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Wallace Wyss

Volume 43 Issue 13

Jun 23, 2018

An Illinois man who is in the car equipment business stunned the Ferrari world by buying a Ferrari.

    An Illinois man who is in the car equipment business stunned the Ferrari world by buying a Ferrari.

    Not an ordinary Ferrari, not even a LaFerrari or some other million dollar model.

    No, he bought one of the 36 250 GTOs made, “at a price reported by some media as close to $70 million.”

    The 53-year old man is the founder of a company called WeatherTech. Based in Illinois, he also has support locations in Downers Grove, Ill., where product development, tooling and marketing functions take place along with a sales and warehousing facility in Parma, Italy.

    He likes to promote American products. According to a profile on him in a local newspaper, the raw materials for WeatherTech’s mats are made in Ohio, Texas, Kansas and Tennessee.

    Ironically the idea of making floor mats came to him by accident. According to the newspaper article, he was visiting London, sitting inside a 1988 E-Class Mercedes-Benz, and he noticed that the floor mats fit precisely with deep side portions which to him meant it was a high quality  mat.

    The kind they didn’t have in America.  He went back to the U.S. and began importing them but still wasn’t happy and stared making his own.

    He has another interest, airplanes, and he has piloted his own plane in 28 states and 28 countries. In addition, he has raced in Grand Am and the 12 Hours of Sebring, the latter in an air cooled Porsche.

    He loves those rallies where you wine and dine and see the scenery and, oh, drive fast, like the Mille Miglia, California Mille and the Colorado Grand. His son Cooper joins him in car activities while another son is also a pilot.


    The chassis number is reportedly 4153 GT.

    A GTO had previously sold, back in 2014, publicly at Bonhans Monterey for roughly $38 million, though rumors persist another sold privately for $50 million. At this rate it could be the first $100 million Ferrari.

    The car is silver with French tricolore stripes and you couldn’t buy a car with a better competition history. In 1963, Pierre Dumay finished second in class and fourth overall at LeMans. The car’s crowning achievement came in 1964 when it came in first overall in the 10-day long Tour de France co-driven by Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger.

    The car has not been hidden like some barn find. It was run in various events in 1965 by Belgian team Ecurie Francorchamps. In modern times it has been seen at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and you could say each owner, including those from France, Spain and Germany, added to its luster.

    The Illinois owner will find the GTO familiar as he also owns a 250 GT SWB that he showed at Villa d’este Concours. Look for this car at all the big events.

    THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of the thriller, Ferrari Hunters, and is pounding the pavement looking for an agent to represent it. He can be reached at

    Here Wyss depicts the car in competition in Europe, inspired by a picture taken by Hugues Vanhoolandt. Canvas giclée print inquiries can be directed to Wyss at


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