Fast and furious: Ferrari club bares its class in Snowmass
If you’ve ever watched “Top Gear” on the History channel, you know that when it comes to three guys venturing down the country’s open roads to uncover the past, present and future of everything in American car culture, it’s all about going big. On Sept. 12, members of the Ferrari Club of America Rocky Mountain Region will do just that, as they embark on a “Fall Foliage Tour” from Denver to Snowmass via Independence Pass.
Showing off 37 of Ferrari’s most current models — and in addition a Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley and, if we’re lucky, a Maserati for good tastes — drivers will take off from Denver at 10 a.m., stop for lunch in Buena Vista and tail one another up and over Independence just around 3 p.m. for one of the most colorful, shiny and expensive soirees on four wheels to ever grace our winding mountain roads.
An active member of the Ferrari club since 2003, lover of all things cars and lead coordinator of the group’s first ever trip through Independence and Snowmass, I spoke with club Vice President Ryan Sabga about his experiences driving the cars so often associated with speed, luxury and wealth, the car to look out for in the pack, and his overall expectations for a weekend of cars, balloons and wine.
Snowmass Sun: When and how did you develop an interest for Ferraris? How many and what models do you own today?
Ryan Sabga: My passion for cars in general goes back to when I was probably 9 years old, and from there developed into a greater interest as a teenager when I worked at a Porsche dealership as a lot boy. Shortly thereafter I bought my first Ferrari — a used 1997 F355 Burlinetta — and ever since you could say I’ve been hooked. Today I currently own two Ferraris: a 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytona and a 1990 F40.
SS: How long has the Ferrari Club of America been around? How has the culture and manufacturing of Ferrari evolved over the years?
RS: The club easily dates back to the late 60s and early 70s. Today we have thousands of members in 16 active regions across North America and 200 in my region, which includes Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico. The manufacturing has changed significantly over the years as Ferrari has transformed itself to become one of the most profitable sports car manufacturers in the world. It used to be all the cars were hand-built with manual transmissions, but in today’s world the cars are all automatic, paddle-shift dual-clutch speed machines that anyone can drive.
SS: What models can bystanders expect to see in the mix? In your opinion, which car is the most anticipated? Can you tell us which car you will be driving?
RS: There will surely be a couple classics in the mix, like the Testarossa and a couple 308s and 328s. Other than that, the most special cars people can expect to see will be a 599 GTB Fernando Alonso Edition (1 of 40 in the world), and a 430 Scuderia, a limited edition near race version of Ferrari’s best selling 430. The only thing I can tell you about the car I will be driving on the tour is that it won’t be one that I own.
SS: How did you go about planning the tour to Snowmass? Are members excited for this year’s route?
RS: Each year, the route of the “Fall Foliage Tour” changes. Collectively we have never driven through Snowmass before, nonetheless over Independence Pass. I thought it was a great route from the beginning, and it proved to be when every spot on the tour was booked within 10 days of being posted.
SS: Aside from driving, what will your weekend entail? What are you looking forward to most?
RS: When we plan the tour we often look for a destination that offers a variety of activities, especially with such a diverse group of people. We are very excited to arrive in Snowmass the same weekend as the Wine and Balloon (festivals), and are appreciative of the town for the opportunity to be a part of it. Every driver will have a co-pilot — most often a wife or significant other — and all of us look forward to a fun, memorable weekend.
If you have a local color or Snowmass business story you’d like to share, email Amanda Charles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Melville family didn’t distance themselves from ownership of a local mountainside chalet for too long.