GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Monday, May 31, 2010

The FOC Virginia City Hill Climb

Back in the day, I used to be very active in the Ferrari Owners Club in Los Angeles. I began attending meetings after acquiring my first Ferrari, a Berlinetta Lusso, and I remember making the acquaintance of Matthew Ettinger and the Ferrari Breadvan at the first meeting I attended one evening in Santa Monica. As I recall, Bob Bondurant and Franco Lini were guest speakers. At the time, Asa Clark still owned the 'van but it wouldn't be long before Matthew took over ownership and our adventures together with the Breadvan and the GTO would begin.

One of the functions organized by the FOC was the Virginia City Hill Climb where we would descend in numbers on this small historic town in Nevada to conduct races up a road that the town blocked off for the purpose and to socialize like there was no tomorrow (to put it in the best possible light).

A few days ago, a Google news alert brought my attention to a copy of an FOC newsletter posted on the Internet in PDF format (See: http://www.ferrari250gte.com/i/library_files/1970_files/1974-09_Ferrari.pdf). Interestingly, it featured an article by FOC member Mark Dees about the 1974 hill climb event in which I participated.

The article featured a photo of my GTO (notice the extra air vents in the nose replacing the driving lamps); it was then owned by Stuart Baumgard and driven in the hill climb by Claudio Zampolli. Claudio would later create the well-known Cizeta (Italian for CZ, his initials) supercar. I participated in a 454 Corvette with extremely loud side pipes. It was a very heavy car--some 1200 pounds heavier than a GTO--with most of its weight up front. I did only one run without any practice and managed a time of 4 minutes, 45 seconds with an average speed of 61.3 mph. Claudio managed the same distance in the GTO in 3 minutes, 57 seconds with an average speed of 74.0 mph. Fastest Time of the Day was set by George Dyer Jr in another GTO (#4219) clocking 3 minutes, 37 seconds and averaging 80.4 mph. It was a memorable event. I had previously taken part with the second of my Lussos and the event was always full of rewarding moments and memories.

Let's do it again!

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