Continental notes, February 2004

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Jenks on GTs, 1962/>

Last month it was more than worthwhile to visit England to gather some Continental knowledge. An ‘open house’ day of dicing was being organised at Silverstone by Total Oil, with a long line of Continental cars in the paddock.

Looked after by Alfa Romeo man Guidotti was a splendid array of the Milan products. I tried the Sprint Speciale and the 2.6-litre spider, which really came into its own at Silverstone. The gearbox is first class, the ratios near perfect. For those who like gear-changing, the Alfa Romeo five-speed is one of the joys in life.

The 3500GT Maserati is more a ‘roadster’, but a very fast one —145mph is not unlikely. The steering is accurate but the tail breaks away all too easily; I don’t think I would enjoy driving from Naples to Sicily in the standard product.

I dream of the day when Motor Sport sells a million copies, for then the Proprietor might buy me a Ferrari 250GT for my travels round Europe. Then life will be complete — except that Ferrari will have built a better car by then. If the short-chassis 3-litre V12 Ferrari is not the last word in GT cars, I would like to know what is. There are not many cars I would give my right arm to own, but this is one — you would not need to drive the thing, you could just stand and drool over it in the garage.

With foreign products ringing in my ears I got on my foreign motorcycle and headed for home, happy in the knowledge that there is not much wrong with the Continent.

Yours, DSJ