Tutto Italiano show report (just a month late, sorry!)

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by BigHead, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Friends, Romans and Countrymen:

    We car enthusiasts living in New England are a hearty lot. We endure a few months of less-than-ideal winter conditions, and more than a few weeks of dangerously hot and humid summer blaze. Our reward for being Yankee and stoic through all this? A few precious weeks of blissful, perfect spring weather that lift our hearts with optimism about the new driving season. When we're chipping away at the ice dams on our roofs in February, we salivate with anticipation at that glorious, sunny spring day when we're able to drive our beloved Italian cars with the windows lowered (the better to hear the roar of the 'motore'). Those of you lucky enough to reside in, say, California or North Carolina will never quite understand. But just when the buds of spring start to pop and the chargers come off the batteries, Mother Nature rewards our patience by sending us . . . rain.

    Last year, as has happened periodically throughout the nine year history of the Tutto Italiano show, the heavens drenched the greensward at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts. It rained so hard, even atheists from the People's Republic of Cambridge were building arks and collecting breeding pairs of red-crested birkenstocks. It rained so hard that even the wipers on German cars were struggling to keep up, much less those on that 1972 Fiat 850 spider. Still, the organizers persevered. How best to prevent a rain-out for 2004? We devised a simple plan. We would turn the one-day show into a full weekend event; after all, Mother Nature wouldn't punish us by raining the ENTIRE weekend, would she?

    My photos are here:

    Thus it came to be that this May saw the traditional Sunday Italian car day show at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum expand with the addition of a Saturday luncheon, rally, cocktail party, parade and dinner. Sponsored by Ferrari Maserati of New England, Putnam Leasing, KTR Motorsports and Merrill Lynch, Tutto Italiano, with over 200 cars, is the biggest Italian-car show in New England, with one of the largest Ferrari displays. The theme of this year's show was the celebration of 50 years of Ferrari in the US - "What's Old Is New Again" - with examples ranging from the ultra-rare 1962, ex-John Surtees, multiple-race-winning GTO to the most recent example of the merger of engineering and design, the Enzo Ferrari.

    Saturday morning dawned to clouds, some minor sprinkling, and an ambiguous forecast. The less-than-ideal weather, however, did not dampen the spirits of the tifosi who showed up at the formidable operation that is KTR Performance, in Ayer, Massachusetts. We received a tour of this giant restoration, repair, tuning and racing shop, with dozens of nifty toys tucked away here and there, from an attic collection of Italian racing motorcycles to an Indy car covered in dust in a dark corner. We munched on burgers while admiring the new AWD dynamometer and being filmed by a crew from WheelsTV, a new cable channel outfit.

    After lunch, the 100+ mile rally began. The route book, sprinkled with questions concerning landmarks passed along the way, also had a list of infernal trivia question about Italian cars. Some were easier than others: "What new car did mob boss Johnny Sack buy recently?" "How many Ferrari production models were turbocharged?" Others were downright hard: "What is Enzo Ferrari’s middle name?" The route itself, after a quick high-speed blast down the highway to gain some clearance, meandered through the backroads and gentle hills of central Massachusetts. The weather, fortunately, cooperated, with nary a raindrop falling, despite the constant threat. After stopping for an ice cream break, our valiant rally teams roared off home for a quick clean-up before dinner.

    Saturday evening saw over a hundred well-dressed tifosi descend upon a cocktail soirée held by in the showrooms of Ferrari Maserati of New England. Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Alfas and everything else was parked in the lots, on the street, on the sidewalk, everywhere. After sipping some tasty wine and hoovering up the shrimp cocktail, we took over the street outside for our parade formation. As the Mass. State Trooper was preparing to leave, a pair of rowdy teens in a 1987-vintage Pontiac Trans-Am howled at this display, did a burnout, and raced down Washington Street. Only to be immediately pulled over by the irate trooper, who promptly dispensed a ticket!

    That would prove to be the only ticket of the day, as we pulled out and proceeded through town, nearly 50 car strong. Our parade drew stares of attention as our convoy rolled through intersections. The pace picked up when the trooper elected, at the last minute and without any warning to us, to lead this parade onto the Massachusetts Turnpike. We were all excited at the thought of a high-speed run down the Pike, until it occurred - hey, what about the toll booth? Those of us with transponders made it through without a problem, but the "cash only" lanes were temporarily jammed with Ferrari drivers clutching dollar bills, eagerly awaiting their slow electric windows to roll down. And after the tolls, of course, said drivers promptly nailed the throttle to try to catch the head of the parade . . . gently rolling along at 40 mph.

    This accordion effect caused a few cases of locked brakes, and we even stopped all traffic on the Pike for a few moments, but this ride was hugely memorable. The roar of Tubi exhausts in the new $14 billion central artery tunnel? Priceless. We exited onto Storrow Drive, then did a lap around the Public Garden onto Newbury Street, Boston's official home of chic (well, as chic as Boston ever gets). Our hungry group pulled onto the cobblestone driveway surrounding the magnificent townhouse that serves as headquarters for Louis Boston, the anchor of Newbury Street and also home to Restaurant L, a hip Asian-flavoured joint and our dinner destination. We squeezed all the cars into and around the building, making quite the sight for the slack-jawed pedestrians ambulating about on Saturday night.

    We filled the room at Restaurant L, and demand for this dinner (sponsored by Bear Sterns) had been so strong, we had to send an overflow party to Davio's, a great Italian place down the street. Sampling duck, salmon and other treats while champagne flowed freely, ensconced on Newbury Street with dozens of Ferraris surrounded us outside? Ok, life was pretty good, made better by raffling off a legendarily-hard-to-get Pirelli calendar from sponsor Pirelli tires. And even the weather held out, which meant no panicked clean-ups before the show the next day!

    Sunday morning didn't look much better than Saturday morning. The rains had finally come in overnight, but had stopped by dawn and the forecast was for better weather to move in before lunch. As it turned out, enthusiasts and spectators frustrated by the lack of good weather last year showed up in droves. Chief organizers Neal and Susan Heffron, in addition to managing three dozen last minute issues, were also displaying their newest acquisition - a gorgeous 360 GT! Chief judge Christian Scott herded our great corp of volunteer judges as they scrutinized the hundreds of beautifully clean Italian machinery scattered about the great lawn of the Museum. Bruce Ledoux of Merrill Lynch, who not only wrote a big check to sponsor the event but will also be heading the event next year, was running about the place handling all the issues that the Heffrons hadn't yet gotten to.

    Other highlights? A phalanx of Lussos faced a squadron of 275 GTBs. Dennis Gage and his crew from Speed Channel's My Classic Car wandering about, filming everything that caught his fancy. The raffle of a set of Pirelli tires that happened to be won by the owner of a Lamborghini Diablo, which wears the largest tires that Pirelli makes. Kids running to and fro, clutching free posters and other raffle prizes from Ferrari Maserati of New England, pointing at their favorite exotic machinery. The awarding of the People's Choice trophy to a Dino 246 GTS owned by Dave & Fiona Friar. Dozens of elated owners driving up the red carpet to receive their awards. The presentation of the giant Founder's Trophy, dedicated to Neal & Susan Heffron for making Tutto such a stunning success for the last nine years, to the unrestored ex-John Surtees 1962 Ferrari GTO owned by Jim & Sandra McNeil that competed in the 1962 & 1963 Tourist Trophy, 1962 Paris 1000kms, 1963, 1964 & 1965 Targa Florio, 1963 Nurburgring, and the 2002 Monterey Historics.

    And, of course the sun burning away the clouds to make this a picture-perfect spring day in New England. It's weekends like these that make savoring a Ferrari in New England all worthwhile.


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  3. Alex_V

    Alex_V F1 Rookie

    Apr 8, 2004
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Good pics, love that 250 GTO

    P.S. Thats probably the longest post I have ever seen!
  4. karc

    karc Formula Junior

    Nov 19, 2003

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