FCA Ortega Run '08: Sunday drive with a few (dozen) Ferraris
Life in Southern California isn't always sunny and bright. Take last month for instance. When we woke up hoping to tag along on a Ferrari Club of America drive known as the Ortega Run, we were disheartened by the sight of pouring rain. We have learned from past experience that these guys and gals are a lot less likely to drive their prancing ponies when the ground is damp. It's not so much that the cars can't handle it, as it is the work involved. For the owners, the thought of cleaning and drying the cars when they get home starts to make that weekend drive more a labor of love than they had hoped. So when we arrived at the designated meeting point, we were pleasantly surprised at the turnout. It was definitely smaller than last year's 80+ Ferraris, but how can we complain about the twenty or so f-cars that did make it out?
Follow the jump for more about our wet Sunday drive and click on the links below to check out all of the pics in our high-res gallery.
We were a little surprised that the vintage cars showed up, but sort of amazed when we reached our rendezvous point with another group of participants and saw an open roadster charging along at the head of the pack. And not just any roadster either, but the seven-figure 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Le Mans car. Weighing in around 2,000 with bunches of horsepower and torque coming out of its V12 engine, it's crazy to see the skinny tires they mounted to this beast. Throw in some rainy oil-soaked Southern California roads and the excitement becomes palpable.
Our mount for the ride down was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT 2+2. These are some of the rarer Ferraris around mainly because owners frequently had them rebodied over the years to look more like the ridiculously pricey GTOs and SWBs. Finding one in original condition, especially as good a condition as this one, is a treat. Its V12 provided plenty of smooth pulling power and its road manners made it a comfortable 100-mile trek.
The vintage group was also represented by an old Desoto that seemed to feel right at home in the water, and a gorgeous silver 275 GTS, that smartly chose to run top-up.
Other cars in our group included a smattering of Magnum P.I. worthy 308s, a couple of Maranellos, a 456, 360 Spider, Testarossa and a couple of F430s. We were even joined by some cars created just outside Maranello, like a Maserati Spyder, Mercedes S550, Nissan Maxima, Range Rover Sport and Porsche Turbo that were honorary cavallini for the day.
The destination for our soggy parade was a restoration shop in Oceanside that specializes in vintage Ferraris and Lamborghinis. At the shop we saw a couple of Daytonas, a 365 GTC/4, a 410 Superamerica and 500 Superfast, a Dino 206, and a bunch of other projects and recently completed restorations. Particularly impressive were the two Lamborghini Miuras and the unrecognized specials just getting started on their long journeys back to the road.
This shop also features some cool trinkets and artwork that add a lot of ambiance.
After a good lunch it was time to head home. And wouldn't you know, the sun finally came out. We can only guess how much fun the drive would have been in the dry, but it really didn't matter. While the rain had dampened our drive, it hadn't dampened our spirits. We look forward to next year's event and will pray for sun.
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