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Fate of Luigi Chinetti Motors

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

  1. wolfchen75

    wolfchen75 Karting

    Aug 7, 2004
    111
    Bridgehampton
    Does anyone posting here know the fate of Ivo Brillo ? I bought a few cars from him in the early 1970's and last heard from him in 1978 when Tom Parker had control of the dealership and Ivo wanted me to buy a Cigarette Boat from the dealership. We went down to a marina is Cos Cob ( I think ) a succeded in putting the Cigarette boat on some roacks in the harbor.

    Jeffrey Vogel
     
  2. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli F1 Rookie
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    Nov 3, 2003
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    I remember that car!! In fact, I had querried about it on this very site about two months ago.

    I saw it outside the Chinetti showroom, near Byram CT, when I was working there. A worker told me it was Mr Chinetti's personal car and had an American drivetrain.

    I also remember visiting the showroom once and seeing an 8C-2900 ALFA and the 365P inside.

    Anyone know where it is now????????
    I doubt that it was scrapped.

    Bob Z.
     
  3. Bertocchi

    Bertocchi Formula 3
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    Jan 28, 2004
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    Jeffrey, One of Ivo's twin daughters was killed on a Moped in the Bahamas in the early 1980s. That was the last I saw of him, he was understanably in seclusion for awhile. Someone did tell me he'd retired to Long Boat key in Florida? I too would love to find him. Great guy even if he is from Rome!
     
  4. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    coco got the 365 p when senior passed away. don't know about the others.
     
  5. Old Guy

    Old Guy Formula Junior
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    Dec 1, 2003
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    No longer here
    A few minor corrections: Luigi Chinetti Sr used a Cadillac drivetrain for the "NART", not Oldsmobile. It was Luigi Jr's conception and Gene Garfinkle did the drawings. (The original drawing still exist.)

    Ivo Brillo's daughter was killed in a Jeep accident. She and her sister and their fiance's were celebrating the end of their childhood, in the words of someone who knew the situation.

    A serious NART history book is under discussion. An author has been chosen, but it's a long way from words on paper.
     
  6. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
    6,949
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    Greg Calo
    I have hanging in my office a very nice B&W print of the original Chinetti building in New York.

    It was purchased from a Paul J. Medici who advertised them for sale in Forza magazine. I believe it was $44.00 including postage for the picture (framing excluded).

    I do not know if the prints are still available, but to me it is a very valuable part of history.

    If the ad is no longer in Forza I could look up the information if anyone is interested.

    The info stated herein is also very interesting.
     
  7. abstamaria

    abstamaria F1 Rookie
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    Feb 11, 2006
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    Here's information on the subject, drawn from the web:

    "Luigi Chinetti was the father of Ferrari in the U.S. A racer, he ran Ferrari's North American Racing Team, as well as driving for it. In 1972 he an Al Garthwaite kept the excitement alive, becoming the importer for Ferrari for the Eastern U.S. through a company called Chinetti Garthwaite Importers. That meant he needed more space, so the Ferrari concern moved to Paoli. During that period, the building still kept its association with beautiful cars, becoming a Porsche and Audi dealership.

    "By the 1980s Ferrari, now owned by auto giant Fiat, wanted to restructure their American sales, and bought back the right to import. Algar returned to being a dealer and in 1988 moved back into the Derham Building."
     
  8. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
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    If you want that fabulous Chinetti photo, here's the info:

    It's $44.00 including the postage but check with Paul to see if the price is still valid.

    Paul J. Medici
    P.O. Box 8400
    Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

    847-255-7552

    It's a fabulous piece of history!
     
  9. tsyntax

    tsyntax Karting

    Dec 6, 2004
    88
    Baltimore, MD
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    Tony Syntax
    I was going to college in southwestern CT from 1965 to 1969. My roommate and I use to go Chinetti's late Friday afternoon after our classes usually twice a month. There was always someone working there. Oftentimes they were working on the NART race cars.

    I remember Luigi Sr., Coco, Ivo, and Dick Fritz. Everyone would take the time to talk with you. I loved going there. When I graduated and moved to the DC area, I would take a drive up there with a friend every couple of months. Dave, did you work in the parts dept at all in the early 70s?

    When I bought my first F-car in '71, the dealer in the DC area was a crook, although they were excellent mechanics- just bad businessmen. I was on the phone many times with Ivo asking for help on how to fix this and that and what to do about the solenoid, etc.

    I joined FCA club and started going to the many meets that Chinetti Motors sponsored. Had a great time. Oftentimes the Chinettis and Ivo sat at our table. We laughed a lot at their stories. It didn't matter what the weather was like (one time it snowed pretty good), I was there. The F-car was my only means of transport at the time. I met several people from my area that were devout F-car people. The roots of the Mid-Atlantic region started at one of the functions sponsored by Chinettis.

    I have seen Coco a couple of times. He always remembers me and goes out of his way to say hello and talks. I saw Dick Fritz at the NYC Concours last October. He hasn’t changed a bit. We talked a lot about the "old" times and how they worked magic on a shoestring budget.

    I was in Maranello in '74 and Luigi, Sr. pulls up in a Fiat 600 at the coffee shop across from the factory. He recognized me right away. He stood and talked with us for about 15 minutes. He made feel like a million bucks. The Chinettis, Ivo, and Dick helped solidify my loyalty to Ferarri.

    As we started to get the Mid-Atlantic region of the FCA going, Algar and a new Baltimore dealer, Fred Schwing Motors, sponsored our events- another good group of people.

    I still have several copies of the press releases/brochures announcing the joining of the two firms of Chinetti and Algar.

    I have many good experiences with them. I also remember many of the cars, although not their SNs- they weren't in vogue at the time.

    I may have some old pics that I might be able to locate at my ex's. I may have a pic of the Papalardo Daytona with the orange bathroom shag carpeting specially ordered from Sears. Dick Scoby use to attend in his TDF.

    Enough- rambling.
    Tony
     
  10. Greggweb

    Greggweb Rookie

    Oct 13, 2014
    1
    I lived in Roxbury CT in 1973 and had grown up there in the 50's. In 1968 I had a Jaguar 4.2 XKE and stopped by Chinetti in Greenwich on my way home from NYC.

    In the parking lot a older man, I believe to be Luigi Chinetti approached me while I was admiring a used 275GTS in Burgundy with Tan. He wanted $16,000 for the car.

    Long story short I could not afford $16,000 at the time. Shoot me dead and cut my member off! THAT was a beautiful machine.

    Gregg
     
  11. ted walker

    ted walker Karting

    Feb 7, 2009
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    gloucestershire UK
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    edward walker
    Excellent thread. I wonder whos writing a book ??????
     
  12. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3
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    Sep 7, 2004
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    David, I wonder what it was that John Bause did? I met him at LeMans, 1973 I think, and he seemed to be sort of an organizer. Older gent, always in a suit. As a left-coaster, I was really not acquainted with this gang, although of course new them by reputation.
     
  13. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    it would be nice to know. I would like to see to it that jean Louis was interviewed extensively as he was a big part of nart's history. mr. chinetti brought jean Louis over...jean Louis brought franco over...

    still sad that franco passed away. he was always so good to me.
     
  14. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    Rainmaker. Brought in customers. David?
     
  15. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    Oct 16, 2007
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    Customers/patrons for NART or just retail customers?

    Jeff
     
  16. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    As I remember it both.
     
  17. tomberlin

    tomberlin Formula Junior
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    #42 tomberlin, Oct 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  18. tomberlin

    tomberlin Formula Junior
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  19. CornersWell

    CornersWell F1 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2004
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    As another ex-Greenwich, like PCB, I have fond memories. Ferraris, back then, were even rarer, and while they were around, I rarely saw them. Greenwich's WASP/Preppy culture was more geared to Jeep Wagoneers, strands of pearls and Nantucket reds. Low-slung, "showy" sports cars were semi-looked down upon. How that has changed! It was a true life-altering moment for a young boy, though, to hear one of those V12s come roaring along and see it go by.

    CW
     
  20. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Rookie
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    Oct 16, 2007
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    In 2009 was told that already several authors had come and gone. Lou hired them then there would be a difference of opinion over the real story and as Lou wanted it to be told. No idea where is stands today.
     
  21. Kram

    Kram Formula Junior
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    Jul 3, 2004
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    #46 Kram, Oct 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    It was late in September of 1979, and I was living in N.Y. More to the point, it was one of those rare sunny-but-not-hot days when the weather made the city a flaneur’s delight, and to prove it, I was strolling happily down the street, in no rush to go anywhere. I passed by Chinetti’s window, to see what was there to dazzle, and I wasn’t disappointed. Right up front, near the desk, was a 250 PF II Cabriolet with covered headlights; deeper in the shop was an early Europa, or 250 Export, black with silver flashes, or at least that’s what I got squinting through the bright reflections of the plate glass window. I needed a car like I needed a hole in the head, so I went in to have a closer look, after all, without a hole in the head, how would one breath?

    The charming salesman was Jacques Vauchier, and he was very easy to get on with. We went for a drive in the PFII along the FDR, and nothing blew up or fell off, so I bought the car, pending a spot of work, which would be done up in Greenwich.

    It was early October before it was ready, but the days were still dry and bright. There were cars everywhere in the Connecticut shop, and most of them were not Ferraris. There was a rather nice 275 GTB, and a Daytona, but (as you can see from the pictures) there was also a lot of semi-boring wheels on the floor.
    I asked Jacques if the 250 PFII had been originally imported by Chinetti, and by way of an answer he suggested we check the files. Lo and behold, there was the 1960 paperwork, which included an extra factory charge for the covered headlights. Good to know!
    They had done a good job with the PFII; it was full of oil and it started without a problem; there was just no gas in the tank. Hey! It was a second-hand car!
    I drove to the nearest gas station and filled it up, very glad that the summer fuel crisis had abated, and there were no long lines at the pump. The gas station also provided me with a few maps, and with their guidance I turned West and went for a drive.

    It took five days to get to California, and they were not dull. The only real mechanical mishap was a seized fan bearing, but that wasn’t much of a problem. The car had – has – an electric clutch that engages the fan, so rather than strip the housing and look for matching bearings, I just disconnected the wire from the solenoid and kept the car moving as much as possible. While passing through Arazona I phoned up Bob Wallace, who had a shop in Phoenix, to see if he had anything that would fit, but he had too much work on hand to even think of looking at it, so on I went.

    I also stayed in touch with Jacques, remaining a customer when he opened L’Art et Automobile. His books now occupy a full shelf, and the car he sold to me is still in the garage. I've driven it all over England, California, and parts of Canada, and it has proved astonishingly reliable. Must have been built on a Wednesday.
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  22. coryh

    coryh Karting

    Nov 26, 2011
    104
    Thank you. Great story
     
  23. 375+

    375+ F1 Veteran
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    Dec 28, 2005
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    Terrific story and photographs, and you still own the car! Many thanks.
     
  24. ggjjr

    ggjjr Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
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    George
    Love hearing those stories. You made my coffee taste even better this morning. Thank you.
     
  25. John B

    John B Formula 3

    May 27, 2003
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    NJ
    I love those stories! thanks for sharing it with us.
     

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