Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ferrari Testa Rossa

1959/60 Ferrari Testa Rossa

Six two barrel Weber Carbs

When I got out of college, 1967, my first job as an "injunear" was at the "Really Big Airplane Company", in Everett, Washington.

I was basically broke, and I living in the basement of my folk's house. I was driving an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder that I had resurrected from a sad example that was nearly ready to expire. As the saying goes, I had "neither a pot to piss in, nor a window to throw it out of."

I was sitting at my desk at RBAC one day when a fellow from another engineering group dropped by.

"I hear you're interested in sports cars." he said, "I've got one in my basement you'd probably like to see, although it's all taken apart."

My first thought was "Great, another guy with a Mustang who thinks it's a sports car."

"What have you got?"

"Ferrari Testa Rossa."

I may have snorted coffee up my nose.......

"It was built in 1959 and raced by Phil Hill in the 1960 season, so they call it a 1959/60. "

Holy Cow!

That Friday after work I headed down to his place in North Seattle, where he was actually renting the basement of a large old house, with enough space for parking the Ferrari.

After this particular Ferrari had been raced in Europe for a few years, it was sold to a sports car racer in the Seattle area, where it was also raced for several more years.

A valve seat had come loose in the head, requiring some major head work to get it fixed. The owner decided it was a good time for a complete restoration, and completely dismantled the engine, carefully bagging and labeling each part as it came apart. The paint was removed from the hand made aluminum body to prepare it for refinishing.

There were two fuel tanks with it, a 45 and a 55 gallon, and they sat behind the driver under the headrest. There were perhaps a dozen wire wheels with tires, extra brake pads, and boxes and boxes of spare parts.

There were only seven of these ever made, and only three of this particular body style. Of the three, one was totally destroyed in a race, leaving only the two cars, and the other one was in Harrah's auto museum. Of the two, only one had the plexiglass hood scoop over the six two barrel Weber carburetors, so it's very likely that the pictures are of the exact car I was looking at in a basement in North Seattle. If this picture was taken before or after it was restored, it's hard to tell, but I suspect it's the "After" picture.

"I'm thinking about selling this off, as I could use the money." He casually remarked.

"I'll tell you what." I replied, "I'll give you everything I own for it. My Alfa, my Bultaco Campera, my Suzuki, guitars, camera gear, right down to socks and shorts, if you want!"

"OK", he said, "I offered it to another guy for cash a couple of weeks ago, and if I don't hear from him by tomorrow morning, it's yours!"

Unfortunately, the guy called the next morning and bought the Ferrari for cash. He made one phone call, raised the price substantially, and resold it with out even picking it up.

He could have cared less about the car, it was just another quick business deal to make a few thousand dollars with a couple of phone calls. How sad..........

I guess everyone misses out on a deal of a lifetime once in their life, and this was mine.

What have YOU missed out on, or passed up, that you've been kicking yourself ever since?


At Thursday, April 27, 2006 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Civis Proeliator said...

Had a chance as a 17 yr old (almost 30 yrs ago) to pick up a mint '59 'Vette for $3800 but passed it up because we were leaving for the Army within a couple weeks.

At Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:24:00 PM, Blogger PaperSaver said...

nice car Cool Car Images

At Thursday, April 27, 2006 3:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had the chance at the one-off custom-bodied Ferrari with tail fins about 20 years ago. Could have bought for about $7500, fins, V-12, red paint and all.

At Friday, April 28, 2006 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous Kristopher said...

Fresh out of high school in 1979, a recruiter fro some odd electronics firm called me.

I told him, I would rather go to college now rather than do this internship thing.

The firm in question was a company called "Intel".

At Friday, April 28, 2006 3:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was Kristin, the college frosh I was too polite to boink. And she was sooooo boinkable!

At Friday, April 28, 2006 9:07:00 PM, Blogger Countertop said...


I boinked her ;)

But seriously, I would have given my left nut for that car. Gorgeous.

At Saturday, April 29, 2006 4:33:00 PM, Blogger wrangler5 said...

In 1973 I was offered a '59 Mercedes Benz 300SL convertible w/2 tops, new tires, and 35,000 miles, for $7,500. I knew that for the prior 5 years or so it had been garaged and only driven on dry days in the summer. I had just started my law practice and simply couldn't swing it. I keep the offering letter as punishment. Sigh.

At Saturday, May 06, 2006 3:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an after pic, unless 'before' was after the mid-80s.

That picture is rather recent. Everyone is wearing some kind of pass on a neck lanyard, a recent trend.

Can't see anyone's watches well enough, and the jpeg artifacts may have killed the film grain- i don't see any.


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