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My Ferrari Experience

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Gary Sandberg, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. I've been very hesitant to post this and have very much gone back and forth as to whether or not I should.

    I present this as a very unique bit of Ferrari history and just a need to not let the story vanish. This will a somewhat lengthy and picture-intense thread. Thank you in advance for your indulgence.

    So, after a very brief exchange with a moderator, here goes......

    My linkage to Ferrari goes back to 1974 (at the age of 16). I had always been interested in cars and thought some designs were somewhat limited and tried my hand at some alternatives as well as some new design directions. I had a high school guidance counselor Mr. Kerr (former auto shop teacher and drag racer). I showed him my designs and he was positive.

    I was thinking about engineering/automotive design as a career choice and decided to send out letters to many car companies (Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, Lotus, McLaren, Lamborghini, Porsche......), asking if they would be willing to look at my designs. Only one car company responded – Ferrari.

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    I'll post the starting point of the relationship and the various progression points over the next little while.

    Thanks for looking.

    Gary.
     
  2. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
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    ^Any idea who signed the letter?
    T
     
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  3. up4speed

    up4speed F1 Rookie
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    Looking forward to hearing the story!
     
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  4. Thanks for the reply tomc. No, I don't know who signed the letter, but the progression as I sent my drawings becomes more interesting.

    Given the culture of Ferrari at the time (having read the biography "Enzo Ferrari" by Luca Dal Monte), there would have had to been approval from a higher level for the engineers to review my drawings. Read into it what you will.
     
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  5. andy308

    andy308 Formula 3

    Jan 16, 2005
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    Andy
    You have peaked my interest!
     
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  6. kes7u

    kes7u Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2017
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    Kevin
    Sounds like a great story! Looking forward to seeing/reading more.

    Kevin
     
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  7. mobiledev22

    mobiledev22 Karting

    Feb 20, 2015
    152
    Chicago, IL
    Wow, this is insanely cool.

    Looking forward to more!
     
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  8. Okay, here goes.....

    The car was named "Gila" after the southwestern lizard. Yes, I know it is slow and the bite, though poisonous is not fatal. Nevertheless, there is a lot of mythology regarding the lizard and what the heck in 2017 didn't the NHL Las Vegas Golden Knights adopt it as their mascot? LOL.

    Below is the design concept. I'll post a few drawings next. I did have a colour three-dimensional, but I can't seem to locate it (no surprise after 46 years I guess).
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. It looks like I only able to post one drawing at a time. So, here is the side rendering of Design Phase 2. I'll also attach front and rear views in subsequent posts.
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    Attached Files:

  10. Here is the front view up to Design Phase 6 where Ferrari suggested I put in a hidden headlight (although I had originally wanted to go with a glass covering). I had read somewhere that the "pop-up" headlights would reduce car velocity significantly due to increased drag.
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  11. You can see that I had gone with the "kammback" design for the rest of the design period. Anyway, here is the rear view of the cars.


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  12. I'm now getting ahead of myself. It was at the Design Phase 3 that I submitted my drawings to Ferrari as well as the aforementioned missing 3-D rendering. I know that I misplaced it somewhere as Ferrari was very meticulous in returning all materials to me.
     
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  13. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Did they offer any critique or suggestions when they returned your materials?
    T
     
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  14. Yes.

    I also should mention that if you think the drawings look like they were done on a drafting table - that's because they were. In fact, I would be remiss to forget my high school drafting teacher, Mr. Clark. He was the one who suggested I talk to the guidance counsellor (mentioned above). The drawings are also to scale (1/16).
     
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  15. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    I took drafting too in HS, T-square, French curves, etc. I didn't have nearly the talent you did!
    T
     
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  16. Attached Files:

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  17. Here is the translation:

    "The sketches and data attached to your kind letter are sufficient to convey the maximum idea of the car designed by you, but above all, and the thing that comforts us most, reveals the passion that you have for the world of 'car.
    However, the next step of developing the idea by putting it into construction drawings will undoubtedly be fraught with difficulties.
    Please accept the best regards.

    Ing. L. Marmiroli

    Attached we return all the material sent to us with your letter dated 4 / XI / 74.
    (Package with drawings sent separately)".

    This became the starting point for the next two years.
     
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  18. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Texas!
    Very cool!
     
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  19. jag-oo-r

    jag-oo-r Karting

    May 27, 2015
    186
    Wow..... this is like a dream from another life..... how very cool!

    Who owns the movie rights? ;-)

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
     
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  20. .....and clay tablets. Yeah, like there was a time before computers and Solidworks. LOL

    Thank you for the compliment.
     
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  21. IloveGT

    IloveGT Formula Junior

    Oct 17, 2015
    996
    and then....? can't wait.
     
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  22. Hate to leave you in suspense, but I need to take a slight detour. My desire was to not only do the bodywork, but also the entire car - chassis, suspension, even engine. Therefore I needed to do some research over and above just reading some magazine articles.

    So, I went to the local exotic car dealerships - Checkered Flag (they represented Lotus and raced a Lotus 49 and Europa) as well as Carter GM (who at that time represented Lamborghini and I believe Ferrari).

    So, now at the age of 17, I could approach these dealerships with my drawings and the letters from Ferrari and essentially be given Carte Blanche with the exotics!!!! I didn't have a driver's license (and coming from a large family, my parents insisted that I take a driver's ed course and that I also had to pay for it).

    On the other hand, I could show up at the dealerships, explain what I wanted to do, show some provinence and .......

    Afternoons with, just to name a few: Jaguar E-type coupe, Lotus Europa, Lamborghini Espada, Lamborghini Jarama, LAMBORGHINI MIURA, FERRARI 365 GTB/4 DAYTONA!!!
    There was no time limit.

    The salesman would unlock the car and leave with the keys. So I could never start the cars (and in hindsight it was unfortunate that I was never offered a ride). On the other hand, the cars were pretty packed in and to adjust and move them about would have been problematic. But I could sit inside, sketch and when I was done, just let the salesman know so he could lock up the car.

    One other car to add to the list:

    At the Vancouver International Auto Show (I think 1974, but it was probably 1975), a, orange, white leather interior, LP400 Lamborghini Countach (although for that one I couldn't get too close). Still got a lot of good sketches and it helped with the progression of the design.
     
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  23. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    So, from his bio, Ing. Marmiroli was just starting out @ the time your letters arrived.
    Cool to see him paying it forward, encouraging a passionate youngster.
    Molto bene!

    Have you thought to try and contact Ing. Marmiroli to thank him for his early encouragement.

    T
     
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  24. Solid State

    Solid State F1 Veteran
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    Feb 4, 2014
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    Comor Bidity
    My sincere suggestion would be to start writing letters to Manzoni. Best.
     
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