Passion

For Paolo Scudieri, Neapolitan entrepreneur, Ferrari collector and Challenge racer, what started as a letter of admiration for il Commendatore became a 40-year partnership with Maranello
Words: Gordon Sorlini
Photographs: Pietro Masturzo

When I think of my long relationship with Ferrari, it inevitably starts with my meeting the legendary ‘Drake’.

I remember very well every moment I spent with Enzo Ferrari. The meeting – which took place in his office - followed a letter I wrote to him expressing my admiration for his work and my passion for Ferrari. I didn’t expect any response, so I was very surprised when an invitation to Maranello arrived a few months later.

Scudieri in the pits of the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia in June in his Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo during the Coppa Shell Am 

The two men hit it off and Ferrari invited Scudieri to pitch for some contracts with the Prancing Horse. From that beginning was born the collaboration that has seen Adler Plastic produce components for Ferrari models including, recently, the Portofino, the SF90 Stradale, the 812 Superfast, the Roma and the brand new 296 GTB. In other words, if you are a Ferrari client then you are likely a customer of Scudieri’s company, as well. 

Scudieri and co-workers at the company's Tecno Tessile Adler plant, near Naples

Over the last four decades, Adler has developed an unrivalled expertise in working plastics and de- rived materials. The company is the leading Italian producer of systems for acoustic and thermal comfort in vehicles and is the second player globally in terms of upholstery, door panels and carpeting – always in vehicles.

 

Adler Plastic is based in Ottaviano, a small town some 20 km northeast of Naples, quite literally in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. We are talking in Scudieri’s office. On the wall behind him are a series of pictures of older and newer Ferrari cars – including the new Ferrari Monza SP2 – the entrepreneur owns. “These are some of the Ferrari cars I have collected over the years,” Scudieri says proudly, adding that he has recently ordered a Ferrari Roma. 

Scudieri poses at his private track with some of the Ferrari cars in his impressive collection

Indeed, if ever there were a win-win situation in the auto industry, Scudieri’s supplier-client relationship with Maranello must be one. His collection is impressive and includes – among others – a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT 2+2, a 512 BB from 1977, a 2014 LaFerrari, a GTC4Lusso from 2017 and a 488 Challenge Evo, purchased last year. 

 

Challenge racing is one of Scudieri’s most recent sporting passions – so much so that his company is a sponsor of both Ferrari Challenge (Europe, North American and UK) and Ferrari Competizioni GT. 

In the changing room at the Ricardo Tormo circuit

“Ferrari Challenge is a perfectly organised championship that offers the ability to put oneself to the test against extremely technically well-prepared rivals and which tests to the limit each driver’s competitiveness,” Scudieri – who debuted in 2020, with race number 101 – says about the race series. “The circuits are among the most beautiful and engaging, from Mugello to Spa, from Imola to Spielberg, from Valencia to Brno. They are without doubt among the most iconic tracks, true temples to sporting passion.” The cars driven in the championship also help: “You can’t stay long away from the track when you are paired with an incredible and magnificent car like the 488 Challenge Evo.” 

 

And the last question – to a man who has been so immersed in Ferrari, both professionally and personally – comes naturally: “Which is your favourite Ferrari of them all?” For Scudieri, giving an answer is almost as challenging as a round of the Challenge series itself. “It’s difficult to say, for they are all ‘queens of my heart’,” the Neapolitan responds, shrewdly. He then changes the subject. “But I certainly can tell you which was my first Ferrari. That was a Dino 208 GT4. Unforgettable. I remember that when I picked it up, its red colour gleamed in my eyes.”