A fellow Ferrari owner, Dave Booth and I were trading stories of the history of our cars, and this is his story. Thanks Dave.
"I purchased my car based on a magazine ad that incorrectly described it as a 250 Europa, located near Annapolis, Md. It turned out to be an estate sale being handled for the family by a friend of the recently deceased owner who recounted its history to me.
The owner had recently completed a tour in Vietnam, and like many veterans of that war, came home withdrawn and seemed to drift. Not working, he throws himself into car projects. He works on three or four at once, and the GTE is one. It is a Series III GTE, s/n 4799 purchased without engine. I learned later that the motor had supposedly been blown by the car's previous owner -- a young woman who felt that putting gas in the tank was all the maintenance it needed. Turns out that the motor was not completely trashed, since it's reliably reported to be in a Lusso today.
Also on hand was a 330 America engine from wrecked s/n 5033 which the young man plans to install. It came from a car that had gone into a stand of small trees at high speed, resulting in what the friend described as looking it had been attacked by an army of angry gnomes carrying hammers.
All of a sudden, the owner meets a girl and falls immediately, hopelessly in love. Trouble is, she's not in love with him, and is put off by his overwhelming and unceasing attentions and tells him she's not interested. He continues to call. She won't take the calls.
A few days later, he walks into the small office where she works, announces while standing in front of her desk that she'll be sorry she did this to him, and pulls out a .45 auto. Puts it to his head and ka-blam! Blows himself away.
I bought the car from his mother and older sister who, along with the
owner's friend, helped me comb through the assortment of parts in the garage
-- most belonging to other cars, for the pieces that went with the GTE.
We came up with everything but the taillights and the rear
bumper's center section.
The sister confided as I was chaining the car to the trailer that the proceeds from the sale were being used to pay the owner's bill at the mortuary. Strange that the car that might have been this man's salvation was finally the instrument to take him to his rest."
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