Roffredo Gaetani D' Aragona Former Owner of Ferrari of Long Island & Ferrari of New England ------------------------------------------------------------- Taken from www.uasli.com Roffredo, born 4 March 1953, moved to America in the '80s and immediately began playing with cars. He was a thin man with a thick Italian accent; a charmer who backed down from no one but never talked down to anyone. He had style and charisma and taste - a former boxer who dated Ivana Trump for a while. Roffredo was the epitome of idolatry - the man who everyone else wanted to be and be like. He could often be seen in the dealership, a cigarette firmly wedged between his fingers, while he chatted away with some customer. There was no need for electricity because his smile lit up every room he entered Gaetani moved the dealership to a new building in Glen Cove. He asked Jack to join him as the General Manager. With this new chapter in Ferrari history on Long Island, came a new level of customer focus. It had style and a familial air that let everyone know they were welcome at Ferrari of Long Island. Gaetani hired the best to join the team. He employed Luigi Scala an unsurpassed technician from another Ferrari service center. From there, he built an unrivaled service department, all managed by Anthony Simone. Ferrari of Long Island quickly grew to become an establishment that was known from coast to coast. The tractor trailers (not one, but two!) for the racing team showed up everywhere, and soon everyone knew the folks from FoLI. The showroom itself was packed with a constantly-refreshing rotation of cars. The service center, located just down the street, was always busy. The dealership was never empty. It was a hangout spot for owners and enthusiasts alike. Among other things, the cappuccino machine was a direct indication that Ferrari of Long Island was, for many, a home away from home. Before long, Ferrari of Long Island's customer base spanned the country. Not only were customers flying in from out of town, out-of-staters who already had a Ferrari (or Ferraris) were shipping their cars to FoLI for service. Business was good and it only got better. Then, nearly a decade after nurturing a once-stagnant business into a thriving hub for racers, owners and admirers across the country, tragedy struck without warning. On 23 December 2005, while in Italy to visit his family for the holidays, Roffredo Gaetani was killed in a car accident. The untimely demise of a friend and a legend was a harsh reality for all who knew him. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Interview from Le Belle Macchine d'Italia 2003 We love to nostalgically read tales from a bygone era of the dashing gentlemen of noble lineage. Whether it is in a bright red Ferrari, the engine howling racing through Appennini Mountains with a white scarf flapping in the breeze, ski¬ing the fresh powder at St. Moritz or spending a glamorous evening at the Casino in Monte Carlo following the Grand Prix. In a coun¬try born without the trappings of aristocracy, a certain fascination of the lifestyle has always permeated this, the land of wretched refuse. Those romantic stories are the stuff of legend. If ever there was ever a person today that fits this description it is Roffredo Gaetani. Or to be exact Conte Roffredo Gaetani D' Aragona Lovatelli. Forget Fabio, this is the model for every romance novelist, the one that makes women swoon and go weak in the knees. While men dream of Super Models, Super Models dream of him. A single, tall, dark, distinguished Italian Count, a former boxer, that currently owns a couple of Ferrari & Maserati dealerships, a vineyard and a fashion company The exact person you never want your wife or girlfriend to meet. Whether it is jet setting the world over, tuxedo clad at the latest pre¬mier with the likes of Ivana Trump on his arm or in jeans and sweat¬shirt at one of the dealerships talking to customers. There is a cer¬tain aura about him no matter what the setting. In a way he reminds one of Raul Julia's character Franco Bertolini from the Gumball Rally. Smooth, Sauvé, Debonair. Not that the world was handed to him. He has worked hard to achieve what he has, naturally all done with a certain flair, style and approach to life that can only be described as Italian. The family bloodline includes 2 Popes (Gelasius II born Giovanni Gaetani, Pontiff from 1118 to 1119 and Boniface VIII born Benedetto Gaetani Pontiff from 1294 to 1303. Together with the dealership brain trust with names like Giacomo Ciaccia, (there is even a Luigi in the service department) they have built a stellar reputation in the Ferrari world and plan on doing the same for Maserati. In the 60's & 70's the place to buy your Ferrari was from Luigi Chinetti's dealership in CT. Today the "IN" place to buy your Italian exotic is from Ferrari of Long Island or New England . They field one of the largest teams in the Ferrari 360 Challenge Series, that have produced numerous wins and a series championship. And with the recently announced Maserati Trofeo Series, there will sure¬ly be more cars in the winner's circle wearing the Crest of the D'Aragona Family. VCM recently had a unique opportunity to gain insight into this dynamic individual. Le Belle Macchine d'Italia 2003 VCM: How has does the Italian approach to life, differ than that of Americans? CRGDAL: More detached in one way and more passionate in another. VCM: What are your interests? CRGDAL: Antique Arts, Old Silver, reading the French Classics VCM: What is your favorite food, wine? CRGDAL: Brunello di Montalcino and Bistecca Fiorentina VCM: What is your favorite city and why? CRGDAL: Two - Roma because I was born there and where everything started. That's that is why it is called Caput Mundi! And New York because I chose it and literally love it. VCM: What is your favorite car? Favorite Vintage Ferrari? Favorite Vintage Maserati? CRGDAL: Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer with Carburetors and Maserati Ghibli Spyder VCM: Now that Maserati is part of Ferrari how do you see Maserati fitting into the Ferrari World? CRGDAL: The moment that Americans will really understand the beauty and the magic of Maserati the fitting will be extremely easy. VCM: There are many rumors that Alfa Romeo may also become a part of this family. CRGDAL: These are rumors that I cannot disclose, confirm or deny. VCM: You recently lost someone very close to you and the driving force behind to success of Ferrari and the whole Fiat Group. Without Gianni Agnelli at its helm, what do you see for the future of Fiat? CRGDAL: Umberto Agnelli, Gianni's younger brother and Luca Di Motezemolo recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Fiat. Will with absolutely No doubt do a Terrific job. VCM: What do you attribute to the success at your dealerships? CRGDAL: Total commitment to the business combined with real love for Ferrari and Maserati. VCM: Do you plan on adding any additional dealerships? CRGDAL: No. VCM: Maserati has a new Quattroporte coming out next year, what are your impressions of the car? CRGDAL: Superb. VCM: What do you think of the possibility that will be Maserati producing an SUV? CRGDAL: There are lots of talks about this project VCM: There had been a lot of talk about a Maserati version of the Ferrari Enzo. What can you tell us about it? CRGDAL: I do not have an answer on this issue. VCM: Your dealerships have a formidable team in the Ferrari Challenge Series. Maserati announced that it is returning to racing with their own ver¬sion of the Challenge Series. How soon can we expect see this car in North America ? CRGDAL: It is a corporate decision VCM: How important is a club like Maserati Club International to Maserati? And how can its mem¬bers help support Maserati? CRGDAL: Any initiative related to Maserati like Club Events, Rallies etc. can only be helpful for the launch of this beautiful product. VCM: Your dealerships are very active & visible at event like the Cavallino Classic, Concorso Italiano and at your own event Le Belle Macchine d'Italia. How do the fit into the big pic¬ture for Ferrari and Maserati? CRGDAL: They are very valuable in that they not only bring together a spectacular collection of the finest machine ever to come out of Italia. But they also provide an opportunity for the manufacturers, dealers and customers to interact in a relaxed atmos¬phere. The customers are provided an opportunity to view the latest products and the manufacturers & dealers receive feedback for future products. I can only see this as being a positive and growing venue for all concerned. VCM: You've lived everyman's dream and been with some of the most beautiful and glamorous women in the world. Yet none have ever been able corral you. Describe your idea of the perfect woman. Is there anyone today that fits that description? CRGDAL: " A Man Does Not Talk of Women. A Man Does Talk With Women."