Hollywood. Tinseltown. Home of A-listers and A-Type personalities, not to mention the latest, greatest machines from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati et al parked in front of the latest, greatest clubs and restaurants. It’s a city to see and be seen in…unless you simply love cars for their own sake.
That’s Spike Feresten all over. The guy’s emphatically A-Type visible—a show-biz dynamo, once a scriptwriter for Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman and Seinfeld, now producer and host of his self-created television series Car Matchmaker on the Esquire Network. In short, Spike, pinned with the nickname for the way his hair looked as a rookie writer, is a lively match for an always energizing Ferrari.
But what’s this? Rather than a bright-red 458 or F12, Feresten’s Ferrari is silver. It’s also 43 years old. This clearly isn’t a Prancing Horse to be seen in; this 1972 365 GTC/4 is meant to be driven.
IT’S SEVEN IN THE MORNING when I arrive at Feresten’s home, ready to shoot pictures. His wife Erika and young sons Jack and James have Saturday plans, so before they get away we grab a group shot of all with the family’s four—four seats, four cams, four previous owners. Minutes later Feresten and I are in his Ferrari, leaving in its mirrors the city’s tony Westside enclave that had housed car kings Steve McQueen and James Garner. Hey, this is L.A., and welcome to it!
After stopping for coffee and a mobile call to Car Matchmaker’s crew that we’re “there in twenty”—it’s the weekend, but still a show workday—we’re back into the C4 with what Spike calls his “Seventies cassette,” the correct Becker Mexico blasting Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” It’s all appropriately trippy, but soon we turn down the volume to hear the sweet song of Gioacchino Colombo’s own 320-hp 4.4-liter V12, with its six side-draft 38DCOE Webers and C4-spec heads and valves. It’s a vintage analog cure to today’s busy digital lives.
“It’s an emotional car,” says Feresten, running through the five-speed gearbox after a break in traffic. “I drive it as much as I can. I drive it to work. I take it on errands, the grocery store, occasionally dropping the kids off at school.”