One of Ferrari’s many treasures is its archive. It contains original photographs, books, documents and memorabilia. And tens of thousands of letters.
Binders divided by year contain all of Enzo Ferrari’s correspondence, and a copy of the founder’s reply is attached to every original letter. They’re from customers and fans, people both famous and unknown, from aspiring engineers and dreamers – and children. Many children saw him as an idol and a role model.
Watch as a four-decade old dream comes true for three men who once wrote hopeful letters to Enzo Ferrari
Enzo Ferrari replied to everyone. They might only have been a few lines of type, but they were always signed with his unmistakable purple ink. He gave them what they asked for, too: the photo of a driver, a sticker with the Prancing Horse on, the brochure for a car. But sometimes, the request couldn’t be granted: then, as now, only those over the age of 16 were allowed to enter the factory, so children below that age couldn’t come inside.
This summer, we pulled off something of a feat. We chose a year, 1985, three years before the death of the founder, and examined the nearly 2,000 letters, in ten or so binders, one by one. As expected, we found a little bit of everything, but we were interested in picking out the children who had written to Enzo. We recognised some of them and set out to try and track them down, sending a copy of their letter and asking them to get in touch with us.
The three lucky men, all still fervent Ferrari fans, hailed from across Italy and were invited to the factory at Maranello to talk about their childhood letters
Of course, the address we had was almost 40 years old and there was no guarantee that our letters (also on paper) would be answered.
But the replies did arrive.
From those, we chose three children who are now men: Alessandro, from Rome, David, from Alto Adige, and Michele, from Tuscany. We talked to them, chatted about their childhood passion for Ferrari, still in fine health today, and finally asked them if they’d consider a trip to Maranello.
Ferrari Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari was only too happy to discuss the trio's memories and talk about his father's enduring legacy
The result of that trip is the video that you’ve seen. It was the culmination of a dream in the form of a tour of Ferrari, a visit to the company, from the assembly line to the room area of the Formula 1s of the past in the Attività Sportive GT building, and finally a meeting with Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari in the Classiche workshop.
Emotionally charged moments, and not only for Alessandro, David and Michele.