With a big grin on his face, Scotty flipped the
trooper a bird. The trooper just stared at us.
Fearful of the consequences if we got
caught, I raced to the next exit and returned
to the dealership on backstreets. I parked the
Ferrari, tossed Scotty his keys and disavowed
any knowledge of being the driver. My heart
raced with my very first taste of driving a
Denise McCluggage and S/N 09437
Fast forward to the summer of 1989 in
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I had been selling at
Shelton Ferrari for three years. I teamed up
with my old friend Paul Kent to sell a pale
yellow alloy body 275 GTS/4 NART Spyder
S/N 09437 to a buyer from Germany. In 1968,
S/N 09437 was driven by Steve McQueen in
the film “The Thomas Crown Affair”. It was
painted metallic burgundy for the movie then
restored to its original color (Giallo Solare) in
1985 during a ground-up restoration at Shelton
Ferrari for the new owner.
On a Saturday morning shortly before the car
scheduled to be shipped to Germany, Denise
McCluggage visited Shelton. She wanted to
spend some time with the car before it went
to Europe. She feared she would never see it
again. She and Pinkie Rollo had driven it to a
2nd in class finish at the Sebring 12 Hour in
I opened the door and she slid behind the
wheel like she was greeting an old friend. From
the look on her face, I knew she was recalling
those memorable days at the track 12 years
earlier. She shared some funny stories about
the race weekend.
When she climbed out of the car, she asked
me to open the trunk and remove the cover
over the spare. On the black underside of
the wooden cover, one could still make out
chalk marked numbers. Tears rolled down her
cheeks as she explained that Luigi Chinetti,
the owner of the North American Racing Team,
had forgotten to bring a pit board for the girls.
As a substitute, he used the painted underside
of the cover as their pit board.
Denise passed away May 6, 2015, at 88
years old. Rumor has it, she requested her
ashes be put in an oil can and shelved in
Jay Leno’s garage. Rest in peace, Denise
Men In Black
A gentleman from the Netherlands bought
a used Mondial Cabriolet from me over the
phone. He sent me the deposit and scheduled
a day he would come to the dealership to pay
the balance due. As scheduled, he arrived,
examined the Mondial and we test drove it.
Satisfied with his purchase, he sat down at my
desk to pay me. Then it got really interesting.
He reached into his bag and pulled out
stacks of American Express Travelers Checks.
For those of you too young to remember,
traveler’s checks could be purchased like a
money order at American Express offices and
he had to sign each one of them. As he still
owed me $55,000 and each check was for