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My piece of Enzo

6 months ago

not bookmarked

Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

14 August 2023

Enzo Ferrari died 35 years ago today. I never met the bloke, though you can read a wonderful piece written by Mel Nichols who most certainly did right here.

But I do have something of his, a single word no less, written underneath a photograph in a book and I think the story of how it got there gives some insight into the character of the man.

My piece of Enzo

My father was not one of Ferrari’s best customers, largely because he couldn’t afford to be. Over a period of ten years prior to the event in question, he’d had a 246 GT which had to be sold almost immediately in the crash of 1973, a 308 GT4 and a 308 GTB. But he knew a man called Shaun Bealey who ran the UK Ferrari import business under the famous Colonel Ronnie Hoare. So on one trip to Maranello, my father asked Shaun if he could ask Ferrari to write a small dedication on the inside of his memoir ‘My Terrible Joys’.

My piece of Enzo

Unfortunately Shaun found the Old Man ‘in one of his moods’ and at first he refused to sign it because it was an English translation. He did finally relent and deigned to write his name under his photograph in one of his trademark mauve felt-tip pens. As Shaun said in the letter with which he returned the book to my father, ‘I am afraid to say the whole thing seems ridiculously pedantic and I am sorry I was not more successful.’

My piece of Enzo

What greater success might have looked like Shaun did not say, nor did my father care. What mattered was that he had the signature of the creator of some of the greatest road and racing cars that the world has ever seen. It’s what matters to me too now the book has been handed down: and to see that mauve ink today, 40 years since it was written, 35 since its author passed away still makes me shiver to this day.

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