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The Smelly Edge of the Vintage Distinction

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Zarathustra, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Formula Junior

    May 7, 2006
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    Amongst the F-Chat forms a 365 GTB/4 is “Vintage” and a 365 GT/4BB is not. What’s the distinction, gentlemen?
    Same designer: Fioravanti. Same chassis fabrication and production line. Same mediocre paint and handmade body fabricators. Is it the rear engine? No, 275 LMs and the two 365P tre posti are Vintage.
    What about the nebulous entry of FIAT. Is that what should determine the Vintage / non-Vintage distinction?
    FIAT entered in 1969 during early Daytona production. It’s well known that Enzo created the Daytona to bide time for development of his Boxer response to Lambo. And the P6, the Boxer prototype was built in 1968, pre-FIAT. Everyone likes to claim FIAT’s intrusion is important and I’ll agree as you read on, but FIAT is not a clear line draw in the Vintage sands. I would like to propose a more definitive, more rigorous Vintage distinction: the “Carbureted 12.”
    I say “12” because Enzo is well on record for saying Ferraris are twelve cylinders, despite all the 2,4,6,and 8 cylinder engines he developed and raced. Enzo’s cute Dino road cars were not given Ferrari serial numbers or badges, and there is the well known statement in the Dino brochure: “Tiny, Brilliant, Almost a Ferrari.” (Please revisit this topic in the Dino form.)
    The “Carbureted 12” is more of a time-line Vintage demarcation, concomitant with FIAT’s intrusion, than one might think. Besides Enzo struggling with emission controls and American DOT impositions, there’s something noticeably different between the last carbureted Ferraris and the first injected Ferraris: blatant FIAT marketing.
    Look at the first injected, top-of-the-line Ferrari: the BBi512. It’s got a “BBi512” badge from the rear clamshell lazily plastered on the glove box. And the large metal “prancing horse” on the gear shift center console… then there’s the plastic, dimming, interior light and central-locking doors; definitely not Vintage.
    After the BBi, the whores of marketing stick the Ferrari logo on everything: door sills, head rests, and God knows how many parts. When the Dino 308 GT/4 didn’t sell they put a Ferrari badge on it. The flood-gates finally opened when they put S.F. shields on F40s (perhaps deservedly because of the anniversary); but then everyone and their dog wanted S.F. shields on their car.
    I’m sorry. I’m what most old-timers call a Ferrari Dinosaur. In my pee-dinosaur-brain, S.F. shields only belong on the factory team’s racing cars. But now FIAT sells them to the herd. (Along with S.F. T-shirts, hats, and flags.) But I digress.
    Lastly, there are the obvious impacts on the human senses of the carbureted Vintage cars. The clear visual distinction between a row of Webers and the plumbing tubes of injected cars. And the wonderful chorus from the top of the engine and the exhaust of a carbureted Ferrari versus an injected car’s half-choir exhaust. (Yes, recent injected cars sound wonderful, but I would love to hear the same engines with Webers.) Then there’s the smell. To put it bluntly, Vintage carbureted cars stink and injected cars don’t.
    My point is that the visceral Vintage feeling comes from the Carbureted 12 period, period.
     
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  3. geno berns

    geno berns F1 Rookie

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  4. xs10shl

    xs10shl Formula 3

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    #3 xs10shl, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
    I personally look at it differently as well. When I think of the mechanicals, the 275 series, 330 series (excluding the 330 2+2), and 365 series have way more in common then they do with any of the cars that precede them. IMHO, there's nothing really vintage about a Daytona that isn't vintage about a 365BB, but I suppose it's easier to lump the 365BB in with the BB series that follows, up to 1984.

    In my view, "Vintage Ferrari" ends with the final evolution of the 250-style drivetrains in the mid 60's, but it's really just semantics to me anyways. The "Vintage" metric I use most frequently (being from California, but also out of sheer laziness) is whether or not it needs to be smogged, which brings the vintage cutoff all the way up to 1975.
     
  5. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    You have to draw a line somewhere, and the switch to the mid-engine configuration seems reasonable enough to me.

    My 365GT is very similar mechanically to the 365GTC/4, and yet if you drive them both, or even sit in them both, it's clear that they're from different eras.

    Sit in a Boxer and a Daytona, or better yet drive both (I have), and you'll understand why they are in different categories.
     
  6. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Such a distinction has to be arbitrary to a certain degree. Drawing a line based on changes of company ownership or administration can be as "valid" as one based on car design.
    Personally my rule is that no car younger than I am can be called vintage or, heaven forbid, antique:)
     
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  8. model builder

    model builder Formula Junior

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    First you have to define the word "vintage". The word was not meant to be used as "old". It was not meant to be used as "collectible". It was not meant to be used as "desirable". Vintage means when something was made. It came from the wine community. Wine can be vintage 2008. So really everything is vintage (place year of your choice here)

    Vintage is now used to describe something it was not originally meant to in the first place. People use it to mean collectible, desirable, old, etc.

    Just use words that mean something. Such as "'collectible" (even that word is really ridiculous, as people collect everything so everything is collectible). How about desirable. And use the word old. That will put a stop to all the BS that nobody pays much attention to anyway except when they use it themselves to sell a car that probably sucks on its own merit. Usually after 'vintage' you will see the word 'rare'. As if that makes it valuable. Because something is rare does not make it valuable.

    When you own something collectible, desirable and old you don't need to tell everyone its "vintage". Its only used to describe something in the hope some idiot will pay big money for something thats probably overpriced. And it never works.

    When you see the term "Vintage 80's" or something like that then its used properly. It means, made in the 80's. When you see vintage collectible that means nothing. That to me means made in collectible. Makes no sense.

    So the title of this thread "The smelly edge of the vintage distinction" really means nothing that anyone can make any sense of.

    Hows that for distinction
     
  9. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Americans should just use the same designations as the rest of the world instead of calling any old car "vintage". Really is quite immature ;).

    Vintage means before 1930.
    Post Vintage means after 1930 ...

    and there are others that my old brain cannot remember that breaks the dates up. No Ferrari is a vintage car, seriously.
    Pete
     
  10. JazzyO

    JazzyO F1 World Champ

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    You can't participate in the classic meets of the Dutch Ferrari Club with a 365GT4/BB. It is the first model that falls outside the category. I find that a bit annoying as the car has nothing to do with modern Ferraris - it is a raw machine that is difficult to drive, handbuilt using traditional methods, and it is carburetted too.

    But I do see the point of drawing the line somewhere and since the Boxer was made until 1984, it is a logical divider.


    Onno
     
  11. thecheddar

    thecheddar Formula 3

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    It's all a bit arbitrary and ripe for semantic debate. The "Enzo era" makes it easy to categorize, as does the "Fiat era." But as the cars of the "Luca LdM era" become classics, how will the definitions change?

    What is unchangeable is the march of time that makes all older Ferraris into "classics" at some point. Lest we forget, even 308's are comfortably over 30 years old now, making it a vintage in my eyes.
     
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  13. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Formula Junior

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    The above are Distinctions of a Vintage Ferrari?

    xs10shl: Most people do not care if a car needs to be smogged in California.

    donv: I agree Daytonas & Boxers handle differently, but a C4 with power steering versus a 275LM versus a Queen Mother are all about as different. I don't find "handling" a compelling distinction.

    Model Builder: the meaning of words change over time with usage in society. (This is how a word like "conservative," which used to mean "liberal" in the 1930s now means "right wing.") Most words are corrupted from their original meaning, corrupting so much as to become different languages over time. We don't speak old Greek anymore. Take a course in Linguistics.

    PSk: I'm dissenting about the "Vintage" heading of this grouping of threads. I did not make this up. There are no Vintage Ferraris? Feel free to avoid posting in this section.

    You guys need to retort better than this!
     
  14. geno berns

    geno berns F1 Rookie

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    #11 geno berns, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
    Vintage: Carbed 12 cyl and older = vin # 38487 a 1981 512 BB and older. Now let the organizers of vintage themed events see it this way.
     
  15. wax

    wax Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Between 1946 and 1966, all Ferrari cars were equipped with Borrani wheels as original equipment.

    So, in my humble opinion, even if optional wheels were chosen or necessitated, a Ferrari manufactured during the bespoke era equates Vintage.
     
  16. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

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    Seems to me that the Daytona was a direct decendent of the all of the front engine cars and was still a body on frame design. Changed and evolved, yes, but you could still see the logical lineage as you go back thru the years to the 275 GTB and the earlier front engine cars. When they put the motor in the back, although they used a lot of existing parts, it really, to my mind, became a new generation with the flat 12 and mid engine, it was more or less a new design, and for that reason it makes sense to cut it there...

    Just one man's opinion...
     
  17. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    Additional reading material for those who are interested: http://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=130

    Since I was involved in the creation and naming of this forum, let me once again address:

    1. Why is the 365 GTC/4 used as a cut-off point?
    2. Why the word "Vintage?"

    Some of the people posting in this thread were around when the Vintage forum was created, but the OP and several others weren't, so let me explain. Originally, we created three sub-forums: Modern, Classic and Vintage. Vintage went up through the C4, Classic went up through the 348 and Modern covered everything after that.

    When the 355 no longer seemed so "modern," it had to be moved to "Classic," which meant that every single previous 355 thread had to be located and moved. At the same time, the board went from having something like 6000 users to over 20,000 and activity was up everywhere. The decision was made to break the "Classic" and "Modern" models out into more subforums. "Vintage" stayed lumped into a single forum for the time being, but the Dino 206/246 cars were eventually spun off into their own forum.

    When we made the split between "Vintage" and Classic," we had to decide on a cut-off and the end of the front-engined, V12 2-seaters seemed like as good a place as any. It also roughly divides the cars based on those that were designed and developed under the autonomous Ferrari and those that were done under Fiat ownership. The Daytona and C4 are front-engined V12s and are stylistically related. The Boxers are mid-engined flat 12s and are more stylistically related to the 308. The 206/246 were developed pre-Fiat and were different enough from the 308 GT4 to draw a line there. Made sense at the time and still makes sense if you ask me.

    To split based on carb vs injected would make no sense whatsoever. We'd have 365 GT4BBs and 512BBs in one section and BBis in the other. 308s would be split up. Silliness.

    As for the terminology, don't read too much into it. We had to come up with names for the two non-modern forums - "Vintage" and "Classic" are just what we decided on. I'm a member of the Society of Automotive Historians and, according to those guys, "Vintage" describes cars built between 1917 and 1942. Obviously, that doesn't work for us Ferrari guys, so we just made up our own thing and it's worked ever since.
     
  18. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    The 365GT has power steering too. It goes way beyond that-- just compare the driving position in a C/4 versus a 365GT, look at the wooden dash and steering wheel, etc. It adds up to a very different feel, even though mechanically the cars are quite similar.

     
  19. geno berns

    geno berns F1 Rookie

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    Why did they seperate my 365 BB from my 512 BBi at the last FCA Nationals in two different classes? Carbs baby!

     
  20. model builder

    model builder Formula Junior

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    #17 model builder, Nov 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2009
    Take a course in linguistics? That's the best you can do and I need a better retort? I expected so much more. What a let down. Didn't anyone teach you unasked for advice is a sign of poor manners? However, you did ask for distinctions and better retorts. I have redefined and corrupted those words to fit your thread and my need.

    Instead of trying to impress with your apparent need to show off that you feel you have an education by using a large vocabulary or because you read a few books by Friedrich Nietzsche just do yourself a favor and buy a dictionary instead. It would save you money on your "lingiustics course". Probably save you some embarrassment as well with the LSA. At the very least it would show you are actually thinking. I'm sure you are schooled but probably paid too much for it. But I'll get into that later

    I believe in making it simple. Speak English. Say what you mean and mean what you say. I'm just a simpleton. Big words hurt my head.............I'm no Ubermensch. But I'll try to use really big confusing words if it will help.

    The reason all you clowns (and I don't necessarily mean the people in this thread as "clowns" but people in general who put so much emphasis on the word "vintage) can't figure out what makes a vintage Ferrari is because you don't know the meaning of the word vintage itself. I doubt I could teach you. I believe it would take a lingua franca as my English is just not accomplishing the task. If words take on new meanings and become a different language that's all well and good. But what you have here is a word that does not have a clear definition. Done that way on purpose and for good reason. People are using a vague word to misrepresent something. And its another perfect example of Barnum being right. Dazzle with double talk, baffle with BS, sucker born so on and so on. This is why I think you probably paid too much for that vintage diploma or masters or whatever you have. If nobody in society accepts the usage of this word, then it will go back to its original meaning. I for one, will not accept this word to mean anything other than when something was made. Besides, nobody is going to ever pin down the meaning anyway. The intention of the word 'vintage' is to imply old/collectible so on. That will always change with each generation anyway.

    The more the word is accepted in automotive circles (and in general used sales everywhere) to generally describe basically anything then expect linguistic issues to arise.

    In your dissertation you lament about the marketing whores yet you have fallen for the best one of all and are not even aware of it. You want to "propose a more definitive, more rigorous vintage description". That means you have accepted a word to mean something other that what it really means. Those same marketing whores came up with the word 'vintage' in the auto market. Did that not occur to you? It has no clear meaning in the context of collectible, old, desirable or valuable. You're justifying the use of a word that has no business being in the vernacular.

    My question is, why does any car NEED to be called vintage. And why do you care? Does it validate some need?

    Is this a better retort?
     
  21. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    Maybe so, but that has nothing to do with F-Chat. This is a discussion forum with a need to keep relevant discussions organized in a way that makes sense.
     
  22. michael bayer

    michael bayer Formula 3

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    El Wayne I am with you. You made the call and it was then and remains a good one. M
     
  23. xs10shl

    xs10shl Formula 3

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    Fair enough - this of course was not the central point I was trying to make, but I know how sensitive you Oregonians can get about us Californians ;^).

    I'll try something else. You say it's a carbed V12 that provides the "Vintage Ferrari" experience. I'd personally say (with no offense intended here, just a classification based on my own experiences) - if it's sprung like a truck, it will provide the "Vintage Ferrari" experience.
     
  24. 275gtb6c

    275gtb6c Formula 3
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    Maybe it is more in the people rather than in the cars....in this vintage section there are hardly harsh comments.....Although I like tough discussions the reply on serious comments from posters by Zarathustra is a little out of line. It might of course be my foreign interpretation of the English language.

    BTW in 10 yeras from now this discussion will be held for the F40. I don't understand why the Dino is not in the Vintage section and putting a 166MM in the same category as a 328 is useless.

    Ciao
    Oscar
     
  25. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    i dunno, i always thought cars hitting the 25 year mark = classic. 30 or more = vintage. my cars 25 years old or older get special tags and cheaper taxes here in Georgia. 1984 does not seem like it was *that* long ago.
     
  26. ggjjr

    ggjjr Formula Junior

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    I agree that it will be a moving target and/or is subjective. In the grand scheme of things the dividing line may end up being when computers were first installed. How about when all Ferraris are made with motors and run on electicity?

    George
     
  27. 2GT

    2GT Formula 3

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    Quite true. To the aspiring 458 Italia owner, a 355 might be considered vintage. A 308 owner would probably consider a 330 GT to be vintage. The owner of a 250 GTE might want to go all the way back to a 166 MM as a true example of a vintage Ferrari. As has been said above, the use of the term "vintage" to describe a particular model of Ferrari is inartful at best. The term mainly serves as some type of sorting device which, in reality, bears no relationship to the value of a particular Ferrari or its deemed functionality in today's automotive world. An analogous situation concerns the word "classic" when applied to an automobile. According to the AACA, a classic was manufactured between (I believe) 1925 and 1942, but also including the Lincoln-Continental through the 1948 model year. In England, the term "classic" is often used to describe postwar cars of the '50s and '60s. I don't know if there is a specific British automotive definition of the term. In any case, American and British enthusiasts have distinctively different understandings of the meaning of an automotive "classic," and that's just fine. We should try to avoid heated disagreements over classifications of this type. They only lessen the enjoyment of the wonderful hobby that we all are so fortunate to share. Fred
     
  28. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Formula Junior

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    Now those are much better responses.

    WAX: The Borrani wheel era as the Vintage discriminator is pretty good. It coincides well with the carburated era. It appeals to the visual but lacks the aural and that smell.

    solofast: simple & acceptable.

    EL Wayne: I can appreciate the permutations the forms have gone through. The point of my dissent was to discuss a more aesthetic interpretation of Vintage, not to change anything.

    donv: you accidently brought up another point: plastic electronic dashboards versus wood, mechanical, metal, and glass instruments.

    Model Builder: you continue to miss the point of the discussion.

    xs10shl: We Oregonians like you guys down there. (Stay.) Sprung like a truck? I don't know, try again.

    275GTB6c: You're probably right that I was a little out of line with a poster. I just have such little patience. Dinos probably should be in the Vintage section from a temporal standpoint. But the Dino is a special case, in that Enzo was trying to start a new marque from his company like Toyota did with Scion. And heck, is has that new-fangled engine in the back... from consensus, not Vintage.
     

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