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2021 Passages

Jim Weed

Volume 47 Issue 01

Jan 9, 2022

Jim Weed highlights several significant people who helped Ferrari become the legend it is.

    2022 is here. Our first issue of the new year.


    I hope you had a great holiday, and we hope for a better year even if this crazy virus is continuing to close countries and travel. Let’s hope all the planned events for 2022 can go on.


    With that said, we are going to look back upon a year of loss. Our Ferrari world history class continues to shrink. Ferrari didn’t even begin to build cars until 1947. The generation involved at the beginning has mostly left us.


    The next generation is now aging, and we must honor those who joined into Ferrari history. Some raced while Enzo was still alive and knew him and his moods from personal experience.


    Others collected his cars to keep them from disappearing into obscurity when many of those creations were not desired and cherished. It was through their insight and desire to restore and preserve for future generations the beauty of Enzo’s creations.


    A marque as great as Ferrari cannot exist and grow without a flow of information. To expand our knowledge required books of interesting details, filled with pictures and drawings. It is through the printed medium we, you and I, get to experience Ferraris we have never seen or touched. Read about the feel and danger of Spa or Le Mans. Or gaze upon the artistic details of a most beautiful Ferrari photographed in a fantastic landscape.


    In no particular order, I honor those who have given much of themselves to Ferrari, and who were able to share their passion with us.



Romolo Tavoni 1926 – 2020


    Romolo Oscar Tavoni was born on January 30, 1926, in Modena.


    Tavoni became Transport Minister for Maserati in late 1945 immediately after the war. He received a diploma in accounting in 1947 and remained with Maserati until 1949. Because of labor strikes his salary with Maserati became untenable and he resigned.


    His next employment was with the Credito Italiano bank, and the director wanted him to handle a very important client, Enzo Ferrari. Tavoni managed the relationship with the banks, various institutions and race organizers.


    His detailed notes as Enzo’s secretary helped the Ferrari organization with all forms of business from suppliers to race teams to contracts, including to keep Enzo’s complicated private life organized.


    In March 1957 Ferrari put Tavoni into the role of team manager. His excellent organization skills allowed him to survive the post-race Tuesday meetings with Enzo. Under his management Ferrari won two Drivers Championships, one GP Constructors’ cup, four Sports Car World Championships and two FIA Grand Touring Cups.


    Despite his position and skills, he crossed the line when he signed a letter along with several other department heads and managers. The event known as The Palace Revolt saw Tavoni and the others fired from their positions.


    He found work with the firm ATS with several other co-conspirators, but it was not to last long.


    He was soon with the Automobile Club Milano sports office and then director of the Monza racetrack until his retirement in January 1997.


    Romolo Tavoni passed away at home on December 20, 2020. One of the last to witness Enzo Ferrari while building the company and legend that continues to this day.



Doug Freedman 1949 - 2021


    Douglas Stuart Freedman was born on February 24, 1949, in Port Chester, New York.


    Freedman was a complete car guy. He collected anything and everything regarding Ferrari literature. He was one of the first to delve into rare and obscure pamphlets, brochures and postcards from Ferrari.


    In the 1990s Freedman traded his collection to Jacques Swaters for an F40. An F40 he kept in complete original condition. When it was first serviced everything was photographed so every hose clamp and clip could be returned to its original position.


    He was not just thorough; he was a perfectionist.


    Freedman was one of the regulars who came into FAF Motorcars on Saturdays to discuss various aspects of Ferrari and trade knowledge with the likes of Gerald Roush, Dave Seibert, John Apen and others.


    While he was regional director of the FCA, he expanded club events and brought to them a more upscale experience with better hotels and dining along with more serious concours scoring.


    This experience was expanded when he was able to bring a concours to Carmel, California, during Monterey car week. The Concours on the Avenue has been a staple event since 2007.


    It has become a premier event to kick off car week in the Monterey area. This is where many show-winning cars can be seen parked and accessible on the streets of Carmel. Like everything Freedman did, this is a first-class event.


    Freedman continued to develop events to bring the public closer exposure to automobiles. He was involved with the recently started Chattanooga Motorcar Festival. This three-day festival brought a concours, rally and timed speed event to the Tennessee River city.


    Freedman along with his wife Genie preferred to work in the background organizing and removing obstacles to make any event successful.


    Freedman passed away on October 3, 2021, while attending the Audrain Newport Concours where he was to judge.


    Doug was a friend, and he will be missed. We will all miss him. Our condolences go out to Genie and his family.



Oscar Davis 1925 - 2021


    Oscar Davis emigrated to the U.S. in 1928 when he was three years old. He and his family lived in the Bronx and the Great Depression helped shape his tenacity and ambition in life.


    He enlisted in the army and served overseas to help defeat Germany. Because he was fluent in Hungarian and German, he stayed in Europe after the war helping displaced persons.


    Davis earned his GED and apprenticed as a tool maker and started his own machine shop. In 1961 he sold The Oscar Davis Company and in 1964 acquired a small metal fabrication business known today as Hayward Industries.


    Davis began collecting and restoring cars in the 1950s. He had a passion for rare vintage sports cars and built a collection of over fifty cars.


    Many of his cars have been shown and displayed at the most prestigious events like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Cavallino Classic and Amelia Island Concours.


    Davis had the means and desire to preserve many classic automobiles and the Ferraris he collected were among the best in design and history.


    He passed away on February 25, 2021, at 95 years of age.



Nino Vaccarella 1933 - 2021


    Nino Vaccarella was born on March 4, 1933, in Palermo, Sicily. The Giro di Sicilia started right in front of his house.


    The drivers and cars of this event were some of his first experiences. A driver is what he wanted to be.


    Instead, he received a Doctorate of Jurisprudence but never practiced law.


    After his father’s death in 1956, he inherited the family’s private school, the Alfredo Oriani Institute, along with his sister.


    His first drives were in a Fiat Topolino and soon a Lancia was the vehicle to victory. In 1959 he could afford a Maserati.


    He was offered a drive with the Camoradi Team for the 1960 Targa Florio with co-driver Umberto Maglioli. They did not finish.


    For the 1961 season he was hired by Count Volpi to drive the 1961 and 1962 seasons with Scuderia Serenissima.


    For Volpi, Vaccarella drove all the various cars in the Serenissima stable; sports prototype, grand touring and formula one.


    Ferrari contacted him to drive the 1963 season and again in 1964 winning Le Mans in a 275 P. He would continue to drive for Ferrari through the 1967 season.


    Although he had raced a Formula One Ferrari at Monza in 1965, his specialty was in the sports prototype cars driving the Dino 206, 330 P and 412 P.


    Vaccarella came back to Ferrari in 1970 to drive the 512 S at Daytona, Sebring and his favorite, the Targa Florio, winning first overall at Sebring.


    His final season in 1972 was with Alfa Romeo; after seventeen years of racing it was time to retire. Well not quite; he returned to drive the Targa Florio again with Ferrari and the 312 P(B). And then, one final win in an Alfa Romeo for 1975.


    Vaccarelli returned to Palermo to be the professor of his school. The “Flying Headmaster” was done.


    Nino Vaccarelli passed on September 23, 2021.



David Bull 1961 - 2021


    David Bull learned the publishing business with Bentley Publishers in Cambridge, Mass.


    It wasn’t long before he started his own company, Bull Publishing, in the 1990s.


    You can always tell a Bull Publishing book by the quality of photographs and the writing contained inside.


    Bull would work with authors as a mentor, guide and confidante to bring out the best of each one to create an exceptional work of art.


    His broad knowledge of automobile history and racing allowed him to keep a project on track with authors who may have a different point of view on how a project should be presented.


    Many of the beautiful Ferrari books on our shelves bear the stamp of David Bull’s efforts.


    Bull was injured in a motorcycle crash in 2011 and spent his remaining years paralyzed. In spite of this he continued to devote his time producing fine automotive books.


    His physical limitations made him a better friend and even more devoted to his family. A friend quoted “Nobody makes a better book than David Bull.”



Giancarlo Guerra 1931 - 2021


    Giancarlo Guerra finished elementary school and began his trade. The body shop of Onorio Campana in Modena is where Guerra learned about hammers, mallets, sandbags and other tools of the panel beater.


    In the early 1950s he moved to a new employer, Sergio Scaglietti.


    Guerra was soon repairing damaged racing cars. Customers would sing praises of the quality to Ferrari, so much so that Ferrari soon came to Scaglietti to have his racing cars repaired.


    This led to Ferrari collaboration with Scaglietti to build prototypes and ultimately production cars.


    Guerra configured his ideas with wire framework, often without drawings. His ideals were so strong when il Commendatore came to inspect and critique the form there would often be a tense standoff. Few could stand up to Enzo like Giancarlo Guerra could. Enzo seemed to appreciate his strong character.


    Guerra stayed with Scaglietti until 1969 when Fiat acquired Ferrari and thereafter also Scaglietti. The new corporate culture was not tolerable and he soon moved to Lamborghini. At Lamborghini he worked on the Countach project. He stayed until the late 1980s.


    Later Guerra assumed the position head of bodywork for Claudio Zampolli’s Cizeta project in an artisanal context.


    After the Cizeta company closed, Guerra continued to shape aluminum panels restoring Gran Turismo cars until he was well into his eighties.


    Most old-world craftsmen cherish their favorite tool. Guerra’s hammer was with him until the end.



Charles “Skeets” Dunn 1944 - 2021


    Skeets Dunn was a noted sportsman, bond trader, philanthropist, and car collector.


    Born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Franklin & Marshall College earning a B.A. in Business.


    Skeets served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1970 at bases in South Dakota and Guam.


    He was a partner with J.C. Bradford in Institutional and Municipal Bond sales trading from 1973 until 1998.


    One of his most avid passions was automobiles, specifically collecting vintage Ferraris.


    He owned seventy or more Ferraris over the years, buying, selling, collecting, and restoring while looking for the next purchase.


    His cars were shown at prestigious events like Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Cavallino.


    To house his collections, he built a home/garage/museum/showroom at the former estate of Bing Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.


    After selling that estate he built another and another, each one with underground garages filled with Ferrari memorabilia and art fit for a museum.


    Skeets developed a 1,000-acre ranch south of Spokane, Washington, so he could pursue another passion, responsible hunting. Unfortunately, he had an accident in his hunting truck when it rolled over on a hill.


    Skeets Dunn was the consummate collector and curator of many Ferraris. His effort has furthered the preservation of many of the cars we love.



Carlos Reutemann 1942 - 2021


    Carlos Reutemann was born in Santa Fe, Argentina. His mother was Italian, and his rancher father was Swiss-German.


    He started racing touring cars in his native Argentina. The Automóvil Club Argentino sponsored a season in the 1970 F2 Championship with a ride in a Brabham.


    His results were good, clinching a second-place championship for 1971.


    In 1973 Ferrari recruited him to drive the 312 P (B) in the World Sportscar Championship. He earned a second place at Vallelunga and Monza with co-driver Tim Schenken.


    In 1974 he broke into Formula One with Brabham but left when Ferrari asked him to fill in for Niki Lauda after his massive accident at Nürburgring in 1976.


    Reutemann drove for Ferrari throughout the 1977 and 1978 seasons. He was the team number two in 1977 until Lauda left.


    For the 1978 season he was the number one driver teamed with Gilles Villeneuve, winning four races.


    The 1979 season saw him drive for Lotus and later for Williams and in 1982 he decided to retire from Formula One. Even Villeneuve’s death could not bring him back to drive for Ferrari.


    He remained close to Ferrari and would often attend events and perform demonstration drives.


    He returned to Argentina to run the family cattle ranch and involve himself in politics. He was elected two times as Governor of Santa Fe and three times to the Federal Senate.


    Carlos Reutemann passed on July 7, 2021, from complications due to liver cancer.



Mauro Schedoni  1943 - 2021


    Mauro Schedoni inherited his family’s shoemaker firm. In the 1970s he expanded into leather clothing, luggage, and accessories.


    A brother-in-law asked Schedoni to make a set of luggage to fit his 308 GTB. The result was shown to Ferrari’s sales manager who recognized the answer to customers who wanted something to fit in the limited trunk space.


    This led to each Ferrari model since 1977 having its own special luggage available. Other accessories exclusive to Ferrari are also produced. Small briefcases, folders and portfolios have been made with that distinctive look of both Ferrari and Schedoni.


    Schedoni collaborated with Enzo to supply the leather seat covers for all the Formula One Ferrari racing cars until 2006. After that date the seats could not be leather covered.


    Scraps using parts from racing cars or even production Ferraris are often turned into various trophies and art.


    If you have ever seen anything made by Schedoni the quality is instantly recognizable. Schedoni and Ferrari are inextricably intertwined.



Terry Maxon 1940 - 2021


    Dr. Terry Maxon is on this list because I knew him. He did not have a large collection of Ferraris. Over the years several came and went.


    I sold parts to Maxon. When you work with a customer through the trials and tribulations of keeping cars running like his 330 GTS, 275 GTB, 250 GTE and his 250 Boano rebodied as a California, a relationship develops.


    It was only a voice on the phone, but that friendship is real. I finally met Terry in 2015 at Pebble Beach when his 275 GTB was displayed in the preservation class.


    Thirty-five years had passed, and he still remembered the help I gave him. The parts I sold were right there on display.


    He was not a famous driver, collector, or restorer, but his love for the cars was honest. There’s a lesson in  there for all of us.


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