In The House of Stone and Light: Visiting Dutton Garage Part 2

We’ve all been there, those times when you’d stare into space imagining how you would fill your dream garage if given the chance to have any 3 cars regardless of cost. I don’t know about you but in mine, there are always 2 constants. The original Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (black please), and this car, the legendary Ferrari F40.

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For some, it’s hard to fathom why the F40 is the object of desire for legions of enthusiasts the World over. It’s no longer the fastest, nor the rarest, nor the most collectible. For others though, we know why. It’s Ferrari’s biggest F* you to all other competitors around the World, and that’s why the F40 is the mac daddy of all Fezzas. Its got beauty, its got purpose, its got heart and soul. So very flawed yet utterly perfect at the same time.

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And this is why my heart skips a beat, jumps into a happy dance and causes a grin to stretch across my entire face every single time i encounter an F40. Every single time.

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While my previous encounters with F40s were brief, this morning, things were different. This morning, i was able to take my time and savour every detail, every line, every vent. It was a good morning.

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Another unicorn was quietly sitting a few steps away, a car i never imagined i’d ever see in real life, the Lamborghini Diablo GTR.

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Take the already mental Diablo GT and strip it down even further, throw out the air conditioning, stereo, sound and heat-proofing. Slot in a single racing seat with a 6-point seatbelt harness, MOMO fire suppression system, a complete integrated roll cage and fixed Plexiglass windows with sliding sections. Then in true race-car fashion, tack on massive rear spoiler bolted directly to the chassis and finish off with pneumatic air jacks (for raising the car in the pit lane) and an emergency fuel shutoff switch on the left front fender.

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30 cars were planned while some say 40 were built, and an extra 40 chassis were prepared to replace cars wrecked in racing accidents. This is true limited edition.

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With a set of pipes like these, you don’t need any other aural stimuli.

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Across the hallway, sat this. A rather innocuous looking Maserati with a boxy shape that could only have been penned in the 80s. And what a shape it is. Those box arches, the extra beefy cladding, that Lamborghini-esque curve (it was designed by Marcello Gandini after all) in the rear wheel arch. There were reports of the Shamal being quite a handful on the roads due to its power and short wheelbase, but doesn’t it look cool. I love it.

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This here ladies and gentlemen is the last Maserati announced under the De Tomaso ownership era, the sublime (to me at least) Shamal. Another car that i’m seeing in person for the very first time. Which leads me to yet another childhood story of mine.

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Back in the 90s when this car was first launched for sale, the Singapore Motorshow was about to open its doors with a Shamal gracing the Italian marque’s stand and a much younger me, armed with a little snappy camera, was about to charge in to catch a glimpse of Maserati’s flagship.

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Alas, it was not to be as the car was no where in sight, i circled the grounds again and again, but it wasn’t there. A couple of days later, it was reported in the local news that the car (already sold apparently) crashed en route to the show and was hence removed from the show. I only ever got to see pictures of the Shamal ever since, until today. Here she is. How long has it been? 20-25 years? I think she’s aged much more gracefully than me.

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I’ll make my way, O gonna be such a beautiful day.
Come the day I awake the child inside, in the house of stone and light.
And when I go I will open my eyes, in the house of stone and light.

Vivere una bella vita!

For those wanting to give Dutton Garage a visit, here’s their website with full contact/location details!

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