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The colour of love

22 agosto 2019

Brett Berk

A shared devotion to the Prancing Horse is a touchstone to the marriage of Stephanie and Ian Coburn - and, while personalising their passion, they’ve made history along the way...

Stephanie and Ian Coburn are soul-mates. “We do everything together,” says 45 year-old Ian. They live near Nashville, Tennessee, moving there after two decades of success in Silicon Valley for a slower pace of life. Today, they both work as private investors – and share a mutual love for the Prancing Horse. “We found Ferrari together, and we fell in love with it together. It’s not just about the cars, it’s about the experience. It’s about the sense of belonging to a very special, deeply historic brand, and all the things they do to evolve it.”

They bought their first Ferrari, a 458 Italia, in 2012. Since then, they have purchased several others, including an 812 Superfast, 488 Spider, and a 488 Pista Spider. But their real passion is creating bespoke Tailor Made Ferraris.

This allows select owners to work with a Personal Designer to create a unique appearance. They discovered Tailor Made in 2013 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, says Ian: “We had a 458 Speciale on order, so we decided to make a Tailor Made request on it.” Backstage at Frankfurt, the Cobuns were shown a series of colour samples.

Oddly, the one they liked most of all had no name, which they overlooked – but, six months later, the same thing happened in Maranello during their Tailor Made session. They pointed it out to the Personal Designer, who flipped over the swatch and wrote something on the back: Rosso Coburn.

History was made. The couple now had their own Ferrari colour tone – which has since been requested by several other Ferrari clients. “This is the great thing about the Tailor Made programme,” Ian enthuses. “You have a good idea, and then they make it exceptional.” The Speciale also wore a grey and silver stripe, and this fed into their next Tailor Made project, an F12tdf. Ian says it was inspired by the monochromatic ‘argent’ tone of a vintage 1960s 275GTB. Since a lot of the influence in the styling cues for the tdf came from that period of cars, I wanted to honour those cars in the way that the designers were honouring it,” he explains. They visited Maranello again and, after some experimentation, happened upon the perfect shade. “It just registered.” They took it outside to view it under natural light, and it looked perfect. The name? Grigio Coburn. Ian admits they are humbled by it.

The couple are now regular visitors to Italy, attending Cavalcade events, the Formula One Grand Prix at Monza, and Ferrari’s 70th anniversary celebrations at Maranello. Ian and Stephanie attended the launch of the Portofino last year as well, visiting the beautiful coastal village from which it takes its name. They have even stayed at Casa Enzo Ferrari, the Ferrari founder’s former home in Fiorano. Ian is eager to drive Fiorano next: “It is definitely sacred ground.”

Their frequent visits have seen them fall in love with the landscape of il Bel Paese as well as Italy’s food and wine. Ian is a keen beer drinker but struggled to find an Italian option he liked. So the couple tried the local wine “ and we really loved it”. So much so, they are now members of a winery in Tuscany, and take annual visits for tastings. 

But still, nothing beats coming home to Nashville. “Some of the best driving roads I’ve ever experienced are right nearby, like the Natchez Trace,” says Ian. Every new car they take delivery of gets taken there, so they can get used to the horsepower. “It’s a very responsible way to get acclimatised, and to enjoy the cars.” Not to mention, enjoying time with each other, too.