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Coupefan
Coupefan
3/13/08 3:55 p.m.

Yes, but not in the best of health. Information is a little sketchy, but it sounds like complications from advanced Alzheimers.

racerdave600
racerdave600
3/13/08 6:09 p.m.

I talked to Al a few years ago, and he sounded pretty good, as well as he did the last time I talked to him about 10 years ago, and he till had a lot of parts laying around as well. I heard recently the same thing, that he's not doing well at all. He might be a little ecentric, but he's a wealth of Fiat and general Italian car knowledge, even if it is a bit self serving at times. And I agree, his life's story would make a great article. He's owned some truly awesome cars, many more than were ever in his "catalogs".

wcelliot
wcelliot
3/14/08 9:54 a.m.

peppydee has it spot-on. I'm a grassroots sort of guys as well, preferring to drive LBC's, Corvairs, FIAT's, Fiestas, etc. I bought my 308 mainly to restore and sell (it was mechanically solid but cosmetically a basket case) but ended up falling seriously in love with it.

It's not the fastest car I've owned, certainly not the best handling... but the driving experience is beyond anything else I've had. It's hard to explain, but peppydee came close.

A buddy has a 328... a faster, better car in every respect but one that doesn't have the same viseral driving experience of a carbed car... which I consider the last "true" Ferraris.

Bill

racerdave600
racerdave600
3/14/08 11:25 a.m.

Hi Brett,

I feel like we've hijacked this thread! :nice:

Anyway, I did go back and do a bit of research, as near as I can tell, Al could be wrong on this point, there were 5 orginally produced, and I have a pic showing 5 at once from the Abarth works dept. Of those, all 5 are known to survive, Al's here in the US, one in Japan, and 3 in Italy. That is correct as of 2005 as near as I can tell. Since then, I have no idea if any have changed hands or not. Ocassionally one will appear in Europe at club events, and I think Al has driven his occastionally throughout the years, although his is no longer original.

Anyway, back to the original point, I've only had the pleasure of driving one Ferrari, and it was a 308 carb model, early fiberglass body version. I've owned cars that were a lot faster, but none gave me the same impressions as that car. It truly was magic.

I will say though that of all the cars I've owned, the X1/9 came as close as any of duplicating the experience as close as possible in something that mere mortals can buy and maintain. And I'll never forget driving Hoelscher's old DSP car at a track event where it bested several Ferraris. It was absolutely incredible to drive, much nicer than mine obviously, and the Ferrari guys there really enjoyed having it come out. I think several of them started out in X1/9s before they moved "up". Its nice to see the car finally getting some recognition.

pdmracing
pdmracing None
3/14/08 12:55 p.m.

I had an x /19 prior to my gt4 & the Gandini design had a influenced that purchase for sure. A while back Grassroots did a that 70's car issue with an x , my gt4 , tr8 & a bunch of other era cars @ road atlanta , we had a chance to drive each others cars & I forgot how sweet the X handled. back to back they were nothing alike, the GT4 understeering on the autox comared to the razor sharp X/19 , But the thing with the early ferrari is they really come alive over 80 mph & over 120 its like a modern supercar. the ride is supple & the steering that is ponderouse at lesser speeds comes to life . Even the owners manual quotes gas mialage @ 125 mph. I would live to trade my 124 spider for a nice X/19 anyone interested?

BrettX19
BrettX19 None
3/14/08 3:26 p.m.

Check these neat photos out. The first one shows some proof of what Dave mentioned. It also mentions the body parts that were built and then scraped.

http://gallery.italiancarclub.com/47500-1/Prototipo.jpg

Recognise him? That is Paul Newman http://gallery.italiancarclub.com/47503-1/TOL65337_06.jpg

Enjoy!

BrettX19
BrettX19 None
3/14/08 3:26 p.m.

Check these neat photos out. The first one shows some proof of what Dave mentioned. It also mentions the body parts that were built and then scraped.

http://gallery.italiancarclub.com/47500-1/Prototipo.jpg

Recognise him? That is Paul Newman http://gallery.italiancarclub.com/47503-1/TOL65337_06.jpg

Enjoy!

bluevr6
bluevr6
3/15/08 1:44 p.m.

BACK TO THE ARTICLE:

[Edit] The editorial summary seems slanted toward the 308 ( I cannot argue with that cool factor, having once owned a 308GTB4) ignoring the x-1/9's but affordability, racing success, and downright fun factor, (considering the $5k timing belt job vs. the x-1/9's $100 parts and 2 hours in the garage timing belt job). I just cannot see the fun factor outweighting the x at this time. [Edit}

There are volumes that can be filled with the merits of the x-1/9.

Note also, that Gandini stated that he was designing a "Muria for the Masses" when he penned the x-1/9.

Best regards, Kevin FLU BOD

PS: Thats Chris Obert behind the wheel of my x at FFO 04.

wcelliot
wcelliot
3/21/08 10:23 a.m.

The Ferrari timing belt job is almost as easy to complete as any DOHC engine... just have to lock all 4 cogs in place.

Bill

Per Schroeder
Per Schroeder Technical Editor/Advertising Director
3/21/08 10:54 a.m.

We tried to be very even handed...they are both cool cars, but in their own way.

Per

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