A Dino Story of Luck, Perseverance and Love

Hassan Moghadam

Volume 47 Issue 02

Jan 23, 2022

Hassan Moghadam puts it all on the line to win a Dino SP. The journey continues through the Classiche program and ends with a display at Pebble Beach.

    There is always a moment in time that changes the future. If one thing was different everything would have affected the outcome of your life.


    A traffic light stopped you for one minute and that delay could have put you ahead. Would that minute hurt you or save you?


    The one who could have been your soul mate walked out the door of a store thirty seconds before you got there, never to be seen again.


    Timing is everything. That time you arrived to buy the very last one was lucky for you, the next person through the door was not. Had the roles been changed there is no argument each would have had their life changed.


    Why all the philosophy? We should appreciate the things we have, have attained, and enjoy.


    I will always have a soft spot for the Dino. It was the first Ferrari I ever saw, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.


    Each one of us has that experience, whether it was a conscious thought of seeing something otherworldly, or some deep subconscious experience of sound or smell.


    Ferraris move our soul, the fact we are all here owning, driving, and enjoying Ferraris put us into a subculture nearly nobody else can possibly understand.


    When I had my shop, I would tell customers there are only two reasons people spend money on cars.


    1. It makes economic sense.


    2. Love.


    Love knows no bounds, so we will spend large amounts of money, time and suffer personal anguish just because we love the car.


    Look around any concours or neighborhood cars n’ coffee and you can see what love has wrought.


    Jim Weed

 


 

        A Dino Story

 

        Love at first sight

 

    In the summer of 1999, I was with my wife-to-be and still in surgical residency at the University of Toronto.


    My salary was $38,000 Canadian. That was the most money I had ever made and I was 29 years old.


    I was the best man at a wedding, my best friend from school in Montreal. The wedding was in Palm Beach, Florida.


    My wife and I went for a long walk and came upon this magnificent property; it was The Breakers. We looked at each other and said, “One day we will save enough money to stay at The Breakers.”


    Fast forward, fifteen years later, in 2015 we arrived at The Breakers and Cavallino Classic car show with a silver, chairs and flares, Dino. The Dino won platinum and I sold the car.


    Immediately I felt regret, I tried to buy the car back for $100,000 more and he said you will never see the car again!


    I made a long-time friend and our families kept in touch. I knew it went to a good home.


    After selling the car I had a few more zeros in my bank account but the car that the kids and I enjoyed was gone. I was truly in love with the Dino, the history, the lines, the sound, and the drive. A mid-engine go-cart with style.


        The search for a new love


    I searched for years but I could never find another like the one I had and realized I must move on. My way of moving on is to find to something better.


    In 2015 at Pebble Beach, I was there with my family looking at a Porsche 906 E. After an inspection I felt it wasn’t the right car for me.


    My son said “Dad, Dad, look at this!” and I turned around, my face dropped; a red Dino, not just a Dino but a 206 S, the most coveted of all Dinos.


    I said to the kids, “we can never afford it, no use looking at it.” Then Kerry Morse, a well-known Porsche historian said to me, “It’s a no-reserve car; you never know what can happen.”


    I quickly got on the phone; I spoke to Marcel Massini. He had spent four days inspecting the car, chassis number 026, and put together a very comprehensive report.


    The car was purchased from Enzo Ferrari by Scuderia Filipinetti. It was prepared by the Ferrari factory for 1967 Sebring and 1967 1000km of Nürburgring.


    At Sebring it was driven by Herbert Müller and Günther Klass with race number 34. It retired in the 4th hour with suspension problems and was placed 49th overall.


    On May 28, 1967, it was at Nürburgring also on race number 34, and driven by Jean Guichet. In the practice run at the Hatzenbach section the fuel line slipped off and ran fuel onto the engine. The car was badly burned.


    Marcel Massini indicated in his report “the aluminum body was still with the car, the rear lip and most of the front of the original body work was visible, the car was very much complete with burned engine, and transaxle still with the car, all the suspension hubs, uprights, etc., remained with the car.”


    After the 1967 fire it went back to Geneva, Switzerland, to the headquarters of Scuderia Filipinetti. In October of 1967, it was sold to Pierre Bardinon. It sat there untouched for the next 16 years.

 


        What am I getting myself into?


    At the Pebble beach auction, I met with John Amette who works with Ferrari Classiche. He told me the car was previously refused for certification. This made me very nervous, how would I change the Ferrari decision?


    I had a big problem, I really, really wanted the car but didn’t have the money. So, I asked my wife if she would agree to sign the house we had just finished building in Canada to get a loan from the bank. A car that Ferrari won’t certify!


    So off to the bank. All in 24 hours before the car is scheduled to sell at the Gooding auction. I mortgage the entire value of my house. I wanted this car, and I was going to find a way to get it. It wasn’t about the investment value. It was about a dream, the chase, getting to something that you thought you could never have.


        Gooding - The Auction


    The night of the auction was scary, we were up against a bidder who could swallow me whole, he was rich, I wasn’t. My kids were holding my legs (they were just little).


    The bids went up and up and I kept putting my hand up with force, to show how badly I wanted the car. I didn’t care, the car was going to be mine.


    At $2 million, I bid $2.1 million, the bidder said “It looks like your kids really want the car, you can have it, enjoy.” I was shocked, the car was mine. Now we have the car, 24-hours to pay up and I needed to find an extra $210,000.

 


        The Classiche Problem


    We got the car to Ferrari of Beverly Hills. It was the Massini report that changed everything. The car was never in an accident, never had the chassis cut or repaired. The Ferrari factory agreed to look at the car.


    They took 100 samples of metal from the chassis for spectrometry. It was the correct metal composition, but it was also cold hardened in a fire.


    They agreed to certify the car. A document was generated listing all the parts that did not conform to its original state when it left the factory. I argued this car was restored; however, that made no difference. There was no negotiation.


    Only the factory in Italy could restore and certify the car. This was the answer in 2015.  I tried to find another way, another shop, but always the same answer; it has to be Ferrari. I called shops in Italy and California, they all said the same thing, it must be Ferrari.


        Classiche work begins


    In 2017, I asked Ferrari to provide a written document and estimate for the restoration. They sent Mr. Emiliano Torkar from Italy who used to work for Ferrari SPA and had now become an independent consultant.


    They came to Ferrari of Ontario and spent five days in Toronto. Under the guidance of Mr. Remo Ferri, they took the car apart, inspected, measured the chassis, wheelbase, and body panels against the blueprints from the factory. They also compared all the mechanical components to documents from the factory of another 206 SP.


    They generated a 17-page document. At this time, I was not given a price. I had to send the car to Italy for a restoration contract and a price.


    I was fearful the car would go to Italy, be taken apart, and an unrealistic price be given. Then the car would have to come back in pieces.


    I had to trust the process and put my faith in their hands. We made a wooden crate, put the car on a 747 and flew the car to Italy.


        Off to the factory it goes


    I didn’t hear any news after the car left Toronto Airport in January 2019. Three months later I get an email, “we have your car, and we have a price.” My heart was pounding, what if I can’t afford to do the work, what if it’s worse than the first inspection, what if they have to redo the body, or the engine? This would be a huge, unexpected cost.


    Finally, a phone call came from Gigi (Luigino ) Barp, a true gentleman. The car was made a priority and work could start immediately. The factory was very fair, the chassis and engine didn’t need any work.


    The body in the area of the nose had to get reshaped, but no panels had to be touched or replaced.


    They drew up a written contract, we agreed on the price, there was no negotiation.


    Three months later, I went down to the factory. I never imagined I would have a car important enough to be sitting beside a winning 250 GTO both being restored by the same people. The Classiche center at the factory was like an operating room, perfect, clean, each person like a surgeon working on his craft.

 


    During the restoration I was kept informed of the progress and in March of 2020 we hit the global pandemic. Italy was devastated and the factory shut down.


    However, they started back to work a few months later. They were dedicated to the project and worked very hard to deliver the car. The car arrived back in a wooden crate at Ferrari of Ontario on November 27, 2020.


    It was one of the greatest car moments of my life, watching them open the crate. There it was, this deep red, beautiful, sparkling shiny new Dino. It now had the coveted Red Book that is so hard to get for a period race car. 


        Next stop, Pebble Beach and beyond


    The Dino is a dream come true. The car itself is just a car, the journey is what will always be with me.


    The sleepless nights when I had to find the money to pay for it, mortgaging my house, having been refused for Classiche certification. Then, after five years to have the car return, restored by the factory in Italy, Red Book certified and back in my garage.


    We were invited to display the car at Pebble Beach as part of Ferrari’s Classiche display in August 2021.


    Driving the car onto the lawn with my wife was the highlight and payoff for all the hard work.