The Life and Times of Luigi Chinetti

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Innovative publishers, Porter Press International, recently announced that it is working with Luigi Chinetti Jr and Doug Nye to create the first of three planned books detailing the story of Enzo Ferrari’s long-time friend and United States-market importer Luigi Chinetti and the activities of his legendary North American Racing Team (NART).  

Chinetti’s is a rags to riches tale of an Italian immigrant to the USA who left an indelible mark on the racing world and, through his sales of road and racing cars in the US, helped provide the funds for Enzo Ferrari to pursue his motor sport ambitions in Europe.

With two outright Le Mans 24-Hour race victories – for Alfa Romeo in 1932 and ’34 under his belt, Chinetti helped build the Ferrari commercial success by scoring his third Le Mans 24-Hours win in 1949, then went on to bring Ferrari fresh laurels with his NART team in the following decades.  In 1965 the team won the great race with Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt.

Luigi ‘Coco’ Chinetti Jr, who himself finished fifth for NART at Le Mans in 1971, has long preserved his family’s remarkable archives.  The new Porter Press books will present much of this material for the first time.  “My father would come up with a snippet of a tale without really letting me in on any details, especially of his life in Europe, and even then, much was left for me to piece together from conversations with friends and writings I would happen across.  Mother was the same,” said Chinetti Jr.  “Their passing occasioned the assembly by my wife and I of some 350 boxes whose contents brought light to the decades of a passion with automobiles: the Alfa-Romeos, the Talbot-Lagos and especially the Ferraris.  I am in awe of his devotion to their design brought about by his superb machine skills.”

We can think of no one better than leading motorsport historian and prolific author Doug Nye to complete such an important work.  The first volume is planned to be launched in 2024-25.

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