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18.05.2013, 00:33:56 cet

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Los Angeles, 26 May, 2002

Avenue Of The Stars
Classic Concours
To The Hills
To The Track
After Hours

To The Hills
On Friday participants had a multiple choice, those who were entered in the Coppa Bella Machina competition had their road trials and equipment function tests, with everybody else getting the choice of a tourist rally or the track activity at the California Speedway at Fontana to the east of the city. Many opted for the rally to Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica mountains to the north of the city, with the option of a purely tourist drive along the route or a treasure trail competition to the venue. Whichever was chosen the route was the same, enjoying the curves and hairpins of the mountain roads, together with a stretch of the coastal Highway One. Over one hundred and fifty cars participated, of which one hundred and twenty were Ferraris, and it was a delight to admire the rump of a 250 GT SWB from the passenger seat of a 328 GTS en route, whilst imbibing the V12 symphony.

Paramount Ranch was initially owned by Paramount Studios and was used as a film and TV set until being sold in the mid fifties, at which time a racing circuit was built on part of the land. It only lasted for a short while as there were a number of fatal accidents, and the story goes that it was built on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground, and because of this a hex (curse) had been placed on it by one of the elders of the tribe. In 1980 part of the original land was acquired by the National Park Service, and they refurbished some of the old western town style buildings that form part of its attraction today. Parts of the circuit still exist, and from what can be seen, it must have been a daunting track to drive, given fifties safety facilities, or lack of! Just like in the western movies of old, when a rattlesnake would make an unexpected appearance, the same happened during the lunch there, whilst the country band played on. It was actually in the rocks close to the lunch tables, but  it was  big and made all the right sounds when disturbed, fortunately retreating into the rocks rather than attacking.

To The Track
Most people chose to visit the California Speedway on Saturday or Sunday, although there was the option of the RM Auction at Santa Monica Airport on both days (see separate report). The speedway complex is enormous, and one can only imagine what it must be like when the NASCAR crowd turn up. However, for a club gathering, although a superb facility, it was just too vast and made everything seem lost within its acres. That didn’t stop people enjoying the mix of banked turns and twisty infield section, including the F50 GT1 of Art Zafiropoulo, chassis #001, and the 250 GT LWB California Spider , chassis # 1501GT, of Shane Mattaway who was impressively quick and late on the brakes coming off the banking into the tight chicane at the end of the main straight.

275 GTB/C s/n 09073

After Hours
There were two main dinners at the event, the first on Friday evening was held in the Petersen Automobile Museum a short distance away (if any distance is short in Los Angeles!) from the Century Plaza on Wilshire Boulevard. This included the Coppa Bella Machina and rally awards presentations, a preview of some of the cars in the RM Auction, and a slide show by Phil Hill, during which he engaged in good natured banter with fellow guests Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby. On Saturday evening there was the final awards dinner in the Los Angeles Room at the Century Plaza Hotel, with dancing to a big band.

A far reaching event, in more senses than one, distances and travelling time in Los Angeles are always greater in reality than they appear on a map, with a nice blend of activity, albeit with a hectic schedule if you wanted a taste of everything, and an exceptional turn-out of Ferraris.

Keith Bluemel

Classic Concours
The concours was held on a cordoned off section of the Avenue Of The Stars on Thursday 23 May, and attracted a large and varied entry, and although many were from the California area there were others from much further afield, including Canada plus New Hampshire, New York, Washington and Florida on the eastern seaboard.

Undoubted star of the show was the freshly restored 315 S, chassis # 0684, entered by Dominic Dobson, which looked absolutely stunning in its 1957 Mille Miglia winning livery, and took the Enzo Ferrari Memorial Award for Best of Show. Others in the competition section included the wonderfully original 250 GT SWB of Norman Blank, chassis # 1905GT, plus the later example chassis # 2701GT, brought by The Symbolic Motor Car Company, the 250 GTO, chassis # 3909GT, newly repainted back to its original silver, the bare silver painted body/chassis unit of 625 TRC, chassis # 0672MDTR, an 860 Monza, a pair of 275 GTB/C models, and the first 250 Testa Rossa, chassis # 0666TR.

In the 250 GT closed class there were a pair of ”Speciales”, the dark blue ex-Prince Bernhard example from the fifties, chassis # 0725GT, and the pale metallic blue model, chassis # 2821GT, featuring a normal 250 GT forward section coupled to a 400 SA style rear end, first displayed at the 1961 London Motor Show. Also on display in this group was the Zagato bodied LWB berlinetta, chassis # 0515GT, with its double bubble roof and eccentric wrap around rear window. However, it was the Superamerica/Superfast class that excelled in the road car category, with a superb array of stunning machinery encompassing no less than six different examples. These included the white with pale blue base line 410 Superfast chassis # 0483SA, with its wild finned rear wings, and the magnificent black 410 Superamerica, chassis # 0713SA, that had a host of unique features, all carefully documented as to their originality.

In the pre-1956 group there was a nice pair of deep red cabriolets, a 212 Inter by Vignale, chassis # 0255EU and a 250 Europa by Pinin Farina, chassis # 0311EU. This group also featured the 340 America Ghia coupe, in a similar hue as raced in the 1952 Carrera Panamericana road race by Jack McAfee. In other classes could be found virtually every Ferrari tipo from the sixties to the present day, with a number of ”Daytona” spiders, whilst Ferrari of Beverly Hills brought the latest ”hot number” from the stable for display, the 575M Maranello.

Avenue Of The Stars
Each year a different region of the Ferrari Club of America hosts the club’s Annual Meet. This year it was the turn of the Southwest Region, who hosted the gathering in Los Angeles, California. The headquarters for the event was The Century Plaza Hotel on the Avenue Of The Stars, in the Century City suburb of the city, close to Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Registration commenced on Wednesday 22 May in the plaza level foyer of the hotel, where participants staggered away from the registration desk carrying event bags laden with ”goodies” and event memorabilia. In conference rooms on either side of the registration area were the ”Mercato” and art exhibition, where virtually every kind of item pertaining to Ferrari could be bought, from scale models through handmade rugs, books, new old stock parts, to the new range of Fila leisurewear or a Tubi stainless steel exhaust system

Ferrari 315 S Scaglietti Spyder s/n 0684
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta s/n 2701GT
Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Coupe "Speciale" s/n 0725GT
Ferrari 250 GT LWB Zagato Berlinetta "TdF" s/n 0515GT
Ferrari 410 "Superfast I" PF Speciale s/n 0483SA
Ferrari 410 Superamerica Pinin Farina Series II Coupe s/n 0713SA
Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder s/n 1235GT & Ferrari 250 GT Pinin Farina Cabriolet SI s/n 0873GT
Ferrari 4.9 Superfast Pinin Farina Coupe s/n 0719SA
Ferrari 212 Inter Vignale Cabriolet s/n 0255EU
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Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet - Los Angeles

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