Home > NewsRelease > The Time a Blind Man Drove a Ferrari
Text
The Time a Blind Man Drove a Ferrari
From:
Jim Ciardella ---  Ferrari Writer Jim Ciardella --- Ferrari Writer
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Gatos , CA
Wednesday, September 04, 2019

 

Ferraris have appeared in many movies, but only one Ferrari had a blind man behind the wheel. In Scent of a Woman, blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, played by Al Pacino, drove a Ferrari Mondial T Cabriolet on the backstreets of New York.

This scene from Scent of a Woman took place in a New York Ferrari dealership

The 1992 movie won Al Pacino the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with Golden Globe Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Motion Picture. In 1994 it won the BMI Film Music Award. A great movie for sure, the Ferrari drive became a classic, along with the Thanksgiving family dinner scene.

If you missed the movie, click on this video to watch the car scene. If you’ve seen the movie before, you might enjoy seeing the scene again. I certainly did.

How to Find Exotic Cars for the Stars

Ferrari of Los Gatos became an exotic car specialist to stars and celebrities from around the world. The list of entertainers, movie stars and famous people that visited the dealership includes Rod Stewart, Joe Montana, Michael Douglas, George Benson, Cher, Jerry Rice, Burt Parks, and Reggie Jackson.

Brian Burnett had the rich and famous showing up at Ferrari of Los Gatos regularly. Many of them were quickly recognizable from movies or professional sporting events. While the Ferrari dealership had become well known, some of its customers didn’t enjoy that status and wanted to keep it that way—mainly people with undocumented cash income.

The May 2018 post title, “An On-Time Delivery that Took All Day,” highlighted the story of one such customer living in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Los Gatos. The cash-only transaction included watching The Long Riders movie and took all day to complete.

Dennis Glavis, a Ferrari of Los Gatos sales manager, said, “One of the toughest parts of the job was counting cash. Those customers would come in after we closed with bags and briefcases full of cash. Sometimes, we’d be counting after midnight.”

Brian and Ferrari of Los Gatos were legendary in helping to build the North American market not only for Ferrari but other exotic cars as well. It’s a shame Brian had to lose the business, in part because he did too good of a job becoming successful.

If you have a good, or bad, dealership story, please share it here, or leave a comment below.

About the Blog

The blog FLGstory.com tells how two young men had a dream to sell Ferraris. In 1976, Richard Rivoir and Brian Burnett's dream turned into a Silicon Valley business that became the best-known Ferrari dealership in the world. It's the story of Ferrari of Los Gatos and corresponds with a book that is a work in progress. 

About the Author 

Jim Ciardella is a storyteller, Ferrari enthusiast, and native Californian. Born and raised in Palo Alto, he grew up in the heart of Silicon Valley and witnessed the dot.com boom and the changes it created.

At one point, he met Brian Burnett, co-owner of Ferrari of Los Gatos. Over the years, Brian told Jim numerous stories about Ferrari of Los Gatos and finished each tale with these words: “And someone ought to write a book about it.”

One night, after many stories and Brian’s predictable conclusion, Jim told him, “I’ll do it. I’ll write the book.”

When he isn’t writing to tell a story, Jim, a finance executive, helps technology companies. He started his career in public accounting and soon realized that growing and improving businesses was his calling. And there was no better place to fulfill that calling than Silicon Valley, the land of startups and successful hi-tech firms.

Writing played a big part in all of Jim’s business experiences and is his real passion. Jim believes, “The written word weaves memories into an amazing story.”

 
Jim Ciardella LLC
Morgan Hill, CA
(669) 258-5107