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Discussion in 'Who's Who in Ferrari Universe' started by andrew911, Nov 29, 2011.
What's his story- I see his books on vintage Ferrari litature etc, Is he alive?
Still alive and well. One of the founding members of FCA, historian and early collector(and savior) of many of the truly great Ferrari. A real gentleman.
One of the 8 original creators of the Ferrari Club of America. Member #26 of the Ferrari Club of America. After graduating from Art Center college in Los Angeles went to Detroit.
Great! I've casually done searches on f-chat and the internet for him to find out who he is, and now finally found the answer!
Very surprised this is the only thread??
For many years he was the 'go to" guy, to confirm or deny a Ferrari's legal status in the USA, from his role at the DOT.
Retired from that gig now....
I think he's posted here??
Was just looking through some old road & track magazines from 1970 last night, and there was an advertisement for a Merritt Ferrari book!
I have had the great privilege of knowing Mr. Merritt for many decades; he and my father (FCA member #66) have known each other since 1963. For the last 30 years, we have been regional neighbors; Dick in Bethesda, MD and us in Arlington, VA. The best part of knowing Dick is pulling a chair up next to his at a show or gathering, or being in a car w/ him on a road trip to a show, and getting the best unvarnished, first-person, Ferrari stories you'll ever want to hear. Merritt and Fitzgerald wrote the first definitive book on Ferrari back when there were NO books on Ferrari. I can't even tell you how many significant early Ferraris (and parts of early Ferraris) went thru Dick's hands back when no one knew what they were; in the past five years or os, either Prancing Horse or Forza listed them all - it is mind-blowing.
Here's a shot of Dick (left) and my dad in 0556(0446)MD this past May.
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He's still at DOT, I believe (as of October 2011, when I last spoke w/ him); the authority on gray market vehicles - currently busting the hordes of illegal chinese scooters that are trying to make it to our shores.
He confirmed the legal status of my car last August 2011. His message was something like, call xxx-xxx-xxxx and "tell them ,its in the Blue Book. They will tell you how to get a DOT letter"... I hope that Blue Book never gets lost!
I just found a great article on Dick in an old Forza magazine article- this article answered so many questions, including explaining the advertisements I see for his Ferrari book in my 1960's Road and Tracks (the first book published by R&T and their best seller)! Dean Batchelor was the head of the publishing group at R&T per this article...I find that ironic as I had purchased the Porsche Buyer's Guide by Batchelor in the 1980's and memorized every part of the 911, 944 and 924 turbo information as those were on my potential list...I pretty much knew the rest of the book in and out as well, but those were the models I was interested in and was saving like mad for one of them as a teenager (I ended up with a used 1978 911SC targa, on the excellent advise in Batchelor's book- this was in the days before simple internet searches and I found the information very valuable...). Batchelor and Merritt- two greats! I'd love to meet Richard in person- that would be a real treat!
The following article is very well written- the reason I subscribed to Forza when I moved into the Ferrari world...excellent writing and coverage of the subject(s).
Edit: I tried to post the link but it doesn't work- you can go to this website, and go to "the downloads" page, then on that page go to "Magazine Artiles". The Merritt article is "Article Forza Merritt 200104 When Ferraris were cheap"- the article is from 2001. This website is a gold mine by the way:
I finally got around to building out my library and bought Merritt's Ferrari Brochures book (1946-1967) and the 1968 Sports & Grand Turisimo cars book. Pretty neat! Did an f-chat search on Richard Merritt, and found this thread that I started a few years ago (and forgot I even posted it!) Hopefully he is still cruising around in his V12!