"I love you guys. When a new SCM hits my mailbox it feels like a letter from good friends. Seriously. So as your friend, Keith, I want to help you enjoy a Ferrari and NOT LOSE LOTS OF MONEY ON IT. Which can be done despite your last two experiences, with your 330 American and the Mondial. (Recall, I warned you not to buy the 330 America beforehand and only learned about the Mondial after the fact.)
"Cindy, your current plans to acquire a 308 GTS QV are great except for one thing: color. I don't want to initiate a divorce here, but a blue Ferrari will probably be MUCH harder to sell, and bring significantly less money, than a red or other popular-color one.
"I believe that you should marry people forever, but not cars. So at some point you'll be a seller. And you'll be competing with a bunch of 308s in red, black and other colors that people actually want.
"My concern is that when it comes time to sell your nice blue 308, it may take you a long, long time, and the price you get may be very, very low. So I urge you to rethink your color choice-would a red 308 really be so bad?
"If you insist on blue, my advice is that the price MUST start with a 2, even for a low-miles QV in excellent condition with recent cam timing belts. Ignore the asking price-I doubt the seller will have other competing buyers. And don't ignore the '78 and '79 carbureted cars, which I think are great, also, and are cheaper. It's the '80 through '82 injected two-valve cars I'd avoid. And don't limit your search to an '85 QV-an '83 or '84 QV are quite the same. And of course, for a few bucks more, you should consider a 328, which is really better in every way.-Your friend and longtime subscriber, Randy Simon" (via e-mail)
There's a short answer here and a long one. First, from Cindy: "Randy, color may not seem like a big deal, compared to the way a car accelerates or handles. But an exotic, even an entry-level one like a 308, is as much a high-end fashion accessory as it is a car.
"When I was a little girl, I was told that I didn't look good in red. Consequently, I've never worn that color, and would never consider owning an exotic in that color.
"I have intense attachments to my personal cars, unlike, of course, my husband who seems to change cars as often as most people change their shoes.
"Certainly, if a good 308/328 in another interesting color comes along, I'd consider it. But why buy an exotic car, a dream-fulfillment car, in a color you don't really want just because it might be easier to sell later on? Would you buy a suit cut in a way that didn't flatter you because you got a great deal on it? Would you buy a painting with a color scheme you didn't enjoy, even if it were cheap, just because it would be easier to find a buyer for it down the road? I don't think so."
And now my answer: As an end-user rather than a dealer, to a degree the price becomes secondary to your desire. Yes, at $22,000 I probably paid too much for the 330 America I pulled out of a barn in Missoula, Montana. But over two years, as I fought my losing battle to make it a good car on a shoestring budget, each experience was a learning one. In the process, I ended up putting a few thousand miles on a relatively rare car-one of 50 built-and got to experience a 4-liter, 300-horsepower engine in that most attractive of Ferrari 2+2s, the 250 GTE body. If I'd gotten a "better deal" on a different car, say a four-headlight 330 or a 400i, it wouldn't have been the same experience.
And as far as color, I learned very early in my relationship with Cindy that for her, having a car that she feels she looks good in is two-thirds of the romance. And this next Ferrari is her car. My next Ferrari, most likely either a GTC/4 or a Daytona, will come later, and condition will really more important to me than color. So long as it's black or red, of course.
If a 308/328 in a saleproof color crosses your desk, please let us know. We'll let you buy it right, and then gladly offer you a (modest!) profit as you move it on to us. And thanks for your continued friendship and support.


As you read this, plans call for me to be somewhere between Whitehorse, in the Yukon, and Tok, Alaska, headed north on the Alcan highway. Our ride will be the latest addition to the SCM fleet, a 1992 Corvette coupe.
Accompanied by my high-school friend and now Anchorage resident, Bjarne Holm, we expect to take seven days to make the 2,600-mile journey.
Our Corvette is black over black, fully loaded, with the LT1 engine, six-speed manual gearbox and the relatively rare adjustable suspension. Having covered just over 66,000 miles, it appears to have led a decent if not pampered life.
Bill Woodard, another hopeless gearhead and my partner in the car, found it as a trade-in at a local Lexus dealer. It needed a clutch, and after some haggling he bought it for $11,200. We're in the car around $12,000 at this point, and my first impression is that it represents an enormous amount of car for not very much money.
The targa roof removal and storage process is a bit Byzantine, but we'll have it figured out before we leave.
Bill will fly to Anchorage with his wife, Nita, in early July to drive the 'Vette back to Portland. We'll let you know just how many windshields we use up on the round trip.


Carmel Valley offers some pleasant motoring on Highway G16, which leads east from the town of Carmel, south of Monterey, joining Highway 101 near Soledad.
As the Monterey weekend is just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to have this painting of a 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa by Jay Koka on our cover. Titled "Carmel Valley Road G16," it depicts this iconic car as it flashes in and out of the sunlight on this scenic and challenging two-lane highway that is often used by enthusiasts to shuttle between different events during the weekend.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Koka emigrated to Canada in 1956 and currently lives in Ontario. A member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society, Koka has been a featured artist and poster artist for the Meadow Brook Concours, Bloomington Gold, Concours of the Eastern United States, Reading Ferrari Concours, Ferrari Club of America Annual Meets and the Cavallino Ferrari Classic of Palm Beach. His work, "348 at Carregi," was on our October 2002 cover.
"Carmel Valley Road G16" is available as a 36- x 20-inch signed and numbered print on watercolor paper in an edition of 49, for $275. A full-sized Giclee print on canvas, at 36 x 48 inches-the same size as the original painting-is $550. Contact the artist at [email protected], phone 519/746-1350 or visit www.jaykokastudio.com.

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