The Definition of Jealousy

The legendary Ferrari F40 is, and has been for decades, my favourite Ferrari. Nay, my favourite car, full stop. I owned one once. A Burago scale replica, of course. Not the real thing. A few cars have pushed it close at the top of my automotive rankings. Jaguar’s XJ220 is a beaut. Ferrari’s Testarossa is the most classic  Pininfarina design of my lifetime. I also had a real soft spot for Alfa Romeo’ SZ.

All of these cars come from the same time period – late 80s/early 90s. I was of that age when boys are thoroughly impressed by fast cars. These were among the best. I remain thoroughly impressed. The era was almost littered with fabulous motors that combined the essence of the sports car with the latest technology. Before the latter became as important, or more so, than the spirit of the sports car concept.

In the late 80s I worked in a shop in East Horsley, Surrey. Across the road was the largest Ferrari dealership in the UK, with a forecourt full of teenage boys wet dreams. Everyone of them the ultimate clunge magnet. And every week, this kid my age turned up for his Saturday job, cleaning Ferraris. Once I saw him get into one and drive it across the forecourt. I just wanted to punch him in the face. I still do, a little bit.


3 thoughts on “The Definition of Jealousy

  1. I emigrated from Ireland in 1990 with a newly minted wife and two children in tow. Within a month of landing in Canada we had managed to convert our ever dwindling pocket book into a twenty five year mortgage! This was based on a fictitious bundle earned in the previous year as a mechanic in a distant utopia on the other side of the planet.

    If I had made that bundle we could have stayed there indefinitely.
    Now all I had to do was find a job! My father in law, Chuck offered me a temporary position once his contract was renewed and all I had the do was find something in the meantime to keep them the lion from the door.

    Victoria at the time and still is to some degree a city based on nepotism, it all depends on who you know rather than having the ability to do the job. So getting a job as a mechanic was out. I was offered $5 an hour by the Harlequin importer where I needed $14 plus. However I got a part time job pumping gas at a station outside my bus range which enabled me to work every day God gave for the next three years with two off.

    My boss was another immigrant but from India though and he had a pristine Ferrari F40 in blood red. I had to detail it every Saturday morning and fill up both tanks with gas. It had to be perfect in every detail. The tires had to be inspected for any stones in their threads and any imperfection on the windshield had to be buffed out by hand. Any tips were to be handed in to maximize payments on the Ferrari.. even so I made my mortgage and then some to allow me to go back to skool!


  2. Three years and just two days off? That was quite the shift you pulled there. Rather you than me. I’ve had periods in my life where I’ve had to put in the hours. But not quite like that,

    But I bet getting to touch an F40 made it all totally worthwhile….! 🙂


  3. I screwed up there Gary, maybe if I rewrote the piece you could delete the former? I worked full time under contract for one company and worked pumping gas at the weekend for another! I got two days off per year.
    The mortgage interest was just over 13% in 1990 so I needed every penny but due to being just a wet weekend in country the rates were stacked against us. Even so I believe we renegotiated after three years when the rate dropped to 8.75% and this allowed me to quit the second job. Sometime after that I went back to school studying diesel mechanics, hydraulic marine drives and the service and renovation of a variety of heavy duty engines.
    One of the curious benefits of coming to Canada was that I found within myself the ability to do almost anything I set my mind to. My one regret has been not having come sooner to the country. Canadians work hard and play hard. They just do it! But of course you know what they say about everything being rosy in hindsight?
    Much as I loved living in Ireland and working there, it can be such a Micky Mouse country. I know it has changed to some degree and maybe it has something to do with years of oppression but I could never return to live there for any length and working there would drive me mad. I met a couple of acquaintances and friends and family last time I was back but it was not the same as before. Obviously I had changed as they were the same, I had just grown. I miss my family and friends the most but with internet it is easier to keep in touch as you know!

    As an aside, one of my Saturday customers that made my day was a stunning young goddess who arrived at around eleven am. She was exquisite, almost doll like with a flawless complexion and stunning body and she drove a little red Lotus.
    She always dressed in red and when she paid for her gas she removed her Visa with long red talons. I’ve wondered what ever happened to her she was a sweetheart.
    As for the Ferrari Gary it was a pain to work on, sometimes the wretch wouldn’t start after a wash down by hand. It had a cramped interior and getting in and out of it being so close to the ground was ridiculous.

    Considering Victoria is on an island off the west coast of Canada, there are a lot of very expensive cars and motorcycles here, and the variety is amazing. Nearly every weekend during summer there are shows of one sort or another. As I have been working on Saturdays for the past six or so years, Sunday has been a day for me for relaxing and so I keep away from the throngs that attend these gatherings.


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