GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Friday, June 10, 2011

Matthew Ettinger

Yesterday I sat with my friend Matthew Ettinger and talked on camera about Ferraris, the Ferrari Owners Club, meeting Enzo Ferrari and what it was like living the life of ‘free Ferrari radicals’. We easily filled an hour and could just as easily have filled two or three more. There was never a dull moment when we were enjoying our adventures together and mixing it up with his Breadvan and my GTO. Many of them we can actually talk about.

I always like hearing about people’s encounters with Enzo Ferrari. Mine was much out of the ordinary in the paddock of Monza during practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Ed Niles tells a great story of showing up at Maranello unannounced and miraculously getting an audience with Il Commendatore. Matthew tells of having lunch with Diane, his beautiful wife at the time, and a rep from Ferrari at the restaurant across the street from the factory. In walks Enzo Ferrari and guess which table he selects to sit down for lunch. That’s right, he sits right across from Diane and commences with some polite flirting. Loved the ladies did Enzo!

Matthew was president of the FOC when I joined and he arranged for some outstanding guest speakers at the monthly dinner meetings—Phil Hill, Bob Bondurant to name a couple. Even Franco Lini appeared which led directly to my meeting Enzo Ferrari months later.

Matthew now drives a Ferrari 550 Maranello for which he has nothing but high praise. Apart from the famous Breadvan, he misses his SEFAC short-wheelbase berlinettas. His two biggest regrets are selling the Breadvan and not buying my GTO. My two biggest regrets are selling my GTO and not buying his Breadvan. Now there’s a friendship!

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