Once sports car racing got under way in a serious fashion, there was a class for almost every car and driver. I can even remember seeing a 1955 Thunderbird race at Willow Springs when the model was first introduced! It made it into the first turn, at which point a tire rolled under and lost its air, ending the racing career of this car in no more than 400 yards.
One of the more interesting racing classes was that of Formula 3. This Formula, which had its start in Europe, was made for little cigar-shaped cars, with open wheels, powered by a motorcycle engine of about 500 cc?s. One of the drivers in this class was a guy who was known to everybody as "Old Harry." For all I know, Harry Morrow may have been born old. I certainly don?t remember him as anything other than the oldest guy doing whatever it was he was doing at the moment. Old Harry had other claims to fame, besides his abilities as a Formula 3 racer. He was the proprietor of a wonderful old automotive bookstore in Burbank called "Autobook." (The store still exists, although it has gone through several major changes of merchandising philosophy, ownership and even location). And for a while, Harry even managed the racing events at Willow Springs Raceway.
But Old Harry?s biggest claim to fame, for our purposes, was that he owned a Ferrari. Most of us took it on faith that he actually owned the thing, as it was rarely seen. It was rarely seen because it rarely ran. Harry?s car was a type 195 which, by a strange confluence of circumstances, bore serial number 0195EL.
The type 195 represented a small stepping stone in Uncle Enzo?s climb up the engine displacement path. After having built a series of type 166 cars (two liters), a few were enlarged to 2.3 liters by the simple expedient of boring out the cylinders a little bit. This gave rise to a series of approximately two dozen cars bearing the designation of Type 195. Almost all of these cars were Coupes or Berlinettas, mostly bodied by Ghia or Vignale. With two or three exceptions, these cars had only one carburetor, and were clearly designed for Boulevard use. There is no clear line of demarcation, either at the beginning or at the end of the series. Some of the earliest Type 195?s were being built while type 166?s were on the so called assembly line, while quite a number of type 212?s were built before our No. 0195, which appears to be the very last in the series.
The body on 0195 was built by Ghia-Aigle, which apparently was a small body shop in Switzerland, licensed by Ghia to use its name. While not unattractive, it is certainly not the most exciting body ever put on a Ferrari chassis, and in fact, looks a little bit staid compared to some of the more exciting Vignale and Touring examples.
While Harry Morrow owned the car, it was bit of a mystery, because not too many people were privileged to even set eyes on the car. I think Harry, with the best of intentions, hoped to get it all spiffied up and running well some day, but Harry had a problem ? a drinking problem. In his later years, in order to make sense out of Harry, you had to approach him fairly early in the day. Now, with this kind of a problem, it was fairly predictable that Harry would never really do all the things to old 0195 that he intended, or that the car needed.
Mark Dees, (another colorful character amidst a cast of characters) was able to cozy up to old Harry, to actually see and lay hands on the car, and was eventually successful in prying it loose from Harry. High excitement in Ferrari circles! Mark was actually going to restore the car to all its former glory!
There was a small problem, however. It seems that Harry had sold car to someone else a year earlier! Yes, Harry had been paid in full, but the other buyer never picked it up. So Mark bought the Ferrari with the fear that, some day, "Mister X&q
For a complete look at Sempre Ferrari, you may want to check out the rest of the articles from Volume 2, Issue 3 - April 1995