Ferrari 330 GT
Ferrari 330 GT posing at Lake Titicaca, largest lake in South America, 3800m above sea level.

When I got back I looked at all this paperwork and saw that there were twelve or thirteen Mercedes in this rally and six or seven of them were 280SLs. I didn’t like that at all.

2001 Ferrari

Alastair decides against taking his Mercedes to the Inca Trail rally when he discovers that several are already entered.

I was going to do a rally called the Inca Trail which was an enormous journey across South America from the top right to the bottom and back to Rio. I needed a navigator to share the costs so I talked to the organisers and they came up with a gentleman to accompany me and we chose to take the 280SL: the Tart’s car.
Meanwhile I’d decided to go to India and buy a 500cc Royal Enfield motorcycle and ride it back to England. While I was doing this I wasn’t paying much attention at all the regulations of the Inca Trail. They were sending paperwork but I wasn’t responding because I was away and busy.

When I got back I looked at all this paperwork and saw that there were twelve or thirteen Mercedes in this rally and six or seven of them were 280SLs. I didn’t like that at all. My Rolls Royce Silver Cloud seemed like the best option but when I asked my navigator, quick as a flash he said: ‘Wouldn’t that be rather hard on fuel old chap?’ He was down to pay half for this trip so had a say on what we drove. I hadn’t thought of the price of fuel as significant compared to the cost of the rally overall. The difference between the two vehicles was minor compared to entry fees and running costs. So I said: ‘How about a Ferrari?’ He said it sounded like an excellent idea. This made me chuckle to myself because if you’re driving past a petrol station with a Ferrari you’ll feel a tug on the steering because it’s so well trained to stop at every single one it sees. I know Ferraris: a) they are horrible to drive and b) you can’t go anywhere without them breaking down.

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