A Ferrari Daytona Fish Tale

Article by Shin Takei

There can be considerable discomfort driving a classic sports car from Los Angeles to Monterey for the big weekend. One time I drove up with my brother Koji in his Land Rover Discovery in air-conditioned comfort.  But something was missing, and that was that I did not have one of my cars there to enjoy the weekend.

The best way is of course to have some one else transport your car or a fleet of your cars with your own transporter or by a first class carrier.  I once paid $360 to have my car flat bedded there. You can then fly up to Monterey in your own plane or by commercial airline and be picked up at the airport.  Then the weekend can be enjoyed by just appearing at the events in tiptop shape and have your crew take care of everything else. This is the optimum way and the way that many participants enjoy their weekend. But for the rest of us without a dedicated crew, we have to do it ourselves.  Many times, families and close friends? valuable times are sacrificed to accommodate our dreams.  Eventually there comes a time when one will ponder the idea of trailering your car up by yourself. 

It was in the latter part of the eighties and the collector car mania was at its peak.  The Monterey weekend was bursting with festivities abounding and every hammer of the gavel by the auctioneer was setting a world record.  On Monday following the weekend while the dust settled down on the peninsula, the Ferrari Owners Club took over Laguna Seca to allow members some much needed track time... just so that they can unleash the potential of their prancing horses.  This was a wonderful treat, especially after watching vintage racing all weekend long.  The event was highly organized. Groups were determined by experience and everyone had a great time with relatively few incidents. I was just one of them taking advantage of a great day at the track.

Having just restored my Ferrari Daytona coupe, and eager to try it out, I reserved a spot for the F.O.C. track day. My Daytona was blessed with the powerful and reliable engine that Bruno Borri had rebuilt at Modena Sportcars in Hollywood.  Having won First in Class at the 24 hrs of Daytona in 1979 with a Ferrari Daytona Coupe, Bruno?s knowledge of the car was legendary.  So I knew I had a bulletproof car.  I also paid molto Lire for a pair of 9" Borrani wire wheels for the rear and with the matching 7" fronts shod with fat Michelin XWX tires, my car looked great on any concours lawn.

The old Laguna Seca track had a long straightaway leading from turn 2 to turn 4 that is now turn 6.  While I was driving in this area I noticed another Daytona coupe hot on my tail and angrily passing me and leaving me in its wake.  I immediately got on his tail and tried to stay with him but I couldn?t keep up with him through turn four, let alone the corkscrew. After the session, I parked my car and went to see the other car.  It was wearing Cromodora Alloys with big meaty rubber.  A tall fellow dressed in a racing suit appeared from behind the car and introduced himself as "Hi, I?m Larry Bloomer."  He told me I should get better tires and wheels go to racing school and come back next year and I might do better.  So I thanked the gentleman and went on to finish the session a lot more gingerly than before to make sure I would not "hurt" my Borranis. 

During the off-season, I decided to enroll myself in the Skip Barber Racing School at the now sorely missed Riverside Raceway.  The three-day course in a 1600cc open wheel car taught me a lot of things I didn?t know about driving a racing car and it was for sure the most fun I ever had in three days.  I just couldn?t stop grinning after each day.  About this time, I also acquired one of the new Range Rovers just arriving in America.  I also had more cars and a hard to pass up deal came by.  This was an enclosed 26? car tr