Jack Maurice’s letter on trying to buy the hillclimb Ferrari reminds me that in the mid-1960s. I went to Maranello as part of a photographic story I was doing on Italian sportscars. After a nerve-wracking afternoon with a Ferrari test driver in a 275GTS fitted with improvised seats, I was talking to an engineer in the dispatch bay. In one corner of this gloomy vault were a couple of cars under dust-sheets, and when I asked what they were, the covers were whisked off to reveal a pair of shabby Testa Rossa sports racers. They were, as I remember, the usual 250TRs of the late Fifties and certainly not the later Fantuzzi bodied versions. “Old racing cars,” said the engineer. “You want one £1000 each. If you have the money you can drive it home.”
I regret to say that I wasn’t very interested and was spending far too much on Lancias anyway. A year later I was offered one again, this time by Harry Manning, whose Lancia supplier in Milan had acquired one of them. The price was now £1500, which I assume included Harry’s cut! When Jack says that Ferrari didn’t sell racing cars I suspect that his policy, if such a thing existed, changed from day to day, like Italian politics.
Nigel Trow, Portskewett, Gwent.