HAVING FUN IN CORNING, NY AND WATKINS GLEN

Jim Weed

Volume 43 Issue 21

Oct 13, 2018

The Ferrari Club annual meet is always special. This year I made my first trip to Corning, NY, and Watkins Glen International raceway. Well, I have been to Corning before, but I was only five so I don’t think it really counts.

    The Ferrari Club annual meet is always special. This year I made my first trip to Corning, NY, and Watkins Glen International raceway. Well, I have been to Corning before, but I was only five so I don’t think it really counts.

    The Market Street Historic District was filled with Ferraris lining both sides of the street from the host hotel nearly to the end of the district. The Sunday morning air was still and everywhere Ferraris were getting the last wipe down and polish for the judges.

    The placards allowed me to see the owners name and find subscribers whom I know only by an envelope or a phone call. It was a great way to meet new owners and renew friendships.

    I stopped and took a break with Eugene Rubach and his red 246 GTS S/N 08250. He has owned it for a while and we talked about his adventures with it. All along the street it was the same, how I love the stories!

    Along with the normal there was also the unusual. Tom Hill brought a 250 Europa GT that was the 1955 Paris show car. Recently acquired, it was being shown for the first time in quite a while. It had been restored by a previous owner over several decades and it still looks great in white. All Europas have a handmade look to them and this one was no different. Everywhere one looks there are interesting details to discover.

    Pretty soon it was lunch time which meant it was time for me to hold the Ferrari Market Letter seminar up on the courtyard bandstand. Jay Wietzel did his typical circus barker duties to invite owners and participants alike to hear Jim Weed talk about Ferraris and what the FML is all about.

    One of the fun things about an annual meet is you never know who you will run into. Linda and I went down to Market Street for dinner later that evening and while walking into an Italian restaurant (could it be anything else?) we found Tefft Smith, his wife Nancy, along with Greg and Gina Jones sitting at a table with extra seats! Needless to say we had a good time talking Ferraris and getting to know each other better.

    Monday is track day. Off to Watkins Glen. This is a track I have not visited before so the drive out is picturesque as we venture out. We hear the engines and make our way to the garage area.

    Again we see and meet owners as we wander around the cars and take in the sights. We run into our dinner mates, Tefft Smith and Greg Jones. Tefft has a 250 GTO. Well not a ‘real’ GTO but an accurate recreation. This chassis was a 250 GT PF Coupe, S/N 1273 GT, a car I towed from Mississippi to Atlanta for FAF Motorcars back in 1976.

    FAF had parted it out but like many early Ferraris it has been transformed. I sat in it then and now I get to sit in it while on the track. I squeeze through the passenger door and between the rollbar, fire extinguisher and find places for my feet. Tighten the belts and we are off!

    The track layout is unknown to me and it takes a couple of laps to get oriented to each corner. Soon I am recognizing each turn-in point, apex and exit point. Tefft drives masterfully and we pass several others on the track.

    First a 355, then we go by a 458, a 308 GT4 and a Daytona. We are really stretching the legs on the 250 engine.  I have driven a 250 TDF on the track and 250 SWB on the street and the GTO is a completely different animal.

    The short wheelbase allows for a quicker turn-in into the corner and the acceleration coming out of the corner allows for a slight cross-control. It is an incredible experience. The grin will take several weeks to remove from my face. Thanks, Tefft!

    To join a club means there is a shared interest within the confines of the club. Whether a knitting club, Civil Air Patrol or the Ferrari Club of America it is the people who make a club great. Every gathering should expand your knowledge and circle of friends.

    Enjoy your passions and we look forward to enjoying next year’s meet in Phoenix.

 

© 2019 Ferrari Market Letter. All Rights Reserved Website Design by NicheLabs.comPrivacy Policy | Sitemap