OWNING A FERRARI was never on my radar,” says Tom Welsh of West Chester, Pennsylvania. “To me, they were cars I only read about in magazines.”
That was before Welsh and wife Sylvia spotted this 1972 365 GTC/4 (s/n 15319) at the Franklin Mint Antique Festival in 1996. At the time, part of the weekend’s activities was a Kruse Auction.
“Arriving late in the day with my wife, I couldn’t help but take notice of a red Ferrari sitting in the retention parking lot,” Welsh recalls. “When we walked up to it, I spotted the keys in the ignition. I was interested in seeing what the mythical Ferrari engine looked like but didn’t know how to open the hood, so I figured that at least I could hear what it sounded like. I slid in, turned the key, and it started with that terrific 12-cylinder blast.”
The maneuver drew the attention of an auction worker, who asked if the owner knew Welsh was in the car. At a loss for a reasonable explanation, he replied, “I was thinking of buying it.”
After a quick look under the hood, the Welshes went on their merry way to enjoy the rest of the show. On their departure, they decided to take one last look at the Ferrari. When they did so, they were spotted by the owner—a dealer who had five vehicles that didn’t sell at auction that day. The dealer needed to lighten his load, so he made them an incredibly reasonable offer.
Welsh’s immediate thought was, “This is my opportunity to own and drive a V12 Ferrari.” After a quick consultation with his wife, Tom accepted the offer. The dealer accepted a temporary check and presented a euphoric Welsh with the keys.