Max Always Wears His Driver’s Suit!

I’ve known Maxime Morandi for a least a decade.  He lives in Paris with his girlfriend, Laurence, and is a certified Ferrari freak, just buying another car, a 512TR, to go with his current F355.

Max writes; (and I’ve changed very little of this)

I bought the car from, Philippe, who runs what used to be a Ferrari dealership. Now he is just an independent workshop because working with the Factory was too much of a hassle. He has been repairing Ferraris for 33 years and the man is excellent at what he does! He has a small shop but there were some nice cars there. Among the nicest : an Enzo, an F40, a 250 SWB, a 250 LM … He is located right next to Clermont Ferrand, in Auvergne (pretty much in the middle of the country which means in the middle of nowhere!). He has bought that TR from a Swiss dude. It’s a one owner, 20.000 Kms car. Since it is a 20 year old car, most sellers would have simply cashed in my check, eventually they would have replaced the belts, and that would have been it. But with the maniac I bought it from, no way. Here is what was done to the car, without even me asking : 

  • – Engine taken out, belts changed, all oil and fluids changed, new clutch, gear box checked for potential gear replacement.
  • – In the differential, early TRs like mine have a part that usually breaks around 40.000 kms because it is 2 pieces welded together instead of one simply molded like on later models. Philippe got one of those custom made.
  • – The wheels got entirely scraped and repainted.
  • – The driver leather seat got worked on to look like new
  • – The car was sent to a body shop to get a ding and a scratch taken care of.
  • – The tires and the windshield are brand new.
  • – All the plastic parts inside the cockpit were sent to the USA to have the plastic (which tend to not age so well) redone.
  • – The seat was lowered a bit so my head doesn’t get into the ceiling as much.
  • – An alarm system was put in.
  • – All the paper work taken care of.
  • – A philippe 15.000 kms / 5 year warranty (on a 20 year old car!) 

The first time we met, Philippe noticed I was showing some interest in how the car worked and he offered that I come spend a couple of days with him to work on it as the engine was taken out. So I did !!! That was I great experience and I went along really well with his mechanic while learning lots of interesting things. It was great!

To drive, the car is very different from the 355. Big fat 12 cylinder engine so loads of torque, 5 speed gearbox, no electronics at all (no power steering, no ABS, no nothing) . . . I love it !!!

Ok, that’s all for now,



I have asked Max to do some regular reporting on the sports car scene in Europe and you will see him featured here from time to time.  As well, let me know if you are headed to Paris and are into cars, food and wine, as Max is always eager to fill you in on the places only Parisians know.  Happy to hook you up!


Happy motoring,


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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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