Motoring

Forget the gusheshe! A Ferrari from the 80s is the real retro win

A Ferrari 328 GTS was the main attraction at the annual Concours SA show

26 August 2018 - 00:07 By Brenwin Naidu
Zia and Glenn Wort in front of her winning 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS.
Zia and Glenn Wort in front of her winning 1989 Ferrari 328 GTS.
Image: Supplied

This year's instalment of the annual Concours SA show attracted its fair share of hot retro metal. Unlike in previous years, when the Sun City resort hosted the event, Steyn City in Johannesburg's Fourways was chosen as the venue. And some of the rarest, most covetable and immaculate classics paraded on the estate's well-maintained lawns.

Among the wares in attendance, it seems that the offerings wearing the Prancing Horse emblem seem to have taken pride of place - we spotted more Ferrari models than any other brands. And a Ferrari took top honours, clinching the overall Best in Show title.

Owner Zia Wort gave us the lowdown on the story behind her unique slice of Maranello.

Tell us the unabridged story behind your 2018 Best in Show-winning car?

In February 2007 I took my Ferrari 308 GTS to Rosso Sport Auto for a service and spotted this magnificent 1989 328 GTS that was also in for a service and belt change. The car was in pristine condition and had ridiculously low mileage - only 9,000km.

I asked Rosso to make enquiries with the original owner to see if he would consider selling. Needless to say, I was thrilled when he agreed, and I was able to drive the 328 GTS home instead of my 308.

I decided to do everything possible to preserve the originality and condition of the Ferrari, and to keep this on the car for as long as possible

In my opinion, the 328 GTS is far more refined and a better drive than the 308. To me this 328 was a rare and fortunate find as there were only 292 right-hand drive, ABS 328 GTS Ferraris built.

The car still had the factory-applied protective film on the door sills, as well as on the protective plate on the centre console. I decided to do everything possible to preserve the originality and condition of the Ferrari, and to keep this on the car for as long as possible.

I also decided to be very selective on when, and how often, I would use the car. The Ferrari needs constant attention. Time is the enemy of just about everything, but I take into consideration that everything I do must always maintain the car's originality and condition.

Talk us through the (surely exhaustive) process of getting it prepared for the event?

My husband and I started entering Concours about 20 years ago with MGs. This prepared me for entering my Ferraris for SEFAC Concourse, which we've done for about 10 years. Every year I try to improve on the cleanliness and condition of my cars.

This year we started preparing the 328 GTS for SEFAC Showday which took place in May, after which an extensive preparation continued for Concours SA. Basically, the wheels, brake discs and fender liners are removed by my husband and are thoroughly cleaned.

This process also allows for better access to clean the suspension and engine. I give special attention to the interior, body, glass, tool kits, wheels, and anything else that might require it.

This year I went the extra mile and removed the protective film on the door sills and centre console. Once I'm satisfied that the results live up to the required standards, I treat myself to a pedicure!

Recount some of the best experiences you have enjoyed with the car during your ownership?

Undoubtedly one of the best experiences in my 328 was being invited to participate in the Ferrari 60th Anniversary Relay that took place in June 2007. This relay took place across five continents, and finished in Marinello, Italy.

I'll never forget the sounds and the sight of the Ferrari convoy as we were escorted over Mandela bridge and through the city by the very competent Metro police.

Ferraris on show at this year's Concours SA held at Steyn City.
Ferraris on show at this year's Concours SA held at Steyn City.
Image: Supplied

My other favourite experience in the 328 was being invited to take part in the first Top Gear Festival held at Kyalami, and where we were able to do many laps around the circuit. Tick that one off my bucket list!

Were there any comments from "haters" on the sidelines after your awesome victory?

None that I am aware of, but obviously everyone has their own opinion on everything. No participant or any person involved with Concours SA can doubt the professionalism, expertise and collective knowledge of the very impressive panel of judges. I can only congratulate the organisers, participants, judges, sponsors and everyone involved with making this a truly spectacular event.

What else are we going to find in your garage?

My 328 GTS shares our garage with my drop-dead gorgeous Ferrari 355 F1 Berlinetta, Porsche Boxster, Porsche 911T, MG TF, my husband's Morgan Roadster and his classic MG collection. There are also two 1958 Matchless 500 motorbikes.

How does Zia Wort pass her time when she is not out scooping up impressive awards at concourse events?

I have rather a hectic life with managing my business and taking care of my lovely husband and son. My 18-year-old son has his SA Colours for fencing, and I've been running a small fencing club for the past few years.

I'm also on the Benoni Eisteddfod committee, and am currently in the middle of the 2018 season. I have a love for all things art and that is why I appreciate the beauty and passion that is Ferrari. "Passione" all the way!

I'm currently doing a ground-up restoration of a 1970 Series 2 E-Type Jaguar that I have owned for the past 10 years

Any other cars you are eyeing for your collection?

I'm currently doing a ground-up restoration of a 1970 Series 2 E-Type Jaguar that I have owned for the past 10 years.

What was your first car?

My first car was a little Mazda 323 Sport that my dad had to sign for, as I was too young to finance.

What serves as your daily drive?

I either drive my Jaguar XF or my husband's trusty workhorse, the Toyota Hilux double cab.

Your dream drive would be in what, listening to, while wearing and headed where?

In an Aston Martin DB 4 GT Zagato listening to the symphonious sounds of its engine, as it won't have a music system, wearing a silk dress by Italian designer Consuelo Castiglioni, and headed towards the Concorso d' Eleganza Villa d'Este on a lakeside road built by the Romans.


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