustache, but alas I DID get the authentic shirt from Hawaii:)

    As a footnote, one of my guests told a friend who works at Car & Driver about the party, and the magazine wound up doing a Web feature story about it, which then also got run by Road & Track.

    Here's a video that some bystander sent AOL of the car driving in; gives an idea of what a "Game of Inches" it was...

    Ferrari 308 GTS Drives Into a Restaurant - AOL On
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  2. ragtop1

    ragtop1 Formula 3
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    What a fantastic birthday party and tribute to a classic Ferrari and TV series. I can't believe how tight that door entrance was ! Congratulations, looks like you all had a blast.
     
  3. kaliforniakid

    kaliforniakid Formula Junior

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    Thats great- I remember the original thread, very happy they came through for you. Thanks for sharing the photos.
     
  4. Todd308TR

    Todd308TR F1 World Champ
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    Cool, but can't believe you got that car through the doors.
     
  5. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    The driver would line it up, give it a little gas, then drop her into neutral as she lurched forward. Two of us were inside kneeling in front putting resistance against the bumper, so that once the nose inched in, it wouldn't roll up to the wider wheel arches unless we had it manually pushed/pulled into perfect alignment. I must say, playing "catch" with a Ferrari is harrowing on its own level:)
     
  6. Thomas Magnum

    Thomas Magnum F1 Veteran
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    I too remember the original thread/request. What a great party and glad it turned out so well. Happy belated birthday!
     
  7. Sledge4.2

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  8. Renato

    Renato Formula Junior

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    That's fantastic!

    Btw I don't think those wheels are factory, they a have Superformance finish look to them.

    Happy Birthday!
     
  9. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    They had the raised relief "Ferrari 8x16" stamping on the inner lip, which I don't think replicas have.
     
  10. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
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    Most excellent!!! Perhaps one of the coolest parties I have ever seen!!!




    PDG
     
  11. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
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    Posted to the Ferrarichat Facebook page as well....




    PDG
     
  12. Alvaro S.

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    Amazing birthday party ! Very creative !!
     
  13. curtisc63

    curtisc63 Formula 3
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    Remember the original request as well. Glad you pulled it off and glad that you let us in on your fun!

    Now, when will you close the loop and buy one?
     
  14. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

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    Yes, I remember the original thread, and your posts that you had gotten the car. Great to see the pictures. Looks like it was a great party, and the 308 was the best centerpiece you could possibly have had.

    By the way, where did you get the Magnum PI graphic for the invites? I love it!!!!

    Many cool pics. Thanks for sharing them!
     
  15. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    I made the invite myself in Photoshop by merging caricatures of Tom Selleck and a 308 that I separately found on the Internet, and downloading a free "Magnum PI" font.
     
  16. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

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    Nicely done!!!!
     
  17. Jedi

    Jedi Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Absolutely EPIC party!!

    Jedi
     
  18. jd359

    jd359 Formula Junior
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    Awesome! Coincidentally I saw Tom Sellick 2 weeks ago when I was in the audience of the David Letterman show. :)
     
  19. hockeyfour

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    the coolest themed party I've ever seen or heard about.

    Well done. J.
     
  20. rob

    rob F1 Rookie

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    I just have to point this out that you do realize that the toy model is a 328 not a 308?! In any case looks like a lot of fun!
     
  21. Crowndog

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    Fantastic!!
     
  22. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    Wow, I just saw that someone resurrected my 6-year-old thread. Funny, I was 30 pounds heavier and didn't actually own a Ferrari then:)

    One of my lasting memories of that day was pulling my buddy out of work during lunch to come wait for the borrowed 308 to be delivered. As of the previous night, we'd been unsuccessful at finding a local owner to loan us one in the dead of winter, and he was crestfallen. When I called him the next morning to let him know someone had come through, he went home and got his professional photography gear to film the car being unloaded/driven into the restaurant. At the designated delivery time, a large transport truck pulled up across the street, and we got out our gear and set up to film the car being unloaded, focusing like hawks on truck's rear door. We narrated a short video about the anticipation, and snapping a few "before" pics, and then the door rolled up; it was an office paper delivery for the high-rise across the street. We looked at each other like fools, waiting for God above to interject with a loud "wa-wa" from the heavens. We turned around to go back into the restaurant and wait, only to see a crowd of tourists and locals gathered in the street watching a red Ferrari being unloaded from a flatbed right behind us! You couldn't have scripted it better if it were a scene from Dumb & Dumber.
     
  23. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3
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    And I'll add a hero story from that day, too. The car's owner was a young ex-military guy who served his country in two tours, and then came home to become an entrepreneur making gadgetry he'd thought our troops needed but lacked in the field. He had listed the car on eBay, and I contacted him through their messaging system when I saw it was local. We went back and forth, and I offered to pay full expenses, cover special insurance, and also treat him and a +1 to dinner with the rest of the party. Two days before the party, he told me that he was "in." The morning before the party, he called from the emergency room to tell me he'd gone in with an appendicitis, and would have to back out. Wasn't sure he if he was bluffing and getting cold feet, but I thanked him anyway and wished him a speedy recovery. About 11pm that night, he called from his hospital room to tell me he didn't want to wreck my birthday, and that he'd made the necessary arrangements with his mechanic and a flatbed service to prep and deliver the car, FROM HIS HOSPITAL BED. When he recovered, my now-wife and I took him and his fiancee to dinner, where he showed me his invoice for the car delivery/pickup. He said I had no obligation to pay him a cent, but - if I felt it appropriate - to please make a donation to the Wounded Warrior project (which I certainly did). What a guy!
     
    rob likes this.

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