It was 1985 when Nicholas Mee, the Sales manager at Newport Pagnell, called. "Michael, you remember that car you saw being built here for Mr. Solomons - it's now at the factory being prepared for sale. The condition is 'as new' and it will sell immediately it goes on sale. The problem is you live in Hong Kong...."
The flight left Hong Kong at 10pm that night and early the following morning I was at the doors of Newport Pagnell's service department. "I will only have to start it and you'll buy the car on the exhaust note alone", said Nicholas. He was right.
Now with 46,000 miles on the clock its condition remains virtually 'as new' and, after 35 years of ownership, is as exciting to drive as the day I bought it. It has covered all corners of Europe and Scandinavia, not to mention the UK, frequently on AMOC tours, and is regularly at Goodwood, Silverstone and Le Mans (where it saw 150mph on the Mulsanne Straight for the 40th anniversary of the 1959 victory).
The colour is a one-off from Ferrari called 'Blue Ribault', apparently chosen by Mr. Solomons to match another car in his stable, but it is the interior that is very special; eschewing the standard walnut dash, the facia is magnolia leather to match the trim with a roll-top in navy blue. This and other interior upgrades set the car apart from the standard specification.
The car has been the subject of several magazine articles and it has only ever been serviced by the factory. If there was ever a unique feature, the service book has been signed throughout the car's history by the same service manager. Now Andrew McCloskey has retire, do I hire him back just for the day to maintain the record?