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Ferrari And My Dad's Lifelong Passion

Oct 11, 2007
My Dad has always been a Ferrari fan, and he has always been a collector. These two passions have combined in my Dad to extraordinary effect: while some people limit their collections to items that can be contained in a display cabinet, or in one room, my Dad's collection of Ferrari models and memorabilia extends into the garage, because he has no aspiration to own the real thing (and I don't think it will stop there). Since he's retired, the pace of collecting has increased, and I now realise my Dad is harbouring the ambition of starting his own museum.

While he was a kid in the 50s, and was still feeling the effects of rationing, my Dad made toy Ferraris out of tooth-brush handles. At 65, still retaining the passion, he opts for the easier option of his local collector's store, to get his hands on the latest arrival from a European or Asian model manufacturer; perhaps a world-famous 750 Monza, or a replica of the F2003 GA that won the grand prix in 2003. But since he's a cautious road driver himself, and otherwise ascetic in nature, he has never felt the need to drive, let alone own, a Ferrari sports car (in fact, he owns a Ford Fiesta); which is, thankfully, a lot easier for Christmas presents.

Dad was five when the first racing Ferrari hit the road. The first Ferrari racer, the 125 S, was a 12 cylinder spider built by Gioacchino Colombo, and it won the Roman Grand Prix in May 1947. Ferrari has continued its Grand Prix successes up to the present day.
The explanation for my Dad's Ferrari passion originates mainly in the fast and furious, reckless, nature of F1 and in the brand itself, which holds an appeal that originates in his schooldays: he says he has always found Ferraris beautiful. Growing up in a council house in battered, post-war Britain, it must have seemed thrilling to read about the glamour and colour of petrol-guzzling motor sport and later, to see it for real on the TV, or live at Brands Hatch. Perhaps there was also the forbidden glamour of supporting a foreign team, with Italian style and finesse.

He always asks the family to add to his collection. I've found rare models in Sicily, located one-off toy stores in London backstreets, and complemented his rare finds at car boot sales in Essex. His brother, also a collector of toys, once found a rare Ferrari-branded soap from the 1960s that he displays alongside the models. My uncle doesn't quite share the enthusiasm for the horse-branded products, but it seems that collecting is in the blood (although for me, it is the far less racy world of books).

So what do I do when he runs out of models to add to his collection? There is a whole range of contemporary merchandise that we could add; and perhaps complements rather nicely his retired lifestyle, and will give him a little of the glamour that originally led to his love of Ferraris. I have a feeling he would rather like to drink his morning coffee from a striking black Scudetto mug. Now that he's having lots of holidays, he might also like some of the luggage that the clever Ferrari merchandisers offer.

I can only hint at my father's excitement at the second Ferrari first and second-place win of the season at the Turkish Grand Prix, which is only matched by the level of his despair if they lose to McLaren. If the F700 car manages to give the Italian Squad the advantage with Massa or Raikonen (who will shortly see his first race with Ferrari at Monza), we're heading for a Ferrari-mad Christmas.
About the Author
Anna Stenning has a large collection of Ferrari merchandise which she has travelled around the world to accumulate. Part of her more modern collection has been purchased from http://ferrari.official-merchandise.com
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