Featured: Celebrate the End of Winter by Driving a Classic Ferrari

Celebrate the End of Winter by Driving a Classic Ferrari

By Markus Haub
March 18, 2014
12 comments

Photography by Markus Haub

The winter can be quite long in Germany. And snow or salt on the roads make it unadvisable do drive your classic car. For petrolheads like us it’s an endless time. I try filling the gap with memories of the last season. I dream of the beautiful rides and experiences and revel in photos. However, memories fade over the time. The sensations of driving disappear from my treasury of souvenirs and the longing to replenish them grows stronger and stronger.

Then at last, suddenly spring arrives and the roads are clear and dry. When sun rays finally warm the skin, the time for the first ride of the year has come. It is always exciting, but that anticipation is tinged by the fear that something might not work, may be broken, or the car won’t even start. In Germany, that day came last week.

The winter was luckily quite short this year and we didn’t have to wait too long for that first drive of the season. I opened the garage, took the cover off the Dino and was immediately excited anew by the lines and proportion. It’s so flat, so wide, so angular–so 70s! I lifted the front trunk open and unplugged the battery charger. Then I unlocked the driver’s door and slid behind the wheel. The signal-horn button is adorned by the black horse on a yellow background, which distinguishes this GT4 as one of the second series. My Dino was completely restored in the early ’90s and has a new alcantara/leather interior that smells a bit different than the original.

The instruments were all in the zero position. I turned the key one notch, my heartbeat quickened as the fuel pump hummed to life. Then I stepped on the gas pedal a few times to prime the carburetors and turned the ignition key completely. As always after a long slumber, the starter had a bit of trouble firing up the engine. But finally it began to groan and start. It smelled a bit, but it ran.

Carefully, I exited the village on one the my favorite roads. It takes quite a while for the oil to warm and thus I keep the engine below 3000rpm. While I wait for the temperature to climb I pay attention to all the sounds and from time to time scan the instruments: oil pressure, oil temperature and water temperature. Everything looked good. A radio was never installed following the restoration. And why should it have been? The symphony comes from the 3.0 liter 8-cylinder engine in the back.

The temperature finally climbs to proper operating range and I can increase the speed and accelerate. I run through the gears–second, third, fourth, oops, way too fast. The GT4 is so wonderful on the road and the engine revs so freely that you forget about the speed. On the highway I can take things a little faster. The Ferrari rapidly gets up to 200km/h. That’s pretty infernal and my hair is almost standing on end. How I missed this!…Even the shortest winter is too long!

In the evening I drive to industrial port in Mainz. It’s a huge construction site where soon a new district will be built. The former wine warehouse, and its beautiful old crane, is a nice spot to meet friends, enjoy the evening sun, have a drink, or just dream. It’s also a perfect spot to take some photos while the sun goes down.

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12 Comments on "Celebrate the End of Winter by Driving a Classic Ferrari"

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Lars Bergmann
Lars Bergmann

Hallo Markus,

tolles Auto, schöne Bilder und das in Mainz! Gibt es doch noch Hoffnung, frische Autokultur abseits der kuchenessenden Clubausfahrten zu erleben? Wir haben artverwandtes Material in einer Mainzer-Garage. Ölen beleidigt den Boden voll seit wir in Mainz so wenige Gelegenheiten zum Fahren gefunden haben…

Vielleicht kann man sich bei Gelegenheit treffen.

goessamson@gmx.de

Grüße Lars
Bitte die Kamera mitbringen:)

JOE
JOE
What a beautiful car, the 308 GT4 will very very soon be a classic, just work this out, the Dino 246 is a very very expensive car to the buy at around $250.000 to $300.000 here in Australia,yet its big brother the GT4 is not, it’s around $50.000, you will see that this car will soon skyrocket in value in the next few years. One of the most underrated cars of the Ferrari marque. One of the first model cars to have a V8 engine, one of the first models to have the engine at the rear apart from the… Read more »
Jack Chauvel

Thanks for the words and the accompanied photos. This is the feeling I have come to enjoy since finding my treasured car mid last year. Enjoy the summer.

John Cochran
John Cochran

Thank you for popping those headlights, it’s a rare sight on a Ferrari… Like I’m seeing something forbidden, like a girl flashing what’s under her skirt.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

maybe the light raising/lowering mechanism is broken ?
a fairly common occurrence on gt4’s.
😉

Nick
Nick

Nice bit of writing. Lovely pictures. Beautiful car. One thing however, why wait so long to hear that engine? I’d be starting it at least once a week. (Better for the car too. Keeps vital seals from drying out, coolant circulates, pump the brake pedal a few times etc.)
Italian cars get bored sitting around.

Bradley Price
Bradley Price

Great to see another GT4 on Petrolicious! Beautiful photos! I can’t wait to get mine back on the road.

Antony Ingram
Antony Ingram

Exceedingly jealous. The GT4 looks better by the day, and what was once an under-appreciated Ferrari seems to be finally having its time in the sun (literally, with this example!).

Beautiful pictures too – shame there’s no interior shots though, nor as Tomás notes above, any shots towards the rear of the car. Note to all future Petrolicious storytellers: We like patinated interiors as much as we appreciate beautiful bodywork!

Tomás Rodriguez Fernandez
Tomás Rodriguez Fernandez

Not a single shot from the back of the car:(

Markus

Hi Tomás and Antony, now there are also some rear views! 🙂

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

Good article and what a way to welcome spring by driving a classic Ferrari. You really cant get any better then that. There is plenty of great pics here and I like how you get to see the car in many different locations as well. I must admit when I think of Ferrari I kinda of over look GT4 and a few others but this article really shows the beauty of it

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Great story and pictures Markus. Except it was a week earlier and in the wet UK my story of bringing the car out of winter hibernation is very similar.

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