(Jacob Rumans) #1

8


heheavy rainhas notlong passedandin its
wake is a stunningly vibrant rainbow. Apt,
becausesomewhere overit – or in this case
underit– dreamsreallydocometrue.At least
for retired primary school headteacher and
ClassicCarsreaderJamesDouglastheydo.
‘If there’s one car on my dream drive list
thatI never,everthought you’dputmein,it’s
this,’headmits,asthemuscularrearendofDK
Engineering’sFerrari275GTBemergesontothe
tarmacatthe Longcross test track. ‘I’ve seen
thembefore, moreoftenin filmorprint, but
inthemetaltheproportionsare justperfect– I
can’t believe it’sfinallyhappening.’
Meneither;it’sbeentwo yearsinthemaking.
In fact, the sales manager of one company
intimatelyinvolvedwitholdprancinghorsessaidit’dnevertake
place,stating,‘We haveownersscaredto drivethembecauseofthe
value.’That’swhat happenswhena simplemotorcarbecomesone
partlegend,onepartobjetd’art– normalrulesnolongerapply.
Of course for ‘simple motor car’ read, 3286cc Colombo V12,
exquisitePininfarinalines,oneof 460 two-camexamplesofthe
275GTBproduced andalways-lusted-afterplaythingof the rich,
famousandsuccessfulsinceitsarrivalbackin 196 4.
‘Ithinkitlooksincrediblefromany angle,’saysJames.‘There’s
nota panelonitthat isn’tright to me.’ Sittinggleaming onthewet
tarmac,it’ s hard to disagreewithourreader’sanalysis.‘I particularly
likethelong bonnetandsquat Kammtail.Theintakestrakesonthe
fr ontwingare echoedby thoseontherearthree-quarterpaneland
lookedat frombehind,thecockpit narrowsconsiderably, almost
likea boat;that helpsto emphasisetherearhaunches,whichgive
thecarsuch amuscularappeal.Again,the proportionsarejust
perfect;it looksbeautiful,butina purposeful,slightlyaggressive
manner.Thegrilleissurprisinglywidebutdoesn’t detract fromthe
smoothflowinglinesofthebonnetandthefaired-inlights,because
it’ s tuckeddownlowandat a slightlyobliqueangle.’
Hisdesignsoliloquyover,headds,‘Youcould sit it inyourfront
roomandnevertire oflooking at it.’True,butI remindhimit’snow
timetodriveit.Hisgrinisinstant ashepopsthedoorandsettles
intothedriver’sleatherbucketseat.‘I’mpleasantlysurprised,’ he
says.‘It’scomfortableandfeelsalmostmoderninhere.I like the
detailing;discreetchromestripsaroundtheswitchesanddials,not
lotsofblingbutsubtleandclassy– almostunderstated.’
HeprimesthetripleWebercarburettorswitha coupleofthrottle
pumpsbeforeall 12 cylinders fireon thekeyturn,floodingthe
cabinwitha portentousrumblebeforedyingdowntoa calmand
even tickover. Seatbelt secured, James depresses the clutch –
‘that’s incredibly heavy’ – beforeslottingthegearleverintofirst
on the dogleg’box. ‘Ican’t reach thehandbrake,’he exclaims.

AstonMartinDB
‘Formetheprettiest
Aston– I lovethe
sawn-offKammtail.’
Jaguar3.8S-type
‘Grewupwatchingthesebeing
writtenoff inTheSweeney.’
CitroenSM
‘Lookedsofuturistic;evennearly 50
years onI stillthinkit’s amazing.’
Maserati3200GT
‘Reasonablereliability,wonderful
looks,goodperformanceand
excellentcomfort– ina Maser!’
LanciaStratos
‘Thenoiseit madeandtheskill
requiredto drive it madeit a legend.’

Saab 96 V4(worksrallyspec)
‘StigBlomqvist wonthe’71RAC
Rallyinone– I’d loveto drive
a works car.’
AlfaRomeoGiulia
‘Hiredonea coupleof yearsago
andwasn’t disappointed– oneof
theprettiestcarsevermade.’
RileyPathfinder
‘FirstcarI canremember,asmy dad
hadone– powerfulandimposing.’
Ferrari275GTB
‘Awesome.If I couldhavejust one
caroff my list, it’d bethis.’
AlfaRomeo8C
‘Themostbeautifulcarmadein
recenttimes’

JAMES’ DREAM DRIVE LIST


Retired head teacher
James underwent intense
re-education in the 275GTB

[The List] Ferrari 275 GTB

‘There’s not a panel

on it that isn’t right...

it looks beautiful, but

in a purposeful, slightly

aggressive manner’