4 Mar 2016

Numero uno

Soon after the arrival of the AMG-GTS at PITS last wednesday-see previous post- it was upstaged by the arrival of this superb 1951 Ferrari 212 with a body by Vignale. Apparently the first Ferrari ever to be imported into Australia-numero uno- and now worth a few million dollars the owner won maximum bonus points from me by driving the car to the biker's pie shop and casually parking it in the sun at the entrance to the car park. No mollycoddling there although not wanting to leave it under a gumtree probably dictated his parking strategy.
The car is stunning with so many beautiful details and the sound its "little" 2.6 litre V12 engine makes is superb-even better than a Porsche flat 6. I can't believe that I just wrote that.
Imagine bringing this car into Australia in the 1950s.It would have come in a crate as there were not roll on/roll off car transport ships or containers then.The price would have been inflated by very high import duties.There would have been no local service support-indeed no local mechanics with knowledge of Ferraris or even Webers. Getting parts would have been a very protracted process. Bill Lowe the enthusiast who imported the car was a brave fellow. Australia was a pretty rough and tumble place then with a very small population and poor infrastructure. Most of the roads outside the big cities were still gravel and even the few major highways were single lane in each direction tarred but with unsealed shoulders full of stones. Not really Ferrari country but it obviously survived and it looks magnificent and even better it is being driven on the roads. I'd have it in my garage anyday and I'd drive it as often as I could..

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