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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Smithology: GTO, Boss at eight grand, the word lost in the wind

"People will say to me, 'How can you make so much of a song? ...I've heard that all my life. It always means the same thing: Stop thinking." - Greil Marcus You are what you love, as Jenny Lewis sang, and not what loves you back.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/smithology/smithology-gto-boss-at-eight-grand-the-word-lost-in...
22 REPLIES 22
danhise
Detailer

I don't know. It's all too much. Not your article, but the concentration of wealth. I believe you when you pegged the Mini as your favorite, which also turns out to be a kind of nose thumbing, at least to me. You had a job to do, as O'Neil recognized, and you did it well as always, but when it's time for you to park, as you say, will you think back and bask in the thought that you were hanging out around cars that you were not allowed to drive? I hope you got home and went to the liquor store in the Weissrat. Vroom vroom.
audiocage
Detailer

JeeeEEEEEZ!

I drove a comp-prepped 250SWB on the track once. The guys who drove those cars in anger were a breed apart, that's for sure.
XJ6
Intermediate Driver

Great article and fabulous photography. I'll dream about this tonight.
JeffWeimer
Intermediate Driver

Cars that are worth tens of millions of dollars almost literally cannot be totaled, even if it takes $100K or more to fix it. Why not let them get their exercise?
Tinkerah
Technician

Intriguing concept I've never considered!
Flashman
Instructor

Your style matches that of the Ferrari.
DUB6
Gearhead

I appreciate that people with millions of dollars invested in a rare car will bring it out for "the public" to see. Not sure I totally agree with the "it's just a car" assessment, but in the end it's more true than not. Thanks Jeff O'Neill and the others who risked so much to make this possible!
tommykat1
Intermediate Driver

What a sensational read! Well done. I feel like I was there, though I'd like to breath a little more of that Ferrari V-12 smoke.
Gary_Bechtold
Technician

The GTO is lovely. Peak early-Ferrari styling and sound. Also love seeing the Mustang and others getting their laps in on a track.

MATTMERICA
Technician

Love the story, love the cars, love the way the writer makes me think about things not entirely related to this piece. Excellent.
I am happy that somebody is driving these cars, especially the person who makes me feel like I was there - that goes for the words and the pics - stunning.
espo70
Intermediate Driver

What a great, well-written article. Reminds me of why I enjoy Sam "Word-Smith's" articles and videos so much. I am extremely jealous of your seat time in that Boss 302 as well.
Air_and_Water
Advanced Driver

Yes, it's just a car. A damn fine car, and one that should be enjoyed. I fully agree that letting them sit and gather dust is a waste. It's akin to a Stradivarius sitting on a shelf, A Picasso wrapped up in a closet or Admiral Kirk sitting behind a desk. These cars being driven in (subdued) anger is their first, best destiny.
Maestro1
Instructor

Sam, very well done. I have had the priviledge of being behind the wheel of some pretty
exotic cars, a 300SL for example, an OSCA, and so on. The 300SL was driven partially in city traffic, paranoid owner seated in the passenger seat (I don't blame him) and I can't remember where I drove the OSCA and something else because my memory isn't what it once was.
I think you, Sajeev, and Baruth ought to do a book project together. Thanks again and stay well.


drhino
Technician

Yes. Wonderful writing. Captures the feeling that machinery has a certain dignity once it has been assembled. That it has now become more than the sum of its parts.
JSievers
Advanced Driver

"A 3.0-liter Colombo V-12 in that environment sounds as if every brass instrument in history has gathered for some kind of resentful high-school reunion and gotten drunk while singing at women." Thanks Sam. I'll be in Sebring at the Ferrari Annual Experience on November 11, but a part of me will be wishing I was at Laguna Seca. Next year for sure.
Inline8OD
Detailer

Nice paean, but perhaps we kowtow too much to wealth and marketing? Enzo's sole interest in his street cars sold to the usual silver spooners, playboys and girls, was that they funded his only love: racing. This is attested by the cheap dash switch gear in a friend's '63 Lusso, and that no Ferrari rustproofed. That, and a tendency to always want to laud a particular effort above all others, top 10 and best of lists, as with the ponderous, quickly obsolete Duesenberg above all others in the early '30s.
A well-fettled Jaguar, for one, has equal if different charm and artistry at a fraction the Ferrari's price. Unrequited testosterone combined with a need to loft automobiles ever higher among artifacts = Ferrari, Bugatti, Duesenberg, "muscle car" slam bam thank you, ma'am egregious Motown tin with big engines and teenaged suspensions worshipped by those never exposed to nor versed in vintage charm.
Many other cars have that sublime "it," if less obvious.
Sam's writing equals or exceeds the subject.
SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

Math fascinates me, however evasive it seems to be. Forgive me if I postulate how a car, which cost $18,000 in 1962 (roughly $163,000 in 2021 dollars) is now worth $70 million? If Enzo made $650,000 (gross) on 36 cars way back when, is it logical to assume it didn't cost 10x that amount to build them? Which begs another question: if it's "just a car", why not invest $70 million to build a few dozen copies for yourself and sell one or two to indulge your passion? Perhaps I'm not seeing the forest here, but I'm a little vexed over this one.
DUB6
Gearhead

An old axiom: anything is "worth" what someone will pay you for it.  So is a car "worth" $70 million?  It is if someone will give that much to you for it!  Y'see, "monetary value" has very little to do with either math or logic, both of which you are trying to use in an attempt to understand.

CitationMan
Technician

“The rich are different than you and me” definitely applies to someone who pays $70 million for a car. Most of us don’t live in that world, so we can’t fathom it.

danhise
Detailer

I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure the original starts out "The very rich . . . ." Maybe we could use the phrase "The stupid rich . . . ." I know many people who are multi-millionaires but whose life style is not ostentatious. Then there are the excessively rich, who flout their wealth. We need something closer to Eisenhower's tax rates. So many folks think of the '50s as a "golden age." I agree, inasmuch as corporate CEOs back then didn't make 400 times more than their average employees.
CitationMan
Technician

Oh, I don’t believe the rich need our help disposing of their wealth, most successive generations after the original rich guy/gal squander the money. If you didn’t work hard for it, you don’t value it. Countless lottery winners have proved this, too. Only 20% of wealth is generational, 80% gained through a good idea or hard work. And squandering wealth distributes it better than the government ever could.

Tinkerah
Technician

Alas it's too late for me to become an automotive journalist. And even if I'd started before I could read I'd never be this good.