Driving This Ferrari GTO Is a Certain Kind of Ecstasy
Using hyperbole to describe the 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO is unnecessary. The car speaks for itself. It is one of the last (of thirty-six) Ferrari GTOs ever built. This particular one, chassis #5571, was the first of the Series II bodies. It is equipped with a 3.0L V-12 producing about 300 horsepower and it completed multiple endurance races, winning its class in the 1964 Daytona Continental 2000km, Sebring 12 hour, and Nassau TT.
As a youngster pumping high-octane gasoline for local muscle car owners in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley during the 1960s, Mark Lundquist could only dream of owning a 1965 Chevrolet Malibu Super Sport (SS). As if to make up for lost time, however, Mark now has four Chevy SS cars (as well as a beastly “standard” 1968 Camaro) of varying vintages parked in a Joshua Tree, California, garage that inspires envy in every guest who drops in. And yes, this collection includes a ’65 Malibu SS.
Other drivers speed past this Czech oddity without a second glance, seemingly oblivious to the car’s dorsal fin and triple headlights. But as Paul swings the Tatra into a parking space in front of a favorite local bistro, it’s as if he has brought the black teardrop to a stop in the middle of a Hollywood spotlight. Here come the second glances, the puzzled questions. "What in the world is that?"
We’ve been asking–actually, begging and pleading–for a ride in this monument to Americana but James Chen always found a way to politely turn us down. He is, he says, willing to share his Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Cadillacs, but he and his family enjoy such a personal relationship with this particular car that he seldom shares it with outsiders. He finally gave in.
Start with the Lexus LFA and trace your way back through Toyota’s sports car lineage, follow the Japanese carmaker’s family tree to the very root of its sports cars and you’ll find the Sports 800, known to its legions of fans as Yota-hachi...