Ferrari Club Member of the Month: March

My name is Achilles Katsougrakis, and I was born and raised in a small village out side of Sparta Greece. As a young kid, I used to spend countless hours with my Dad and my brother every summer watching the rally of the Acropolis that used to come thru our village until the wee hours of the morning. I loved cars from a very young age and I remember the very first time that picked up a car magazine. I looked and I read the word Ferrari. It stuck with me like glue, and couldn’t get it out of my head. Whenever I got car magazines and a picture of a Ferrari was inside, I would cut the pictures and post them on my wall.

We moved to NY in 1970,  and growing up as a teenager we got into all the muscle cars, because back then, exotic cars were very rare. As the years went on, once in a while I would see an exotic car on the road and I would marvel it. But whenever I came across a Ferrari, my heart would skip a beat. I had never had the pleasure of seating in one, never the less drive one. But my wish came true in 1984 when i was on my honeymoon in Maui. I happened to rent a a Ferrari which ended up being a 308 GTB. Needless to say I was in another world for 3 days, what a beautiful experience that was.

I spent my life working in the airline industry as an aircraft mechanic. My priorities were raising a family, putting 3 children thru school, sports and then college. My dream was put to the side… For my 63rd birthday, my wife gave me a gift certificate, to experience a day of driving 6 different exotic cars which also included a Ferrari F430 spider. God I could say I didn’t sleep that night because all I kept hearing was the exhaust of that beautiful machine. Finally in the summer of 2020, I retired a bit early due to the pandemic, but still stayed active until today with a part time job. Being diligent through out the years, I set some money aside for my little dream.

My dream finally came true in September of 2021. I found my perfect car through a friend, a 2008 F430 Spider with decent mileage and only 1 single owner. I drove 9 hours with my wife to see the car, and I fell in love the minute the owner opened the garage. I looked at my wife and said to her I am about to cheat on you with a red head. Her smile was priceless. Two weeks later, the spider was sitting in front of my house and I was in disbelief because I thought this day would never come. I feel humbled, but also privileged to own a masterpiece like that. To this day, every time I open the garage door I get butterflies in my stomach. When i’m in the drivers seat and press that red start button, my whole world goes blank and the only thing that I hear is that beautiful sound of those 480 horses sitting behind me. I am complete.