A Car's 'Rocky' Road To Fame And Fortune

Posted: February 04, 1990

Although he's not in the movie, Steve Balen figures he might make "10 to 15 Gs" off the filming of Rocky V, now being shot in the Philadelphia area.

Balen, who lives in Devon, lent his shiny red Ferrari 308 GTS-I to the movie-makers. Its appearance in the film will increase the car's value, he said.

Tim Holt, the president of a car emporium in Pennsauken, N.J., who was partly responsible for getting his friend's Ferrari into the movie, backed up Balen's theory. Cars with the celebrity touch, he said, "definitely have more intrinsic value. The car with the history makes the money."

Balen and Holt dropped off the Italian sports car Jan. 23 at a Gladwyne estate where the Rocky V production crew was filming. They left the car with crew members about a quarter-mile from the film location, which was off-limits to the public. But they were told that the car was to be used in an auction scene.

Balen's 1982 Ferrari has a "pretty good" chance of appearing in film, said publicist Dave Fulton in an interview.

Fulton and the production crew are being deceptive about the film's plot, Balen said. Fulton would not confirm Balen's and Holt's information that the Rocky Balboa character had a cash-flow problem and was auctioning off some assets at the estate.

He confirmed, however, that a one-day shoot took place in Gladwyne on Jan. 23 and that Balen's car was among those borrowed for filming.

What is generally known of the movie's plot is that Rocky Balboa is pressed for cash and is staging a final comeback. Sylvester Stallone, who plays the mythical South Philly pugilist, has said the film is a "kind of Joe Louis story" in which Rocky has gone from "rags to riches to rags again."

"This is exciting for me because I'm just an average guy," said Balen, a 32-year-old stockbroker. "It's neat to get a little attention with the movie."

Balen had little to do with his car being used in the film. The idea came about three weeks ago when a man who provides cars to film companies went to Holt's dealership to get a red Porsche for Rocky V.

Holt said the man scrapped the Porsche idea when he set his eyes on a Ferrari with its prancing-stallion logo.

Luckily for Balen, that Ferrari had just been sold, and Holt suggested that Balen's car, which was at the dealership for service, would be perfect for the film.

"All of a sudden, they saw my car, and they realized that was the Italian Stallion," Balen said.

"There is something about it; the way it looks and feels," he said of his Ferrari with a removable roof and tan interior.

The car, which Balen said was worth about $75,000, was insured by Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer and returned intact on Thursday. Balen didn't get paid for the use of his car.

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