This year we decided to include a report on Open day from a third party - Mr Keith Bluemel who is both a Ferrari expert/historian and celebrated author:
Glorious sunshine, fine food and a plethora of Ferraris in rural Kent, a most enjoyable way to pass the day, that was essentially the story of Barkaways Open Day 2019. Actually there was much more besides to entertain young and old alike, including live music. The promise of fine weather for the weekend saw Barkaways receive a flurry of last minute requests, such that due to parking accommodation logistics they regrettably had to say sorry to a number of would-be visitors.
By mid morning the main parking area was jammed with Ferraris, and they had to implement the overflow area, as visitors continued to arrive. It certainly was the best attendance they had had, both in terms of numbers of visitors and also in the number of Ferraris that turned up, including a surprising number of Dinos, a 365 GT4BB, a pair each of 512 BBs and F40s, along with a nice selection of other fine cars. These included an Australian registered Aston Martin DB5 Short Chassis Volante, together with a pair of the new Vantage model, a pale blue Lamborghini Miura, a Gallardo Superleggera and a Huracan. Whilst, with Barkaways not being precious, they invited the well known Kent independent Porsche specialist, Paragon, to the gathering, who brought a colourful display of different generation RS models, which were displayed adjacent to the main workshop, opposite which was a selection of their own current sales inventory, which included a Dino 246 GT, a 512 BB and a 430 Scuderia. Within the main workshop the cars on display included a GTO (288), a pair of F40s and a Bugatti T35, which was started up after the lunch break, providing a different take on the live music entertainment.
As part of the gathering, Ian Barkaway and members of the team always give a brief synopsis of their projects and activities over the past year, and new things either in motion, or projects in the pipeline. Actually the former was quite literally the case, as they have taken on a race preparation and track support role for the 328 GTB driven by Chris Butler in the Pirelli Ferrari Formula Classic Series. In the case of the latter, in and around the body shop were three bare shells in the early stages of restoration, a 195 Inter Ghia, chassis #0113 S, a 250 GT Lusso, chassis #5469 GT, and a Dino 246 GTS. The 195 Inter Ghia was interesting in that it has, what are understood to be period modifications, to the front of the car and to the rear screen shape and size, which they are still trying to ascertain the exact provenance of.
The presentation closed with the unveiling of their most recent restoration project, a Dino 206 GT, chassis #00204, which had been bought in Venice as a “basket case” by the owner, and entrusted to Barkaways to return it to its former glory and original colour combination, overseen by Dino guru Matthias Bartz. It certainly wowed the gathered masses when it was driven in, a supremely elegant study in its original pale gold paintwork, black vinyl seats with grey towelling cloth centres and grey carpets, wearing an appropriate licence plate – HOT 206!