Nick Mason talks about his Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari GTO 250
Ferrari GTO 250 loaned to the National Motor Museum for the B100 Annual Dinner

To liberate a line from Mrs Merton –

“what is it, Nick, that most attracts you about this fifty million dollar motor car?”

And my answer is –

“Exclusivity and appreciating value are inevitably an attraction in a car, but generally as a means of justifying the ownership to non-believers, rather than supplying any of the real pleasure of stewardship.

I’m always uneasy about saying I have a favourite car. It’s far more diplomatic to say they’re all equally important. However, if I’m forced to commit myself, the 250GTO has more of the qualities that are an essential part of a great car than any other I’ve come across…

If its not art its at least very fine craft. Like a Stradivarius, or a Fender Strat, it combines beautiful form with the ability to do it’s job to perfection.

Ferrari GTO 250
Ferrari GTO 250

And when you finally sit in the cockpit, the view over the curved bonnet knocks most landscapes into a cocked hat.

Turn the engine and the sound matches the view: the classic V-12 configuration and the snap exhausts make all the proper noises.

When you move off there’s a nicely matched combination of disc brakes and a beautifully balanced suspension with sufficient power to give you the thrill of a competition car without the heart-stopping terror generated by something producing 900 bhp. The GTO has a Clark Kent-like capacity to metamorphose into a supercar, but is still well-mannered and forgiving, allowing an amateur driver to get much closer to what a pro driver can achieve with it.

I’ve done rallies, races, school runs, church wedding trips (both daughters) and there’s space for some luggage. It doesn’t overheat and I’ve yet to meet a professional driver who hasn’t been charmed by it.”

Nick Mason

Note from Blog Editor: Thank you Nick for providing this write up – and for loaning us your wonderful car for the B100 Dinner in 2014.

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