May one of your more ancient readers offer thanks for D.S.J.’s splendid account of the Ferrari Dino in your issue of last September? It was particularly welcome since it has always struck me as somewhat curious that the best of our motoring publications should, over the years, have devoted so little space to the road-going examples of the marque which to many of us must represent the pinnacle of imaginative design, elegant construction and superlative performance.
There must be a lot of people who would greatly like to own one of these magnificent motor cars but for whom the competition provided unceasingly by the dreary realities of things like mortgages and school bills makes it impossible to contemplate a new one. A used Ferrari may, however, be another matter; but the difficulty is to make a rational assessment of what might be involved, since the number of cars in this country is small and the experience of owners apparently largely unrecorded. The aspirations of a potential buyer, for example, are apt to be a trifle shaken when he reads of a “recent engine overhaul at a cost of £500 (or some such figure)”; or when someone mentions in conversation that the replacement of a clutch can mean a bill for £125 or thereabouts.
Could I, therefore, make a plea for some definitive gen? What, for example, are they like after 40,000, miles? Are spares readily obtainable for the older cars, and does their buying plunge one into imminent bankruptcy? Do they suffer unduly from the rust-bug? and are the bodies detachable the better to deal with it? Are they temperamental in and out of traffic? Can they be properly maintained by a reasonably competent amateur, or do they need the ministrations of a tool-room fitter?
These, Sir, are the sort of questions that would be asked by an enthusiastic potential owner. Would it be too much to ask some public-spirited and knowledgeable member of the Ferraristi to attempt to answer them in your pages?
May I, in conclusion, offer my best wishes for the continued success of Motor Sport in 1972?
J. H. Thomas.
[Experiences with used Ferraris from readers would be interesting.— Ed.]