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Fate of Luigi Chinetti Motors

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by Ed_Long, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Ed_Long

    Ed_Long Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    678
    Salem, Oregon USA
    Full Name:
    Ed Long
    What happened to Luigi Chinetti's Ferrari dealership in New York? Was it closed or sold, then closed? Does the building still exist and, if so, what is it used for now? I seem recall that a lot of important and exotic engine and other parts were auctioned off, but could stand to be corrected on that. Just curious!
    Ed
     
  2. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2004
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    Dr.Stuart Schaller
    I have been under the impression that Coco didn't want to be in the car business, and that Jacques Vaucher (L'Art et L'Automobile) took over all the "automobilia" stuff...but I really don't know anything as a fact..

    Stu
     
  3. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    David Castelhano
    I was a mechanic at their Greenwich, CT location when the Sheriff came and closed the doors. The rent had not been paid for many months. There were no legal 12 cylinder cars to sell new, only 308s. Coco and Dick Fritz were running Amerispec up in Danbury. The majority of the parts, engines, and equipment went to a wharehouse in Port Chester, NY. They were later sold to Will Haible in San Leandro, CA.
    Vaucher worked for the dealership Tom Parker owned later on known as Chinetti Motors. The dealership had no Chinettis employed. Marion Chinetti passed away soon after leaving Coco as the executer of her estate.
    When that dealership closed the franchise was sold to Bob Sharp and moved to Connecticut.
    Pedretti and Kessler had showrooms in NYC at the time and FNA did not want anymore. So Luigi Chinetti Motors was gone.
     
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  4. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    i was young but i remember chinetti's in port chester for many years then moving to its current location in greenwich then being purchased by herb olsen and his group then sold to the current group...miller.

    during all that, jean louis opened up an independent shop eventually moving to cos cob (le mans 24) and franco and neil were his mechanics. many of the chinetti customers went to le mans 24 for service work.

    i remember coco blasting down cat rock rd (coming or going to his house on holly way) in his euro daytona coupe...those were the days when you actually saw the 12 cyl cars on the road...those days are sadly gone for the most part.

    greenwich seemed to me to have the very richest ferrari history.
     
  5. 355BOY

    355BOY Formula Junior

    Jan 28, 2004
    328
    the North
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    Mark
    David,

    The letter about the 275P I have is on your old works letterhead, in Greenwich, Conn.

    Interesting.
     
  6. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    David Castelhano
    Herb Olson actually worked for Aston Martin Lagonda in the same building Miller now occupies. Peter Livanos, my old boss, purchased the Ferrari franchise from Bob Sharp around 1987 and after some negotiating with FNA moved it back to Greenwich were it currently resides

    Franco Genesi now works at Shelton Sports Cars, Iori is retired, Goeff Ohland has had his own business fory many years, Partsource

    Herbs Olson's son Drake went on to drive for Dyson, Porsche AG, Aston Martin, and the Toyota factory!
     
  7. yale

    yale Formula Junior

    May 2, 2004
    735
    New York City
    David Castelhano,


    Also Francois Sicard ex Chinetti has his own shop, Sport Auto.

    Did you ever know a Merrill Yeager at Chinetti's? He is a mechanic in NJ who had told me he also worked there but I never hear his name mentioned. Could have been a parts boy kind of situation as he may be a little younger then some of these other folks. Best, Yale
     
  8. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    Yale,

    Mr. Sicard was long gone by the time I got there. He was working for Pappalardo by then and Jean Louis LeBraton was working for Fran Wienberg. I do not know the name you mentioned. They went through quite a few people at Chinettis.
    There was never much money for payroll. Friday nights we would have the "Chinetti Gran Prix" to Firts National City Bank. Only the first 7 or 8 guys that got there first got their checks cashed. Everyone else was sent away.
    Iori had several uncashed paychecks in his dresser drawer many years later. Guys would quit all the time. Names I remember from the end;
    Nereo Iori
    Domenico Fusco
    Franco Genesi
    Geoff Ohland
    Tom MacMannis
    Pierre ?
    Tom ? (big drag race guy)
    Carlos ? (restoration shop)
    John Bause
    Ted Johnson
    Dick Fritz
     
  9. barchetta

    barchetta Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    628
    Yale,

    I thought that Bill Pollard owned Sport Auto (Gaylordsville, CT)?

    Best.
     
  10. yale

    yale Formula Junior

    May 2, 2004
    735
    New York City

    He does BUT there are two Sport Autos in CT! I guess everyone liked the name of that French magazine.

    Best,

    Yale
     
  11. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    he does. bill is one of the very good guys in the business!
     
  12. aleventhal

    aleventhal Formula Junior

    Jan 11, 2005
    653
    Millbrook, NY
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    Alexander Leventhal
    IMHO, Bill is the BEST guy in the business! Building my 365BB motor as we speak. Can't say much better than over more than 10 years the guy has always under-charged and over delivered - and how many people can you say that about conistently for more than a decade? The BEST!
     
  13. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    Bill Pollard is one of the good guys in this business. He came from Bob Sharp Ferrari when the franchise was located in Danbury, CT. When they went south he moved to Gaylordsville,CT.
     
  14. ChalStrad

    ChalStrad Formula 3

    Jan 22, 2004
    2,249
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    Peter Mann
    Francois Sicard runs his own biz from Ridgefield CT. My understanding is that after leaving Matra, he came to NART in or around '68. When he left it was to set up his own biz.

    Coco still has a few very nice pieces left. Seems to sell one once in a while (when the need is there)

    THE modern day Ferrari guy is without a doubt the sales manager at Miller, Werner Pfister.
     
  15. Horsefly

    Horsefly F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 14, 2002
    6,929
    Selling and repairing the world's most expensive cars, and they couldn't make the payroll? How sad. Sounds like the old tale of the shoe cobbler whose kids ran around barefoot.
     
  16. ChalStrad

    ChalStrad Formula 3

    Jan 22, 2004
    2,249
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    Peter Mann
    You have to remember that in those days they did not sell 1200 to 1500 cars per year in the US, that you really had to be a Ferrari lover to buy one (and very rich) and the fewer cars sold the fewer clients in the repair shop.

    Remember in 1973, I was offered a '72 Daytona in the UK with 6 000 miles for 5000 pounds and the car eventually sold for 3500. At the same time a 250 GTO was worth about $20K.

    Not a comparable period.
     
  17. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    9,193
    In 1972 you could buy a house for that much.

    --Dan
     
  18. barchetta

    barchetta Formula Junior

    Nov 5, 2003
    628

    Thank you Yale!
     
  19. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    David Castelhano
    You guys might be too young to remember but during 1974, 1975, and part of 1976 the only new car that Chinetti could sell was the 308 GT4! It was not a big hit. The first one hundred or so did not even have a Ferrari badge on them anywhere. They were Dinos.
    We later removed all the Dino markings and replaced them with Ferrari emblems. The 308 GTB came out in Europe first and then the fiberglass cars made their way to the US. No Boxers or 2+2s. There was not great interest in many of the older cars either. Not to mention gas rationing and very high interest rates.

    ChalStrad, Francois came here to work for Greg Young and did work at the Ferrari factory for a short spell. Greg was a CanAm racer. He also spent some time in Westport, CT working for a small exotic car dealer,( Sam Something )
    Very talented and I am proud to count him among my friends.
     
  20. Bryanp

    Bryanp F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 13, 2002
    3,684
    Santa Fe, NM
    David, did you ever overlap with Gui Minoni?
     
  21. synchro

    synchro F1 Veteran

    Feb 14, 2005
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    Scott
    12 years ago I contacted Li at Algar as they had Chinetti's records for the delivery of one of my Fcars. Li was fantastic, spent a long time chatting and dug up my delivery/options sheet.

    If you've ever tried to get build info for you car from Maranello, it was impossible as they had shut down public access in the late 80's when replica builders would use the build info from the factory to make copies of FCars
     
  22. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    Bryan, I am afraid I do not know the name. There were some mechanics who came for brief stints and then went back to Italy or France. Chinetti would sort of rent staff from Maranello at LeMans. Many people got his ear there and asked for assistance in coming to America. Some he helped, others he did not.
    In his later years Chinetti Sr. had some difficulty driving. Ivo Brillo, who was his sales manager at one time, used to pick him up to do errands. For the long trips or heavy lifting they called me. I completely enjoyed myself while in his presence. My mentor, Iori, is from Modena. I learned much of my Italian from him. Chinetti would scold me for speaking Modenese and not "Italiana propia". Great memories!

    Li Romani has been a mainstay in the Ferrari community forever. Straight up guy. Part of the old guard.
     
  23. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    david,

    remember that senior liked to drive a cadilac! not the ferrari but a caddy.
    ferraris and caddys roaring down king street!

    the good old days indeed.

    pcb
     
  24. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    PCB, Close but not quite there. He liked Oldsmobile Toronados. He took a few and had them rebodied with the front wheel drive Oldsmobile drivetrains placed mid-ship. The cars were called NART. There were one or two at the house on King Street but I am not sure how many were built. I worked on one in 1976 at 600 West Putnam Ave. in Greenwich.
    I imagine a restored original car might be valuable? I have not seen one since.
     
  25. TBialbero

    TBialbero Rookie

    Feb 17, 2006
    4
    NYC
    Was there any relationship between Luigi Chinetti's company and Chinetti-Garthwaite Imports of Paoli, PA? They seem to have sold Ferraris in the 70s, I think usually through a related company Algar Enterprises.
     

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