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late-breaking news: ANTOINE PRUNET HAS DIED

Cyrille Jaquinot

Volume 48 Issue 8

Apr 22, 2023

Antoine Prunet was a automotive historian and writer of several Ferrari specific books. His works furthered Ferrari knowledge and he will be missed.

    We learn with great sadness of the death of the great automotive historian and writer Antoine Prunet, who died on April 11 in his 82nd year, a few days after his wife Catherine.

    Recognized for his sharp expertise that no doubt betrayed, this scholar without pedantry will leave us a great void, his fine pen will be missed. Antoine was a precursor of French Ferrari literature and most certainly the one who sold the most Ferrari books in the world among his countless titles which are still authoritative to this day. In particular with his inescapable work with big success “Ferrari : The Road Cars”, published in 1980 in four languages (French, English, Italian and German) and reissued over the years in five editions with more than 8,000 copies! 

    Nicknamed “the author who drove on all the circuits of the world” among the members of the Club Ferrari France, he quickly joined the board of directors shortly after the creation of the club in 1968 with, among other things, his 250 GT Berlinetta Passo Corto Competizione chassis 2149 GT.

    He led the vice-presidency from 1974 to 1983 of this “crazy” club, as Albert Uderzo once said, because at that time the members only talked about chassis numbers during meetings.

    Antoine was the editor-in-chief of Automobiles Classiques magazine from 1983 to 1998 and brilliantly asserted his great knowledge of the automobile.

    Antoine co-founded with Maurice Sauzay, amateur and car enthusiast, the Bellecour Academy in 1984 located in the Lyon region. Each year, the members meet to reward the best book on the subject of the automobile.

    Always with the same enthusiasm, he launched in 1988 with his friend Christian Philippsen the Concours d’Elegance Automobile in the Parc de Bagatelle in Paris.

    The historiographer Prunet was a member of the jury of elegance competitions at Pebble Beach, Villa d’Este, Chantilly, Coppet and of course during the 70th anniversary of Ferrari in Maranello in 2017.

    Modest, discreet and fleeing the crowd, Prunet lived between Paris, Geneva, and his beloved Basque Country. He will not have had time to complete his ultimate work devoted to the Ferrari 250 BPC (note: Berlinetta Passo Corto). Above all, it was not necessary to specify 250 SWB (Short-Weelbase in English) to him to designate the Berlinettas with a short wheelbase because he jumped with his sparkling eyes: “this name borrowed by our English friends is not fair, above all the Ferraris remain Italian cars, therefore Passo Corto in Italian is the most adequate term!”

    Sacred Antoine, bon voyage.
        Cyrille Jaquinot



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