Delta Dash 2015: No Experienced Required

Sometimes in life, a lack of perspective can be refreshing and rewarding. Such was the case for myself at the 34th annual Delta Dash held on January 31st. Months prior, I was excited to circle a date on my calendar and attend my first Pacific Northwest event as a newly minted member of the Ferrari Club of America. A long drive and brunch in an unfamiliar area seemed like a great ice breaker, and I was eager to exercise my membership.

A 6am start from Monterey took me into the Livery Shopping Center in downtown Danville. Cars of all eras started to gather one by one, then in pairs, until the parking lot was full of 65 plus prancing horses. Familiar faces and warm greetings from everyone made me feel right at home, but everybody seems to be happy around coffee and donuts. Ah- but of course there was the day ahead of us!

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Just before the drivers briefing I had mentioned to a member that I was looking for a passenger’s seat in exchange for navigation and stimulating conversation. To my surprise I quickly arranged a spot in a 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS owned by Jeff Abramson. Dressed in pale yellow paint, Pininfarina coachwork and sporting a 60° V12 engine, this rare roadster proved to be an excellent example. I knew I was in for a treat when Jeff shot up towards the front of the faster Group A.

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The three Weber 40DFI carburetors and Ansa exhaust notes rang through the hills and open spaces of Livermore. Jeff was an excellent driver, pushing the car near its limits during our spirited drive amongst a 550 Barchetta, 458 Speciale and a pair of 599 GTBs.  Typical Northern California Winter weather made it a perfect day for the top down and clear views of the wonderful landscape mapped out for us.

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After a stop in Antioch to pick up another dozen cars, we were off again towards the delta and the famous FCA water tower. Jeff being  my knowledgeable guide gave me many interesting facts about our backdrop and a couple of welcomed detours through the town of Iselton and Locke- the first and only US town to be built for the Chinese by the Chinese in 1915.

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Once we arrived to the tower, I was inspired by the crowds already there waiting to greet us and Jody Stewart. Members of the Sacramento chapter, and others, were more than welcoming and showed a great deal of Forza pride. It was at that moment I felt humility myself. Past Ferrari crest markings from years prior on the tower put into perspective the unanimity and concord I’ve come to know from events like Concorso Italiano and the Cavallino Classic. But this was more than that. Much more than having your car judged by your peers or being entertained at a cocktail party. Unison stemming from a fresh drive and the universal understanding of why we were all there made the moment; a selfless occasion that for 34 years marked the beginning of our year.

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For many members, a quick retreat over to brunch at the Grand Island Mansion would conclude the day. We were treated to cool drinks and warm conversation. Perennial committee members mingled with new and friendships strengthened from table to table. Fresh faced members, like myself, were presented to the group with cheers and a bottle of wine. Touching speeches by Frank Zuchi and Jody helped put our focus on this year’s National Meet in Monterey. I rode back to Danville in Tim Dermody’s  1984 308 GTS with, which was a featured  Motor Trend car in 2011 and pure V8 icing on the cake.

I’m looking forward to more events like this throughout the year and beyond thanks to the reception from long withstanding members, like yourself. Thank you and Forza Ferrari!

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