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Tonbridge, 26 April, 2014

Barkaways held their third annual Open Day on Saturday 26 April, and despite heavy early morning rain and a poor forecast for the day, there was a strong turn-out of clients in their Ferraris for this popular social gathering. Amongst those cars whose owners braved the elements were a 330 GTC, a pair of Dino 246s, a 575 Superamerica, a pair of F40s and a 360 Spider with the top down!

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There was an eclectic array of models on display in the workshop and body shop, comprising of cars in various stages of restoration, others for mechanical works and recently completed projects. Amongst those that received the most attention were the 750 Monza “Ice Racer” in largely original condition, a car that had lain hidden in its condition as last raced, for 25 years from 1960 to the mid eighties, and which has never been restored. Alongside this was the 365 GTB4C “Competition Daytona”, resplendent in its red, white and blue Carrefour supermarket livery, that won its class and the Index of Thermal Efficiency, whilst finishing 5th overall at the Le Mans 24 Hour Race in 1972. To the rear of this was a car under wraps, which was unveiled by Ian Barkaway during a welcome presentation at lunchtime, this was the 250 GT LWB California Spider on which they had carried out a bare metal restoration, and which had made its public debut at the 2013 Salon Prive Concours d’Elegance, where it won its class, and then went on to take the coveted Best of Show award.

Another car under wraps, that was unveiled during the presentation, was a Dino 246 GTS, that had come to them as a “basket case” of bits, with a severe dose of tin worm, and which the owner hadn’t seen progress on for some time. He is apparently someone who is rarely lost for words, but was virtually speechless when he saw how the restoration had turned out. Having seen the car in its early stages of restoration, I can say that this was a case of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Equally so, was another Dino, still in the early stages of restoration, which was displayed as a bare shell, finished in the rare period lime green, which had also arrived with an even worse case of tin worm, but was now resplendent in gleaming paintwork, awaiting fitment of the mechanical and trim components.

Other models of note were a Lamborghini Miura, just to break up the Ferrari monopoly, on which they had recently carried out a bare metal re-spray, a 250 GT PF S2 Cabriolet in the early stages of stripping for a full restoration, a 250 GT Lusso chassis frame and bare body shell, ready for action in the body shop, a 330 GTC in mid restoration from bare metal, and a 250 GT TdF Berlinetta bare frame, with the newly arrived front end body buck, another candidate for a full restoration. The reason for the body buck was that the car had started life with covered headlights, but after an accident in its early life, had been converted to open headlights. The current owner wanted it returned to its original configuration, so a sister car of known provenance was laser scanned, to enable a correct original nose shape to be formed.

There was also an abundant supply of hot tea, coffee and soup on tap, plus the famed pork pies, hot dogs, plus plenty of other savoury and sweet delights to satisfy the inner needs. Throw in live music from a local musician, a driving simulator which was popular with all ages, and even a pick & mix sweets table for the kids (young and old!), plenty of familiar faces, and you had the recipe for a most enjoyable day. Even the forecast wet weather didn’t materialise, and there was actually some sunshine in the afternoon. As a bonus for those who stayed late, the Competition “Daytona” was run-up in the confines of the workshop, producing a deafening roar, much to the delight of the appreciative audience.

Keith Bluemel