GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ed Niles

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of conducting an on-camera interview with Ed Niles for the third time. It seems that, even in revisiting familiar topics and anecdotes, there is always something new that emerges that keeps my interest piqued and I always come away from talks with Ed wishing we had more time.

I've known Ed since the first time I attended a Ferrari Owners Club meeting in Los Angeles. I had already owned my Ferrari Lusso long enough for it to have made the transition from silver-blue to red after the blue kept fading and I tired of having it resprayed. That evening I also made the acquaintance of Bob Bondurant who was a guest speaker and saw, for the first time, the Ferrari Breadvan owned then by Asa Clark. At some point, in the middle of the proceedings, Matthew Ettinger made a grand entrance being wheeled in with two broken legs. A memorable gathering for reasons too numerous to count.

It is only a small exaggeration to say that I don't recall seeing Ed in the same Ferrari twice though some of them he owned as many as five times buying them back from subsequent owners. He had more Ferraris pass through his hands than anyone I know. Race cars, production models, one-of-a-kind specials--he owned them all. Most memorable for me were the 250LM (which he sold to Sonny Bono) and the stunning Nembo spider designed by Tom Meade which some regard as the most beautiful Ferrari ever. Everyone familiar with the famous Breadvan will know the part Ed played in bringing this historic car to the USA but new details are revealed with each telling. Did you know that the car was originally destined to a buyer who wanted to remake the iconic rear portion of the car to look like a GTO?

Ed has been a model enthusiast over the years working as a turn marshal at races, a judge at concours d'élégance events, president of the Ferrari Owners Club and has been a very good friend to those who share an interest in all things Ferrari. He is one of the few people I can speak with who has also met Enzo Ferrari. Ed will appear in my documentaries about the Carrera Panamericana and the Ferrari GTO but I really believe he is worthy of a documentary dedicated solely to his experiences and observations--he is the gold standard.

Articles written by Ed for the Ferrari Club of America can be found on-line here:


Vic said...

You have my vote on a documentary dedicated solely to Mr. Niles experiences and observations!

Alan Johnstone said...

Interesting read Stephen i also like the idea of a documentary on Ed Niles