Motor racing is littered with generous patrons but I venture to suggest that her wealth aside none has been quite so extraordinary as the 20 year old heiress from Asheville North Carolina known as Mamie Spears Reynolds.
In early 1963 she went to New York to see Luigi Chinetti with the intention of buying a Ferrari to enter in the Daytona Continental. She ended up buying today’s featured Ferrari 250 GTO chassis #4219 and finding love in the form of Luigi Chinetti’s son Luigi Chinetti Jr whom she married in July 1963.
Mamie, heir to tobacco and mining fortunes along with the “Hope Diamond” had Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) enter #4219 into the Daytona Continental for Pedro Rodriguez to drive and he promptly won the race. NART entered the car at the following Sebring 12 Hours for Joakim Bonnier and John Cannon in which they came home 13th overall.
In May 1963 Mamie sold #4219 to Beverly Spencer in California for US $14,000, Beverly entered the car in numerous events through ’63 and ’64 primarily for Frank Crane who’s best results were a 2nd overall at Laguna Seca and a class win at Candlestick Park Raceway.
At the end of 1964 Spencer sold the car to George Dyer for US $12,166. George had the now white #4219 painted dark blue and kept it until January 1993 when he sold the car to Brandon Wang the present owner for an estimated US$ 3 – 3.5 million.
By October 1965 Mamie and Chinetti jr were not getting on and after a private phone call to J Edgar Hoover she was liberated by “agents” and promptly divorced Chinetti jr and remarried a dog breeder the same day with whom she appears to have settled down for good.
Thanks for joining me on this “Fast Cars and Fast Love” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !