A Ferrari Love Story: Widow’s Tribute to Her Husband’s Enduring Passion

The significance of possessing a luxury car goes beyond its monetary value, especially when it comes to the legendary Prancing Horse. These automobiles are symbols of rich heritage, automotive evolution, and cultural significance. Whether it’s the iconic model names, groundbreaking engines, or massive technical innovation over the years, each Ferrari car is special on its own. Despite being the most prestigious brand in the world, each Ferrari vehicle is manufactured in the sole facility in Maranello, Italy. From Christiano Ronaldo to Kobe Bryant, many renowned celebrities have openly expressed their admiration for these timeless scarlet red cars. 

This is the story of a Nevada-based advertising executive named Anne Brockinton and her late husband Bob, who owned the legendary 250 GT Boano Cabriolet. 

An Unexpected Encounter in Modena

As per the story told to AJ. Baime, Anne recalls her late husband’s first safari trip to Africa in 1955. Somewhere in his 20s, Bob was on his way back to New York after finishing his tour and decided to spend some time in Italy. Accompanied by his girlfriend, the couple landed in Modena, the birthplace of Ferrari’s founder – Enzo Ferrari. 

Although Bob was under the impression that Ferrari cars were entirely manufactured in Modena, he was later made aware that the town only had the service garage, and the beautiful Prancing Horse cars were built in the sole facility in Maranello.  

It was only eight years after Ferrari manufactured its first-ever car 125 S, and naturally, most Americans were unaware of the existence of the brand at that point. In an era without the internet and social media, such news used to take a while to travel across the seas. However, some of Bob’s friends were involved in car racing, thus, he was already aware of the burgeoning Italian marque.

A car enthusiast by nature, Bob decided to step inside the service garage which, by chance, happened to be located right up the street. Intrigued by the stunning Ferrari cars, he started to lurk around, happy like a little kid walking in the candy store. On enquiring, the garage supervisor told him that all the vehicles belonged to customers and that he should not touch them at all. But this is where things took an unexpected turn. 

The Beginning of A Long-Lasting Friendship

Somehow, the man himself, Enzo Ferrari learned about the presence of a young American gentleman in the garage, and sent the manager to Bob, expressing his desire to meet him. Bob was in the seventh heaven, as he witnessed the Ferrari maestro walk out, and the two started having a conversation, even though none knew each other’s language. At that point, they didn’t know that it was the beginning of a beautiful life-long bond. 

Bob’s girlfriend helped with the translation, and the two could find a common ground to engage in a discussion. Out of nowhere, Enzo offered Bob to sit and get a feel of one of the Ferraris available in the garage. A jubilant Bob couldn’t resist the invitation and picked a car to experience it for a few minutes. 

“So? What do you think?” Enzo asked.

Bob who was feeling extremely comfortable in the company of the great man, answered, “To tell you the truth, my head hits the roof.”

Mr. Ferrari, unaccustomed to such criticism, laughed and responded very warmly, “Ferrari is a shoemaker. If he makes you a car, it will fit.”

The memorable meeting lasted for quite some time, as the two discussed the automobile landscape, cultures, and of course, Ferrari cars. 

After this memorable meeting in Modena, the two continued to remain friends for the rest of their lives. 

A Deal Too Good To Be True

Nearly one year after this incident, Ferrari started showcasing its cars around the world, including in the United States. It was the richest country of that time and, thus, one of the most lucrative markets for high-end Ferrari cars. 

In April 1956, the exhibition made a stop in New York, where the latest Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet was displayed for public viewing. The state of the car vehicle was the first of its kind and was gaining plenty of attention from global automobile enthusiasts. And guess who paid a visit? It was Bob. 

Bob, who by now has generated some serious interest in supercars, immediately approached the Ferrari stand and enquired about the price. However, the car was only meant for advertisement, not for sale. The 250 GT Cabriolet, built by the legendary coach designer Boano, was truly the pinnacle of engineering brilliance and set the benchmark for the next generation of supercars.

Enthralled by its beauty, Bob wasted no time in contacting his dear friend Enzo via a telegram, expressing his intention of buying this extraordinary piece of machinery. However, Bob also mentioned that he could pay no more than $9500 for the car, as it was the only money he had at the moment. 

Enzo Ferrari: A Feirce Entrepreneur With A Golden Heart

What followed was extraordinarily unexpected. In less than two days, Bob received a call from the supervisor of the Ferrari exhibition, Luigi Chinetti, informing him that he was given the order to sell the very same Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet. Luigi, a former professional racer, was among the first Ferrari importers in the United States. It was he who garnered the much-needed global exposure to the brand by winning the 1949 24-hour Le Mans in a Ferrari. He was appointed to sell Ferrari cars only to famous personalities, as he was a familiar Ferrari face of the time. 

The message Bob received was as follows:

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know how you know Mr. Ferrari. Even I cannot buy this car. But I have been instructed to sell it to you for $9,500. I can tell you it cost the factory more than that to build it. Bring me a cashier’s check.”

Clearly, it was highly unusual for many to believe such an act of generosity from the Ferrari owner, a man who was known for his arrogant attitude and uncompromising approach. It was the friendship he wanted to value. 

The deal was done. Bob approached Chinneti with the bank check, and, after a test drive down Park Avenue, purchased the lavish Ferrari. He also brought his mother, who was given an enjoyable ride by Chinneti himself, with Bob squeezed into the luggage space. A very fond memory that Bob often talked about for the rest of his life. 

Bob’s Passion and Dream Is Alive 

By the time Anne started dating Bob, he was already working on his luxury car collection, which included numerous eminent models from Ferrari, Bentley, and Mercedes. Anne also mentioned that when Bob was asked about his top picks, he always chose the Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet. According to some reports, it was the first ever Ferrari ever imported to North America. Bob, who also maintained a close friendship with Luigi Chinetti, went on to purchase his iconic 1949 Le Mans winner Ferrari, another jewel in his crown. 


1. How much does the Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet cost in 2024?

Depending on its condition and availability, the iconic Ferrari GT Boano Cabriolet may cost somewhere between $500,000 to $2 million. 

2. How many Le Mans did Ferrari win?

As of 2024, the Maranello-based outfit has won 36 Le Mans races, with the most recent victory coming in June 2023. 

3. Is the Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet still available for purchase?

No. Officially the car is not available for sale. such classic models can only be found at high-end auctions.  

4. What is the most expensive Ferrari car ever sold?

The most expensive Ferrari ever sold was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, which went for a whopping $80 million!

Honoring a Passionate Collector

Anne, a widow for 8 years now, has kept and maintained all the cars, and has no intention of selling them, despite getting big offers. Instead, she keeps adding new cars to the collection, trying to keep his late husband’s dream alive, which started nearly 7 decades ago with the Ferrari Ferrari 250 GT Boano Cabriolet. 

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