As you might have noticed, Monochrome is expanding. We’ve welcomed a few very enthusiastic new contributors and we’ve started writing about other ‘lifestyle’ related topics as well. The pith of the matter will be watches, beautiful and stunning watches. And from time to time, we will share other topics, like the Tutto Italiano car show that our contributor Mario visited in August…
Around the same time I discovered watches – perhaps a bit before – I was introduced to another type of mechanical device that would wield a tremendous amount of influence over my imagination as I
grew up got older: the automobile. A few weeks ago I got to revisit those same childhood fantasies at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA as they hosted the 18th annual “Tutto Italiano: Italian Car Festival.”
Walking up through the hilly lawns surrounding the Larz Andersen Auto Museum, decorated in a spiraling array of cars is a bit like climbing Jacob’s Ladder. One moves from a field of Alfa Romeo’s, Fiat’s and DeTomaso’s to a knoll of Lancia’s, Maserati’s and the occasional F1 racecar (past and present). Then as you climb further you get a glimpse of what lay up above: a plateau covered in Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s!
While I will freely admit that my first love – car wise – was the Lamborghini Countach, in recent years I’ve moved over towards the camp of the prancing horse. It was therefore a real highlight for me to see so many of the Ferraris of my childhood and to see them in the company of the models that would supplant them over the years. The Pininfarina designed 308 GTS and 308 GTB were both widely on display at the center of the top section of the event.
Being able to see so many late 70’s and early 80’s 308’s in such close quarters allows you to appreciate the sheer beauty of the cars and the engineering that went into building them. Then, simply by glancing over at the other models present: the 328 with a larger displacement engine, the 348 with it’s squared off looks and yet again larger engine (this time longitudinally mounted), to the 355 and then to the very modern looking 360’s, 430’s and 458’s even a person with no prior knowledge of the marquee or models can piece together an evolutionary timeline of the cars’ development.
Who said all Ferrari’s are red?
Another highlight was the number of vintage models from the 1960’s, an era when producing street legal cars was a necessary evil to fund Ferrari’s racing pursuits. It’s almost obscene to think of someone driving something so beautiful! However by the lack of car carriers, my assumption is that most of these cars were not ferried to the event but driven there. This underscores a theme expressed by many of the owners I was able to talk to; contra to what you might think, these cars really do need to be driven. It seems that the gremlins that effect the reliability of these finely tuned machines only come out when the cars are packaged up and put away for sparse use.
For those of you wanting to know – yes there were an assortment of high-end watches visible on the arms of the attendees. While I saw several Girard-Perregaux Ferrari watches present – I didn’t see a single Panerai for Ferrari watch! Though the most visible ‘face’ in the crowd had to be the Rolex Daytona – owing to it’s racing heritage I was not surprised in the least!
I can recall quite vividly how it started. We were congregated around a desk before the school day started. We made sure the coast was clear. The lid to the desk was opened and all of us peered into the desk at the magazine inside; the page was already turned to the page we all wanted to see. And there it lay, beautiful, stunning really! Stretched out long across both pages; wide curves gleaming in the bright sunshine of the mystical place the photo was taken… Then as to give some form of rest to your eyes, which were now burning from starring at it’s image too long, you read the stats: 240hp (what does HP mean?) 0-100KM/H in 6 seconds. Top speed: 159 miles per… QUICK! Close the desk! The teacher is coming! Not unlike other experiences growing up, there is a difference between a Ferrari 308 GTS in a magazine and seeing it in real-life. It’s an experience you don’t forget.
This article is written by Mario Squillacioti, contributing editor for Monochrome Watches.