Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Never a lender be - not even to Eric Clapton.

Not a huge car fan, but the Ferrari club picnic at Wilton House was excellent - they even had one of Eric Clapton's old cars was there - the 365 he refers to in "Wonderful tonight".

"It's time to go home now and I've got an aching head, so I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed." She was Patti Smith (he bought her a 308 - and the plate Patt1 308, an AA man told me - more later)

Clapton sold the 365 after blowing it up in Spain, and told the new owner the story. Had the Ferrari flown home to be fixed first, mind - now that's what I call minted.

Also on show was an Enzo, Daytonas, a lovely little Lusso and a blue Dino. Plus a sea of modern stuff in watch-your-residual red. And if, like my boy, you're no Red Car fan there was a Lambo, AM V8, Mazzer Q-Porte. Oh, and a Veyron..

But, but ,but had to call the AA on the way home. And as the excellent Lotus-loving patrolman told me, problems with Ferraris always start with the explanation "It was fine until I lent it to.."

With me this was the comedians at Practical Classics rag. Just for static shots at Santa Pod, they said. Fine, I said being a fan and contributor of neighbouring Classic Bike. But family obligations meant I had to pull out at the last minute, and feeling guilty let them come and get my very own Fezzer. Idiot.

So I find the "static shots" involve driving round in circles, until centrifugal force does it's bit, the breather fills with oil, and crankcase pressure dumps 20/50 all over the V8. Including the very tucked away alternator/water pump belt.

So sitting with the AA bod in glorious sunshine, we get the back wheel out, then the splash guard, and tug out the burnt remains of the belt. But does he have a suitable replacement? Nope. So it all goes back together and I wait for a recovery lorry.

So thanks, Practical Classics. I'll send you the bill and you still owe me 5 hours of my life. And I'm never lending anyone anything ever again.

See the pics at http://picasaweb.google.com/teambenzinaphotos/FerrariPicnicAtWiltonHouse?feat=directlink Or wait until next months Practical Classic's is out and see the 308 racing a, um, Mini...

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