When I was about 14 I discovered road racing thanks to Wide World of Sports and Road and Track magazines.  This, of course, led to the pinnacle of road racing, F1,  I was immediately drawn to the red cars with that fabled name.  FERRARI.  The history of the team enthralled me, and their passion coincided nicely with my personality – I tend to go into things 110% with directed focus.  At that point, I made it my goal to one day own, as I put it “an Italian exotic”.  I mainly phrased it like that because I knew it would be  along time coming, and I wasn’t sure that Ferrari would still be around, and I might fall in love with another exotic.  However, deep inside, the dream was always a Rosso Corsa car with a cavallino on it.  Fortunately, Ferrari is thriving, and my dream stayed alive.

Fast forward a *bunch* of years, my kids are grown, the minivan that I traded my sports cars for is long gone, and I have done fairly well in life.  I’m certainly not wealthy in a monetary sense – I retired from the Navy and have been in public service for the last 13 years.  I make good money, but definitely not wealthy.  I was at a Cars & Coffee a couple years ago and noticed an F430 with the license plate “ZRO KIDS” or something similar.  I thought it was hilarious and explained the ownership position well.  That’s when I met Dan.  He was gracious and entertaining and enthusiastically showed me the 430.  We kept running into each other and car events and developed a friendship.  I purchased a Maserati GranTurismo, and to save a LOT of $ on service, elected to do it myself.  Dan offered to help and do a video of it, so into his garage we went, where I made a hell of a mess and got a major service accomplished for a fraction of the dealership cost.

During this time, Dan had put out his vids explaining life choices to enable “normal” guys to own a Ferrari, and I realized that I was already adhering to a lot of his principles.  I began casually browsing Ferrari ads and realized that I could probably afford a 348.  I did a lot of research, heard the maintenance horror stories, but decided that a Ferrari is no different than any other car when it comes to being a mechanical beast.  If you break it down, they are all simply nuts and bolts and electrical stuff that interact.  I figured that, with some help from knowledgable people, I could pull off maintenance.  So…. the search began with a little more earnest.  I was planning to wait until Fall of 2019 at the earliest, as my truck would be paid off, and I’d have a few months to save a larger down payment. But…

I found a 348 in incredibly good condition other than needing a major service, since its last one had been 10 years prior.  I called Dan and floated the idea of getting it and asked if he would be interested in helping me with the major (which involved pulling the engine/drivetrain/suspension out of the rear of the car.  His awesome wife, Meg, overheard us on the phone and yelled, “F yes!!!  Get it!!!”.  Who can argue with Meg?  Her final vote, and Dan’s agreement to help cemented the decision.  I called the owner, made a lowball offer, and he accepted!

While finalizing the sale over the next couple of weeks, Dan asked if I’d be interested in doing a road trip and video of picking it up instead of having it shipped.  Hmmm…. cross country road trip with a couple of fun guys to pick up a Ferrari, and actually save a few $ in the process while also helping Dan with some content?  Hell yes, I’m in!!!  So, a couple weeks later Dan and Adam showed up at 0-dark-thirty, and off we went from Austin to Knoxville.  Less than 3 blocks into the departure from my house I questioned the sanity of this operation when Dan ripped ass in the back of the truck.  Fortunately, we all survived the gas attack, and off we went.

After driving in rain the entire way, we arrived and I was finally able to actually see and touch my new child.  Took her for a quick test drive, then loaded her up for the long trip home (in the rain again, I might add!).

We spent the night with James and Melissa (everyone subscribe to Full Octane Garage on Youtube!!), who, despite having never met us, were awesome people and gracious hosts, opening their house to us.

We got back to Austin, and 2 days later I put the car in Josh’s shop and started the  engine out.  A huge thanks to Josh for his expertise and help.  It certainly would not have been such a successful endeavor without him!!

Also, a HUGE shoutout to Daniel Pass at Ricambi America who sponsored my major and supplied the majority of the parts.  THANK YOU!!

Everyone should know that Dan is the one who arranged all of the help that I received – the initial motivation, the transportation, the parts, and Josh’s expertise.  There are no words I can say that can adequately express my sincere thanks for making my childhood dream come true.  Thank you also, Meg, for letting me steal your husband for hours and hours!

Speaking of Meg.  Throughout my adventures with Dan, I have had the privilege to get to know Meg.  She and I are pretty much at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but she has an incredible ability to have rational, calm discussions about societal problems.  We have spent hours talking about solutions, and have realized that, despite having very different methods of solving them, we both have the same goals in mind.  She has opened my eyes to a number of things, and helped me become a more compassionate person.  I am blessed to call Meg and Dan friends.

I know this has been long, but what Dan and Meg have done for me deserves much, much more.  Thank you both, and I wish y’all the VERY BEST in life!



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