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Sergio Scaglietti: the soul of Ferrari bodies

Artist and undisputed genius of Scuderia Ferrari, it was Sergio Scaglietti who inextricably linked his name to the profiles and shapes of the most iconic Maranello cars. Discovered at the age of nineteen in a Modenese workshop by “Francis Drake”, Enzo Ferrari, Scaglietti, soon became the soul of the bodywork of the legendary racing car house. Thanks to his talent, the legendary Ferrari 250, the legendary Testa Rossa and the Ferrari 250 GTO were born over time, in collaboration with Pininfarina. Sculptor in the soul capable of shaping the shapes of his cars like the great artists of marble, the famous designer has joined his name to the “queen” of Maranello to the point that the famous car manufacturer in 2004 baptized the Ferrari designed Pininfarina as the “612 Scaglietti”. After having created the “Carrozzeria Scaglietti” in 1951 and having included his sons Oscar and Claudio in the “Red” team, the brilliant designer was able to win more and more the appreciation of the famous team, fascinated, just as it was from the first meeting Enzo Ferrari , from his creations and his ingenious and aerodynamic prototypes. «At the age of 8 with clay and iron wires – we read in the story he published in Repubblica.it in 2004 – I built oxen and plows which I made to furrow piles of ashes. With the same system I also made racing cars. Then in ’33, at the age of 13, I found a job at a coachbuilder. The first salary was 5 silver lire, I ran home hiding them under my tongue, I was afraid they would steal them on the street. After six months of savings, I bought the bicycle with 11 lire: but only with the temples, I bought the pedals later … Enzo Ferrari passed by chance in the courtyard of the workshop and saw a 12-cylinder Ferrari whose fenders I had repaired, modifying them completely, including the headlights and giving the car that futuristic aerodynamic line, which still works today with the granturismo 612. Then, Ferrari became curious and ended up sending all the riders who needed repairs to me. Finally, he commissioned me to have bodies for new cars. Thus the first prototypes were born… my 33 Gto’s, and my 15 “Testa Rossa”, the most beautiful. There is not even one alike. They took the frame and the wheels to the body shop and I pulled the iron wire around them and beating the metal sheets on it I gave it shape like a sculpture ». Giant of ingenuity and creativity, Sergio Scaglietti in his long life has never given himself a moment’s break, dedicating his infinite talent to the will of the “Drake”, determined to amaze people with the beauty of his racing cars. Creator and designer always looking towards the future of forms capable of challenging the air resistance and remaining aesthetically fascinating, Scaglietti wrote his name in the automotive history of the whole world. When in November 2011 he died at the age of ninety-one, depriving the car industry of one of the most ingenious and brilliant minds, Luca di Montezemolo, for his disappearance, commented: “It is a sad day today for all Ferrari is a friend, a traveling companion, a man who has linked his name forever to that of the Prancing Horse has disappeared. Sergio Scaglietti leaves the world the legacy of an artist who has modeled some of the most important models in our history with his talent and his work. To those like me who had the good fortune to know him he also leaves the memory of a straightforward, honest man with complete dedication to his work. We will miss him ». For his part, Piero Ferrari, Enzo’s son, defined Scaglietti as “one of his father’s few true friends”. «He was next to me with Marco Piccinini – he told a well-known Italian sports manager – even the day my father died and stayed with me to watch over him all night until the time of the funeral. I loved him he was an important presence in my life, the world is poorer without Sergio ». Undisputed king of the most beautiful berlinettas and racing cars in Maranello, in 2020, on the occasion of the centenary of his birth, an exhibition was also dedicated to Sergio Scaglietti at the National Automobile Museum in Turin. And it is precisely by using the text that appeared on a panel positioned on the path reserved for him that one can remember and summarize the life of an Italian genius capable of going beyond time. “Sergio Scaglietti built a car like Greek architects built a temple”.