Monza, 37 years ago... - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-09-2007, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Monza, 37 years ago...

In the current (September) issue of Classic & Sports Cars, there is a special section celebrating the 60th anniversary of Ferrari. Included in the collection of photos is one of Enzo taken in the paddock at Monza during practice for the Italian Grand Prix of 1970. I thought there was something vaguely familiar about the scene when I suddenly recalled that was the day, the time and the place I met Enzo Ferrari. We were both milling about the paddock where I was watching the comings and goings of Surtees (by that time a F1 car builder and entrant), Jo Bonnier and others after a quick hello to Franco Lini who was the Ferrari F1 team manager at the time. Ferrari was watching me, seemingly as an invitation to speak, so I did. We were joined by Juan Fangio and I enjoyed this encounter with two of racing's great figures in such a setting.

That same day, Jochen Rindt had his fatal accident on the track. The following day, Clay Reggazoni won the grand prix for Ferrari.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-09-2007, 06:50 PM
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Very nice anecdote. What exactly did you say to Enzo?
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-09-2007, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Very nice anecdote. What exactly did you say to Enzo?
In those days, I spoke enough Italian that I didn't need a translator. I approached and said hello, which he acknowledged. I then told him that I owned a GTO and that it gave me great pleasure to drive and was very little trouble. He smiled and said, "Si." He wanted to know how it was that I spoke Italian--I was 22 at the time--and I told him I had studied Italian in school but really learned it during my trips to Italy to buy used Ferraris and Maseratis to resell in Los Angeles. About that time, Fangio joined us and listened. Ferrari wondered how I knew Franco Lini and I told him we had met at a Ferrari club meeting in L.A. The subject turned to the day's practice, Fangio made reference to Jackie Ickx. I said something about Jackie Stewart and the March. After that, I bid them farewll and roamed the paddock, which was teeming with F1 cars and personnel.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-10-2007, 06:48 AM
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What a great story. Any more recollections would be welcome.

Archie
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-10-2007, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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What a great story. Any more recollections would be welcome.
What was especially amusing for me about that day was that I did not have a pit pass. I told the taxi driver where to go and he got me closer to the restricted zone than I would have thought possible. I then told each security man I encountered that, "Franco Lini summoned me to the pits." They all knew who Franco was and, since he was the exalted team manager of Italy's sacred racing team, no one dared block my path. I kid you not! I finally arrived at the final gate separating me from the pits. I nodded to the security detail and said, Franco Lini..." Before I could even finish the sentence, the gate swung open and I entered the sanctum sanctorum of Formula 1 racing in Italy. Just try that at the Indy 500!
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-10-2007, 11:50 AM
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The good old days, it would be near impossible without the right security pass now.

Archie
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-11-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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Ahh...great story, loved it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-11-2007, 09:06 PM
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Fantastic story, please keep them coming.
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