This Ferrari 328 GTS Has Been on Journeys to Write Home About
Przemek is a small business owner in Poland, who has been a car enthusiast his whole life. Over the years, his cars have received a lot of attention where he lives, because vintage cars are uncommon sights. We always appreciate when someone goes to great lengths to own a car, and Przemek’s story is one to write home about: think 1,000 miles across Northern Europe and a hurricane in the English Channel in the middle of December. It was all worth it in the end—it often is.
Q: How did you become interested in cars?
A: I’ve always been a petrolhead, and since the ’90s have always had at least one roadster or convertible in my garage. I live in Poland where these cars are not very common, so I have always attracted attention with my cars.
Q: What is the car scene like in Poland?
A: In Poland the 328 is a car that attracts a lot of attention, since most of the Ferraris here are 360s and newer. I’ve shown off this car at classic car shows—usually on the stand of local detailers—and most recently at the Swisswax stand.
One of my other hobbies is photography, which is how I met Pawel, a fellow Polish vintage car enthusiast, who took these photographs. He and I have organized several modeling sessions with the 328 and other period cars. We still plan to do some night shots to have a complete portfolio of the car.
Q: How long have you owned this car?
A: I’ve owned the 328 for almost seven years now and have put almost 40,000 kilometers on the odometer. The car has never missed a beat and has always taken Italian mountain passes and German autobahns in stride, vaporizing any myths about Ferrari unreliability.
Q: How did you find this car and know that it was the right one for you?
A: One November evening I was browsing the UK eBay site for interesting left-hand-drive cars and found an ad for a Ferrari 328 GTS. I was a registered member on ferrarichat.com, and it turned out that Marc, the owner, had quite a long history of posts on the site. After reading his history with this car, I understood that the owner was also a fellow car nut, and that the 328 had been well cared for, but that he was selling it due to a recent itch he’d gotten for the flat twelve—he was planning to buy a 512 TR.
When I posted a question about the car on the site, a number of forum members from across Europe, who knew Marc and the car, all chipped in with their comments that it was a great example. I asked my wife what she thought of buying it, and to my amazement her reply was, “Do it if it makes you happy.”
I asked again and then booked a low-cost flight to London to see the Ferrari. As I walked into the Luton Airport car park, I saw the timeless, red shape that I had flown 1,000 miles to inspect. We went for a drive back to Marc’s house, I kicked the tyres, rubbed my forehead (un)knowingly, poked around, and after some haggling, we shook hands and a deal was made. (To Marc, the whole situation must have been just as bizarre. Three days earlier, he’d received at call from a stranger in Poland who wanted to buy his Ferrari (I’m sure all the Nigerian eBay scams immediately came to his mind).)
A week later I was back in London with my GPS and ready to jump in and drive my new Ferrari across northern Europe back to Poland in the middle of December. The first day was awful. There was a hurricane in the English Channel, and no ferries were operating. I somehow managed to grab a place on the tunnel train, and as I arrived in France on a miserable, wet Friday evening, with rain pouring down and windows misting up, I couldn’t find a comfortable driving position. On top of that, the surrounding trucks all seemed to want to run over my little Ferrari. I arrived at a small hotel in Germany, exhausted, and fell asleep thinking, “What the hell have I done?”
When I woke up the next day, the rain had cleared, the sun was out, and the autobahn was empty. I fiddled with the two seat adjustment levers to try an outrageous, half-reclined, short-leg, long-arm position, and it actually turned out to be comfortable. The V8 bellowed on start up, and as I pulled into the dry, empty autobahn, everything clicked into place. The sound, the sight over the bonnet with the raised headlights as place markers, the thumbs up from the German family in their Golf, accelerating easily to speeds well beyond 200 kilometers per hour on the unrestricted Berlin ring road… I knew I had made the right decision.
Q: What has surprised you about owning this car?
A: I didn’t realize when buying this car that I was also buying into a close-knit community of European Ferrari owners who had been regularly meeting in different locations, usually Alpine or Italian and spending a driving holiday in an agroturismo outside of San Gimignano in Italy.
The first summer after I bought the car, my wife and I drove with this group to Maranello for Ferrari’s 60th anniversary celebrations. It was an amazing feeling to be parked at the Fiorano track with hundreds of other shiny machines with prancing horse badges. After the two-day event, we drove down from Maranello to Tuscany, which is where the 328 excelled. The Tuscan countryside, winding roads, and the convoy of several Ferraris from different eras and with different cylinder counts, roaring through the hills will always remain one of my personal highs.
We parked in the center of the town square and were immediately surrounded by kids, old men (and in fact anybody who could walk) admiring the cars. In San Gimignano, the tour guides looked at us with frustration as their distracted tourists turned away from the medieval churches and instead admired Pininfarina’s finest work.
Since that first trip to Italy in 2007, we have done two more, each time congregating on the same agroturismo, Fattoria Poggio Alloro, with the same group of friends from the UK, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Germany, and even South Africa.
Q: What has been your most memorable drive in this Ferrari?
A: We did the most recent trip to Italy with my teenage son, visiting as many car museums and factories as possible along the way. We drove from Warsaw to Berlin, and then south through Germany, taking in the Mercedes, Porsche and BMW museums. In Italy we visited Lamborghini and Maserati, did the Ferrari factory tour and the highlight of our trip – got a personal tour of the Pagani operations by Horacio Pagani. We covered 5000 kilometers in two weeks and came home exhausted but with huge grins on our faces.
Q: Would you ever part ways with the 328?
A: Once in a while I get the itch to replace it with something more practical and modern. When that happens I go into my garage, lift off the dust sheet, run my hand along the flanks, take in the shape and decide, “Naaaaaaaah, it’s a keeper.”
I have my car serviced at the local Ferrari Warszawa dealership where the 328 gets special attention as the oldest car that they maintain. The mechanics regularly compliment the easy access to all critical components and the simplicity and ergonomics of the engine compared to the new models. Whenever I think of selling, they are the first ones to talk me out of it.