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Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder s/n 1497GT

10/26/2021, 12:56:49 AM cet

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Pocono & Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, 16 – 22 October 2000

The annual Prancing Horse Farm Ferrari gathering celebrated its silver anniversary in the first year of the new millennium, with a week long gathering amidst the splendid autumn colours of Pennsylvania.

The event actually started at Ron Spangler’s Prancing Horse Farm in Maryland on Monday 16 October, with a ”Kickoff” party, before moving on to the Pocono Manor hotel in Pennsylvania, close to the Pocono International Raceway, which was the centre of activity on the Wednesday and Thursday.

Sergio Stars
The highlight of the social activities was a dinner at the hotel on Tuesday evening, with guest of honour Sergio Pininfarina accompanied by his wife. Also in attendance at the dinner was Luigi Chinetti Jnr, with both men giving after dinner speeches to the appreciative audience. Sergio Pininfarina recounted how his father Battista Pininfarina reached agreement with Enzo Ferrari on them producing Ferrari bodies at a meeting in Tortona, as neither would go to the others premises, thus they agreed to meet in a restaurant halfway. On their way back to Turin his father told him that now the contract was signed it was his responsibility to look after it, quite a challenge for a young man in the early days of his career. He recalled that his fathers decision to put a ”young boy” in charge of the contract displeased Enzo Ferrari enormously, and it took at least six years of hard work before he was accepted by him as being capable of doing the job. History shows how the relationship developed into the close alliance the companies enjoy today.

Rain Rules
However beautiful autumn foliage may be, it is also indicative of an unpredictable season weather wise, and this was the case with the first day of track activity. Almost continuous overnight rain continued through the Wednesday morning, making the flat landscape of the Pocono International Raceway a dispiriting place to be. It didn’t deter some hardy souls from taking to the track, although the more exotic machinery like the pair of 333 SPs and the four 512 BB/LMs at the circuit nestled snugly in their transporters waiting for the weather to clear. The rain ceased during the afternoon to leave leaden skies and a damp track, allowing more spirited driving, but they would have to wait for Thursday for a completely dry circuit. With the low pressure belt moving north east, Thursday was a bright sunny day, warm in the sun but chilly out of it with a stiff breeze. It did allow the more exotic machinery to exercise their lungs, and participants were able to compare the shrill note of the 333 SPs to the deeper sound of the 512 BB/LMs, as they circulated together.

Fine Finale
On Friday the entourage headed south west to Hershey where the headquarters for the remainder of the event was Hershey Lodge. On Friday morning they gathered at Hershey Stadium for a public showing of the cars, driving around the perimeter track for the benefit of the television cameras and the viewing public. In the afternoon the cars gathered in an enormous conference hall at the lodge, in preparation for the indoor concours on Saturday. Their were some new arrivals for the concours section of the event, that included the 500 TRC and 250 GT LWB California Spider of John Marriott, plus the purple Dino 206 GT of General Marsh. Saturday afternoon concluded with a memorabilia and car auction, with the majority of the former selling for reasonable sums, but with no takers on the car front. A USA specification 308 GTSi was bid up to only $20,000, but had a reserve of $24,000 so stayed with its current owner. A gala dinner was held in the evening, with dancing into the early hours to a live orchestra.

The Icing On The Cake
For those without Speedvision to watch the final Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia, it had been taped during the night for the participants to watch during a Sunday morning brunch. With nobody in attendance knowing the result, or not letting on if they did, it made a nice finale to the event, particularly with Michael Schumacher taking his ninth victory of the season to give Ferrari the Constructors’ title for the second year in succession.

Keith Bluemel

Pocono Track Time
512 BBLM - #70 s/n 38179, #00 s/n 29507, #68 s/n 26683, #16 s/n 32131
333 SP s/n 028
250 GT LWB Cal’ Spyder s/n 1497GT & 500 TRC s/n 0698MDTR
512 BBLM - #70 s/n 38179
Sergio Pininfarina
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