Enzo Anselmo Ferrari certainly is dead. Born on February 18, 1898, in Modena, Italy, he was the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and then founder of the Ferrari company - the makers of the world's most desirable cars. He passed away on August 14, 1988. So what's this funeral about in Hollywood?
It's the funeral for a car named after him. And it's a bit of promotion -
The Enzo Ferrari sportscar comedian Eddie Griffin wrecked during a recent charity race will be on show when he launches his new action movie, "Redline," on Thursday.
The star was taking part in a race at the Irwindale Speedway in California last month when he lost control of a pal's prized possession and crashed into a wall.
Griffin and the $1.2 million car's owner, a producer of "Redline," have denied reports the car crash was a publicity stunt for the film, but now they're using the wreckage to promote the movie.
The smashed car will be on display outside Mann Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, where Griffin will host the premiere on Thursday, beginning Tuesday.
A movie spokesman says, "The car will lay in state surrounded by security for several days leading up to the premiere of the film. Surrounding the car, in tribute, will be several high-profile sports cars as well as floral, candle and tribute displays to the car. It'll be a very special memorial service."
Yeah, right - whatever.
As you recall, last year - February 21, 2006 - Stefan Eriksson, a shady Swedish executive with ties to organized crime, lost control of an Enzo Ferrari, which didn't seem to have actually been his, while allegedly drunk and driving at high speed - along the Pacific Coast Highway out here in Malibu. That car careened off an embankment and hit a pole at about two-hundred miles an hour - split the thing in half and left the engine sitting all alone in the middle of PCH. Stefan was fine, and in legal trouble. (See Richard Winton and David Pierson - "Ferrari Mystery" - from the LA Times.)
As for the March 26th business this year out in Irwindale - just east of Los Angeles - that car suffered irreparable front-end damage. It was totaled. Griffin was also unharmed but was quoted widely - "Undercover Brother's good at karate and all the rest of that, but the brother can't drive." Okay, but it smelled of promotion - grab the insurance money and get a lot of free publicity, or publicity the insurance company underwrote. (The video of the wreck is here.)
This is the car. That's two of the only four hundred ever made gone.
As for the film, how that will do is anyone's guess, with its tagline - "Fear Nothing. Risk Everything." The movie uses the personal exotic car collection of the producer, local real estate investor Daniel Sadek - and he put up the twenty-six million to make the movie. You can see his Phantom Rolls Royce, his Lamborghini Murcielago, this Enzo Ferrari, his Ferrari F430, his Ferrari Scaglietti and his two Mercedes SLR McLarens. In one sequence his own Porsche Carrera GT - worth about a half-million - is crashed, on purpose. He may be quite mad. The movie seems to have something to do with gambling - No Limit Texas Hold 'Em. It's Hollywood.
But the day before the premier, the "funeral" smack in the middle of Hollywood was a giggle - and an excuse to work on some abstracts in red.