If Cars Could Talk
Volume 46 Issue 23
Nov 6, 2021
After forty years of slumber a Ferrari sees the light of day again. Read what this Ferrari had to say.
I was born on October 25th, 1967, in a small town in Italy. My historical lineage goes back several generations and through those generations I was destined to be one of the few.
My maternal grandfather, Battista Farina, was born in 1895 as the tenth child of eleven children. His early years were difficult for his parents were poor farm laborers. Hunger was not unknown.
Fortunately, he had the chance to go to school and at the age of ten began to work in his older brother’s carriage shop learning the trade of running a business and manufacturing. He would go on the create his own designs in the future.
His son, Sergio Pininfarina, grew up with the artistry of his father and learned the business of design. The fluid shapes he created were placed upon many of the automobiles of the day. One day his father gave him full access to one of the best accounts in the business.
It was fortunate my future was designed by this extraordinary man.
My paternal grandfather owned an ironworks and as such, worked metal in all forms. Like most turn-of-the-century shops he did a lot of railroad fabrication which led him to own one of the first automobiles in Italy.
A son was born in 1898. His early days were spent in his father’s workshop learning the ways of metal and motors. As he grew, he became enamored with machinery and speed.
Unfortunately, his father and older brother each died at an early age, and this left my father alone to make his way to destiny.
My father, Enzo Ferrari, became a racing driver, and then created a stable for others to keep their racing cars. As manager he learned to organize the racing teams and deal with the politics of racing organizers.
One day he was able to realize a dream of building his own car. A special car. One, no one thought possible, that would win races throughout the country and even the world.
I was not even a glimmer in anyone’s eye yet. My time was still far into the future. Yet, the future had been set into motion.
The engine my father wanted, the one that would become a piece of my heritage, had twelve cylinders. It was small with a displacement of only one and one-half liters. It was a beginning.
As the years rolled by the engine grew in displacement and other engines were designed. Famous uncles like Colombo and Lampredi helped to design and improve what would become my heart.
The rigors of racing also helped to make improvements that I would benefit from in the future. Technological improvements would one day all come together to make my DNA the culmination of engine reliability and power.
While the mechanical improvements were being made there were advancements in clothing. My “maternal” parent had been honing his craft by watching his father create beautiful flowing lines on automobiles for years.
His father had so much confidence in the son he allowed full collaboration with my father. Together they created a formidable team. The perfect combination of machine and design. A perfectly tailored suit to complement the muscular specimen within.
And there were many suits to choose from. My brothers and sisters all were born with a look of purpose and class. The designs were often innovative without breaking into the absurd. Tasteful with touches of the past but clearly moving into the future.
Each one of my siblings contributed to how I would one day look and act. An air of dignity with a powerful heart, built with the agility of a cat and the ability to make others jealous.
I would become an object of desire, wanted for who I was, the sounds I could make and the way I looked.
I was not made directly from my creative designer and my mechanical father, but by way of uncle Scaglietti who was able to take the idea, the design, the feel, and pound those traits into the metal that surrounded my soul.
The miracle of my existence evolved from many sources. My heart and soul came from my father, Enzo Ferrari. My good looks came from my mother, Sergio Pininfarina. The one who interpreted those looks into the clothes I wore was Sergio Scaglietti.
My first true brother was created and displayed at the 1964 Paris Salon. It displayed a new vision my father wanted. My mechanicals were updated with independent suspension on each corner. My engine received the last increase in displacement for my original Colombo-inspired block.
My brothers were the greatest supercar of their day.
Many of my brothers were being used by customers and race car drivers alike. They had run races and won at places like Le Mans and Monza, and hillclimbs around the world. Owners in many countries enjoyed their high performance and good looks.
For 1967 I would get an upgrade in my engine. Still with 3.3-liters, my cylinder heads would now have four camshafts to help with breathing, and that’s how I was born.
I don’t remember much of my early life. I was painted silver and my soft leather was tan. I was whisked away to a waiting ship, only spending a few days in the place where I was born. I traveled to Livorno, Italy, where I was put onto a ship appropriately called Galileo Ferraris.
The trip took me to the west coast of California where I was to be taken to Reno, Nevada, to a place called Modern Classic Motors.
I don’t recall where I went from there. I might have been sold before I arrived. That was common practice with Modern Classic. Why would you need to transport a car from San Francisco to Reno just to send it back to California?
I was too young to remember all my travels, but I know I didn’t travel much. I remember being in college. It was called Purdue University. It was 1972. I was six years old and I hadn’t been driven very many miles.
I’m sure I spent winters indoors and not used very often but I know I went to school. I received a special decal on my windshield to allow me to park on campus. Was I the pride and joy of a tenured professor? Was I the toy for a well-to-do student? I don’t remember.
I must have been cherished either way as I was not abused or changed from the way I was born.
I was sold in early 1973 to a gentleman in North Carolina, Norm Silver was his name. He had many of my cousins in his stable. He ran a furniture making factory and appreciated fine things like my Italian heritage and Italian design.
He was kind and loving and occasionally drove me because he had so many others to exercise also. One of my stable mates was one of my brothers. He was metallic green and just like me! I had not seen or spent time with anyone from the ship. It was great to know I wasn’t alone.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay with Mr. Silver very long. I was sold and sent away. I believe to someone in Washington, DC. I don’t remember how long it was but one day a doctor came to take me away.
I still felt very young, I was seven and a half years old and had travelled roughly 20,000 miles. The nice doctor hopped in and took me to Atlanta, Georgia.
The drive was glorious! We took the freeway, and it took hours and hours. The warm July weather helped to make all my fluids flow like they hadn’t been used for a long time. I could feel the speed and power coming back into my bones.
The good doctor drove me and was good to me. I enjoyed the trips around the Atlanta perimeter and a few high-speed runs on a new road north of Atlanta that had few cars on it.
My new owner made sure I was properly tuned and pampered by a knowledgeable mechanic, likely one of the best mechanics in Atlanta.
The doctor liked blue cars and while my silver paint was still shiny, he decided I should now be blue. I was taken to a shop and stripped down, my original paint was scuffed and brand new blue metallic paint applied.
I was taken to the mechanic to be put back into driving condition once again. It was not to be. The mechanic did bad things to me. He removed my engine and took it all apart. There was nothing wrong with my heart, I had been running in top form and exercised regularly.
I could not believe I could be treated so cruelly. I was left alone in his shop and some time passed. There were others in the shop that were experiencing the same fate as me. Apart and alone.
One day the sheriff came and unlocked the door. The sheriff and the bad man had come from the jail where he had been living. My owner, the good doctor, came and took me away from the bad man.
My parts and pieces were loaded into boxes and everything that was mine was taken to my owner’s home. He wrapped everything up in newspaper and placed me in a garage. It was 1978.
Again, I was alone, alone in a garage. I stayed a long time, years passed, summers and winters, springs and falls. Yet, I was not abused, just neglected. I was safe in my climate-controlled cocoon exactly the same as the day I was removed from the bad man’s shop.
One day a man came to see me. He caressed my fender and appreciated how good I looked after so much time. It had been forty-four years since I had seen the daylight.
The man was called Jim Weed, and he and my good doctor inspected me all over and inventoried all my parts. It was determined that I had survived in nearly the same condition I was in when I boarded the boat so many years ago. I had 24,000 miles and had not moved at all in those years of slumber.
The doctor loved me and loved the idea of putting me back into running condition so I could be used once again. Unfortunately, he did not have the capability to accomplish such a large task and the decision was made to find another who would love me and had the resources to make me whole again.
I have since moved into a new place and am looking forward to travel down the freeway once again at speed and let my engine make the noises my father loved. I hope I will be admired and loved at the places I will see in the future.
I once thought I would waste away alone. Now I can see my future will forever be bright. I can’t wait to see it all.