Bruschetta e Berlinettas

‘Please come in your most interesting car’ was on the invitation from Martin Emmison, to an informal lunch at Tyringham Hall near Newport Pagnell to celebrate (in some style) the joys of ‘interesting’ car ownership in general, and the Ferrari V12 in particular.

Martin, a partner in City law firm Goodman Derrick who organised the occasion, explained his love of Italian cars, rooted deeply in his teenage years. At the first motor race he ever attended, the Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch in 1962, he watched Carlo Abate effortlessly drifting the Scuderia Serenissima Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan' through Clearways bend on a typically English wet summer’s day. Despite the weather, the name, the car, the sound and the style made a lasting impression on him. As he says, "How exotic was that?!"

Martin has owned several V12 Ferraris, including a 275 GTB. Six of this glorious model were at the event, including a delicious silver 275 GTB/4 brought by Ferrari's Technical Director, Ross Brawn. Martin deals increasingly with the legal side of deals and disputes as to significant collectors’ cars, which now constitutes three quarters of his practice.

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People have asked him: "Why do you need a lawyer when buying or selling an expensive car?" His reply is a simple one. "If you went to an estate agent and agreed to buy a house they were selling for a million pounds, would you open your cheque book and write a cheque to the estate agent?"

"If you are spending a million pounds on a car and you slip up by paying money to the wrong person; or it belongs to a leasing company; or it’s mortgaged to the hilt; or you buy a car which turns out to be fake; or there are two cars of the same chassis number …you have made a VERY expensive mistake. My job is to help clients to get the deal done and to avoid the big mistakes."

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It was a message delivered in an amusingly casual yet professional style (as English as the accompanying machinery was quintessentially Italian) to the pre-lunch audience assembled by invitation only to the immaculate house and grounds at Tyringham, close to Newport Pagnell.

Needless to say, Aston Martin were well-represented, with a delightful Graber-bodied DB2 drophead, a DB4 and a DB6 Volante, while Aubrey Finburgh brought along the family’s fantastic C-Type Jaguar (for which the phrase ’patination’ was surely created?) and Michael and Jena Quinn their E-Type.

Paul Grist brought his very rare Alfa Romeo TZ2. There was an Iso Grifo, two AC Cobras, a Frazer-Nash Mille Miglia, and John Bentley’s marvellous pre-war ‘Blower’ Bentley, which dwarfed the tiny Fiat 500 parked on the other side of the gates. Will Stone of Gregor Fisken brought an ex-Ford France Ford GT40, and there was much more, including Anthony and Lorna Hussey in their famous pistachio green Lancia Aurelia Spyder, it keeping good company parked next to Keith Bowley’s dark blue Lancia Aurelia B20 (a car first owned by Simon Kidston’s father).

But it was the Berlinettas that gave their name to the meeting, as well as providing the backdrop for the pictures you see here. Six 275 GTBs is pretty good going, but when you add in three 250 GT SWBs, a couple of 250 GT Lussos, 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytonas’ and several others, it becomes an event of note. Not to mention the Ferrari Enzo courtesy of Nick Mason, and the stunning 612 Scaglietti brought by Tony Willis, Ferrari GB’s Classiche liaison contact with the factory).

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Thanks to the generosity of Anton Bilton, owner of this magnificent house, Martin and the Goodman Derrick team had arranged for the ex-Bardinon 1964 Ferrari 330P (brought by Terry Hoyle) to be centre stage on the Lutyens-designed garden terrace. It was flanked at either end by two SWBs, one owned by Anton and the other being Clive Beecham’s famous Rob Walker car in which Stirling Moss won the Tourist Trophy at Goodwood in 1961. The perfect backdrop for coffee on the lawn after lunch on a glorious Indian summer’s afternoon.

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As the cars started drifting away, down the drive, through the gates and over the hump-backed bridge towards home, the air crackled with the delicious interplay of induction, cams and exhausts that only V12 Ferraris can create. A wonderful day out.

GOODMAN DERRICK LLP is an established London law firm with a broadly based commercial practice, representing both UK and international clients. The firm has twenty one partners and a total complement of 80 staff including over thirty five practising lawyers. The firm has an acknowledged expertise in the areas of media law, corporate & commercial law, litigation, property, employment and private client matters.

Editor's Note: With grateful thanks to the owner of the yellow Ferrari 275 GTB, an early shortnose 'outside fuel filler' model, who most generously made the car available to your writer in order to arrive in a 'most interesting car'.

An arrangement kindly organised by Simon Kidston of Kidston S.A.. Driving impressions of this wonderful machine will follow in weeks to come.

90 Fetter Lane

Tel: +44 (0)20 7404 0606
Fax: +44 (0)20 7831 6407
Email: [email protected]

Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: GOODMAN DERRICK - Strictly Copyright

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