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David Steven Carte July 27, 1959 - May 22, 2023

Cathy Roush

Volume 48 Issue 11

Jun 10, 2023

David Carte is among the great Ferrari restorers. His knowledge and capability will be sorely missed.

    David Steven Carte died May 22, 2023, after a valiant battle with cancer. He was 63 years old.

    David got regular colonoscopies since he was 40 yet he and his family were shocked to learn 23 months after his last colonoscopy that he had stage four cancer.

    He is survived by his father, Robert; his wife Bernice; three daughters and their husbands; his sister; and five grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

    David was the owner of Classic & Sport Auto Refinishing in Virginia, and a consulting member of the IAC/PFA, frequently judging at Ferrari Club of America events and the Cavallino Classic. He was also a former go-kart champion.

    News of David’s death was posted on FerrariChat by Marcel Massini, who added these comments: “Specializing in restoration of vintage Ferraris and a few other marques, over the years David restored numerous Pebble Beach entrants, mainly Ferraris, for clients like Bill Marriott, Jr., Peter Kalikow, Jimmy Page, Rear Admiral Robert Phillips, and many others.

    “David Carte was extremely skilled and THE man for Pininfarina, Scaglietti and also Vignale-bodied Ferraris of the 1950s and 1960s and he was extremely knowledgeable about 250 GT PF Cabriolet Series One and 250 GT California Spyders.”

    Bill Marriott, Jr., spoke of the caliber of restoration work David’s shop performed on several of the cars in his collection which not only included Ferrari, but also Allard, Talbot Lago and Maserati.

    Marriott’s 500 TRC, S/N 0698 MDTR, with race history in the US and in South America, was first bought by him in 1983. He entrusted a (then) very young David Carte with the restoration of the car, and David said that this was the first proper restoration that he undertook, which became the foundation of his business.

    Entered in 1988 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winning third in class. Later the car was sold by Marriott, only to be bought back in 1997, and the restoration was freshened up by Carte. In 2001 and 2016 the car was displayed at Amelia Island, 2002 at Pebble Beach and today this car is still in immaculate condition.

    At Cavallino in 2013 it was awarded a platinum as well as the 4-cylinder trophy and the Best of Show Competition Car award. The car was also Best of Show at the 2012 Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance and was displayed at the 2014 Ferrari Club of America Annual Meet in Virginia.

    Rear Admiral Robert Phillips commented about the restoration of his 500 Mondial, S/N 0556(0446) MD. “Over the past forty-three years David and I have become close friends and his relentless pursuit of perfection proved invaluable as we worked together in the eight-year major conservation project on (as he called it) ‘the Lil Blue Car’.

    “Under judging by the IAC/PFA rules it garnered six 100-point results including the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it also earned the Enzo Trophy for being the best Ferrari on the field. It earned Best of Show Competition at Cavallino in 2009, Best of Show and five other trophies at the FCA National in 2010.

    “The majority of the credit for these results was because of David’s insistence on originality and attention to detail, and I will be forever grateful for his guidance. His experience and expertise on the early Ferrari cars were unparalleled.”

    It was a fitting tribute that many folks in the Ferrari world travelled hundreds if not thousands of miles to honor David.

    I can proudly say I consider myself one of David and Bernice’s friends. I looked forward to seeing them at meets. I enjoyed bantering (commiserating?) with David over college football, not only the teams we pulled for but teams we didn’t. David had a wry sense of humor which I will miss greatly.

    I haven’t known David as long as a lot of other folks, but I sincerely agree with praise about his character that were spoken.

    David was a kind and humble person, well-respected and honest, generous with his time and knowledge.

    Services were Sunday May 28, 2023, in Bowmans Crossing, VA, near David’s shop in Edinburg, VA. 

    During the brief memorial service, David Marriott read the poem “Gone From My Sight” by Henry Van Dyke, a touching acknowledgement to his own faith, and to remind us all of David’s faith.

    In a special nod to his profession, Bernice chose a red casket – and then adorned it with the Scuderia shield. Many flowers were in the red, white and yellow Ferrari scheme. 


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