Column: “A friendly favor with the Maserati Indy”
Did I ever tell you that I’m an ‘Italofile’? Well, I have now. I try to prove this to myself by visiting the Promised Land as much as possible. Nowadays, that’s two or three times a year max, but that used to be different. There was a time when I’d take my car and drive to Italy for a special valve cap, if you know what I mean. There was always someone owning a lease-car which needed to be test-driven. That is also why I, and my travel companions at the time, were approached by a successful (Dutch) businessman. This man had recently, just because he felt like it, bought a special Maserati. This specific Maserati needed to be collected in Padova. If we were in for that? We were – as a matter of speaking – already on our way… It appeared to be an Indy. Our mission was to evaluate the Maser on the spot and, when approved, trade it for a big envelope filled with cash.
The weather in Padova was dramatically bad. After an entire night of driving and having dealt with buckets of water, well, let’s just say that ‘we were exhausted’ doesn’t even come close. The guy offering the car was a real rip-off. The brown Indy 4.700 was so shiny that we could immediately tell that it had been sprayed very recently and we were nowhere near to being able to judge what was underneath that (way too) thick layer of paintwork. The beige interior gave us the impression that the car had had a tough life. Well, what to do? Had it been our own pennies, we most probably hadn’t bothered. But hey, our businessman wasn’t exactly short on money and the value of such classic cars was growing at the time.
So we decided to take it and that same night, the Maser was already showing its shiny paintwork in front of a groovy discotheque near Milan. We enjoyed the high life there, that night, and ended up in our beds pretty late. The next morning, then, when we wanted to leave early back to the Netherlands, it appeared that all the tires of all the cars on the parking lot at the hotel had been stabbed, about 25 of them. What a farce! However, the Italian boys did seem to admire the Indy, as it was the only car with all of its wheels still in shape.
The journey back home was especially memorable because of the many fuel stops and the enormous oil consumption of the Indy. I think we may have needed to put in a few extra liters in order to keep the delicate mechanics functioning. Other than that, let there be no doubt, we gave the Indy V8 the full beans. This resulted in an everlasting concerto of truly orgasmic sounds ànd… many raised thumbs! The lease-car accompanying us didn’t see us again after we had passed Basel.
Tired but satisfied, we parked the car in front of a garage near Amsterdam on the Sunday late afternoon. Mission completed. A while later, we heard that literally no gasket had survived the journey. Perhaps for the best. When revising such an engine block, it all needs to be thrown away anyway.