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How could you not fall in love with these Italian beauties?

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David Fisher-Holt from Sauchen talks about his two Italian loves.

“I first saw a Ferrari when I was about nine or 10 years old.
It was a red 246 Dino GT. At that point there I fell in love for the first time. From that point on I wanted a Ferrari.

“I watched the Ferrari models evolve and change. At a point in my life I had saved enough to afford a Ferrari.

“It was a choice of 308, 328, 348 or an early 355. I wanted a hard top, known as a Berlinetta. So it was to be a 328 Berlinetta, for a variety of reasons. So I started to look for a 328GTB.

“Unknown to me there were 1,344 Berlinetta made for the world market, manufactured from 1985 to 1989, which would mean about 130-140 in UK. It took me some 18 months to find the car.

“It had to be red and cream (known as ‘British Spec’) and Berlinetta. I flew down from Aberdeen to Egham in Surrey to see the car. It ticked all the right boxes so the deal was done and I was then a proud owner of a Ferrari 328GTB.

“Shortly after buying the car I met Wendy, my now wife. We had met some time previously, when I was 16.

“I left North Wales shortly after our initial meeting to pursue a life away from the rural setting, returning with my Ferrari later. I courted Wendy in the Ferrari, proposing to her in the car too. I set her a treasure hunt by means of clues on small cards which would result in the last card with the all-important question in a box with the ring.

“She found the box easily as there aren’t too many places to hide the clues let alone the ring. On the day of our wedding I drove to the wedding with our fourteen year old daughter, who was my “Best Man”.
She’d picked an outfit to match the car, a long red dress and cream clutch bag.

“We were married on September 11, 2001 and drove down to Milan to watch the Italian Grand Prix, in the Ferrari.

“We drove to Milan, stayed there, and drove to and from Monza and then back home, taking in quite a bit of Europe on the way back. A great adventure in the Ferrari as a honeymoon.

“I have started to trace the history of the car with Maranello Archives and some help from an author and classic car dealer. It transpires that the particular type of Berlinetta I have was used to prototype the then emerging automotive technology of the day, ABS.

“There were cars with ABS but not too many sports cars. Ferrari prototyped their new ABS systems on the then outgoing 328, resulting in some 51 Berlinetta being made for the world market.

“The difference between the cars with ABS and the others is significant. My car was the only one made for the UK in 1988 with another six made in 1989.

“Given the approximate date of manufacture, it’s very likely that the car was made while Enzo Ferrari was still alive and he may well have seen the car.

“A number of years before I bought the Ferrari, Ducati launched the 916. This was a major step in Super bike design. The bike broke the conventional wisdom of the day and won four world titles.

“To me, as an engineer, this was interesting enough but again, like when I was young and saw my first Ferrari, I can still remember seeing my first 916.

“It was at that time I really wanted one. At that point it was a long time since I’d ridden a motorbike. Although I really fell for the 916, I decided not to pursue the matter. Every summer Wendy would see a 916 on the roads of North Wales.

“Every time we saw a 916 my interest would be re-ignited. Eventually Wendy asked if I really wanted one or not? I told her exactly which model I wanted and she pointed out that as the years were progressing these things were getting fewer and fewer.

“There were updated models and there are still newer models being made, but the 916 was the one for me. So armed with the knowledge of exactly which 916 was for me, Wendy found one. It was in a bike shop in Manchester, which was not too far away so I was dispatched by the love of my life to view a 916.

“It was a defining moment and I bought it there and then. It transpires that the shop is frequented by Carl Fogarty, Ducati World Super bike champion on the 916.

“Carl will be at the GTM for the Grampian Motorcycle convention and as a member of the GTM and confirmed Ducatisti, I can’t wait!

“The bike is nearing the end of a rebuild and will be on the road again very soon. I’ve named the Ducati after my daughter, Rachel, because it’s beautiful and rewards the attention I bestow on her.

“My wife agrees with the naming but states it’s because it’s loud and full of attitude, my son-in-law concurs with the name but because it’s a handful and high maintenance. They have a cruel sense of

First car: It was British Leyland’s finest (well in my eyes), a stock Mini 1000 saloon, resplendent in Harvest Gold (a dreadful mustard colour that seemed to be all the rage in 1970s).

Dream car: I have several for different reasons. La Ferrari, tech and pure Ferrari, the Ferrari 512 BB, absolutely beautiful and pure sports car, the Maserati Granturismo, style and elegance. I’m sure you can see a common theme, but if I had to pick one car to live with forever it would have to be the Ferrari 288GTO. Beauty, elegance and performance in one package.

First bike:
Kawasaki ER6F

Dream bike:
Another Ducati 916, possibly an SPS or one of the Senna versions (in reality all of them).