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Let loose in a GTO

2 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


1 May 2022

Imagine you’re at home one morning minding your own business when the telephone rings. It’s your boss. And he asks whether you’d mind awfully flying to Italy, to the Ferrari factory no less, picking up his 250 GTO and driving it back to England.

You’d drop your tea. You wouldn’t sleep. Until you were there in that slim bucket seat with that alloy gearlever in your hand, Colombo V12 howling to the heavens, you’d not think of anything else. I expect for almost all of us, it would be the greatest automotive experience of our lifetimes.

But not for some. Imagine instead it’s not 2022 but 1962 and you’re not you, but Grand Prix star Innes Ireland. He got that call, boarded that flight, drove a pale green GTO back to England and was left so unmoved by the experience it merited not one word in his autobiography (All Arms and Elbows, quite superb if you haven’t read it). Indeed the only reason I know how that GTO got to England was because a few years back I rang up said boss, the late Ken Gregory, and asked him.

Why? Because not only had I just driven it, but done so at Goodwood, scene of its greatest triumph. Of which more in a minute. I promise you, when I write those words many years after the event, I still feel as ridiculously fortunate as you consider me to be while reading them. Unlike Innes, I didn’t sleep or think of anything else until I was in it.

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