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Ferrari Owners Club » Highlights » SoCal » Event Highlights » OC Back Country Drive
OC Back Country Drive

Jul 21, 2013

Event actually took place July 21, 2012...

“Can we keep this map?  We want to come back, stop at the country store and drive these roads by ourselves.”  “I didn’t know it was so beautiful back here.  The country road covered with a canopy of trees makes for a beautiful drive.”  “It was a perfect day for a drive in the country.”  “Did he know there was going to be a car show back in Silverado Canyon for us to drive through?”  These were the words of the FOC members following their drive through the California, back country of Orange County. 

The land of the western United States can be dry and desolate in the summer months.  The rocks and brush covering the vast landscape don’t paint a very pretty picture at first.  However the shaded canyons that shelter the trickling stream beds, grow large and lush oak and olive trees; trees that frame a picture of a red Ferrari speeding down a winding country road, through a beautiful canyon landscape on a hot summer day.  This was the origin for the formation of the OC Ride and Lunch.   But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The FOC started out their day on a beautiful warm and sunny day, on the coast at the Newport Harbor Driver’s Club (NHDC) located on the border between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach just minutes from Newport Harbor.  The NHDC was the brainchild of our host, Garry Roberts, and was created as a place for people to rent a parking garage to safely store one or more of their exotic cars.  But the NHDC is much much more.  It is really a “man cave” because the facilities provide a comfortable automobile oriented library on the ground floor, and a mezzanine overlooking the stored cars below with a lounge, big screen TV and a kitchen, just like a real man cave should have. 

A European style breakfast of sweet rolls and coffee was served at the NHDC to start the day.  Garry replayed the qualifying for the German Grand Prix on his man cave big screen TV while the FOC members enjoyed the opportunity to meet, and to get to know each other.  We then met in the parking lot at 10:00 am just long enough to get some event instructions and fire up our car’s engines. 

There were some interesting cars on the event.  John Akins brought his beautiful burgundy 456, Lisa Taylor brought her uniquely painted plum colored California,   Paul and Sandy Evans drove their rose metallic colored 308 GT,  Robert De Pietro and Wende drove his silver 365 GTC,  Joel Shukovsky brought his silver 355 Spyder, Dan and Dona Casson drove their beautiful deep blue 550 Maranello, Todd Iwata drove his bright red 360 Spyder and Harry Gresten brought his red/black 360.  Add to that a Porsche, a BMW and a Mercedes and you have a good picture of the event cars.

I led the group out into the Orange County back country.  We traveled on roads with names like Santiago Canyon Road, Silverado Canyon Road, Modjesca Canyon Road and Live Oak Canyon Road.  These led us over to Antonio Parkway and down to the famous Ortega Highway, which in turn dropped us off at Family Classic Cars in San Juan Capistrano. 

Much to our surprise there was a car show of about 60 cars on Silverado Canyon Road.  We were amazed to see hot rods, gassers, dragsters and classics lined up along both sides of the narrow two lane country road.  I counted at least 10 Willys gassers. Since Silverado Canyon Road dead ends in a state wildlife park, we got to observe the show cars twice, once driving in and once driving out of the canyon.  I believe by the looks on their owner’s faces they were equally surprised and pleased to have the opportunity to see our lineup of Ferraris.

Lunch was waiting for us when we arrived at Family Classic Cars.  I had ordered Italian sub sandwiches, along with potato and Italian pasta salads.  My wife Jackie was thoughtful enough to make some scrumptious brownies for us, and Family Classics was kind enough to provide all the cold drinks we could drink.  We were met by Family Classics owner Mark Spizzirry; Customer Service, Jessica Garcia and her daughter Jessie; and Sales Manager, Lou Leto.  Family Classics buys and sells antique, exotic and classic cars as well as stores, repairs and restores them for customers.  It’s a full service operation.  You should check them out.

Following lunch, the FOC members began checking out the Family Classic machinery.  Actually, some of the members were so interested in the cars that they began checking out the machinery before they sat down for lunch.  Isn’t that just like a bunch of “car crazy” guys.


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