While Ferrari may be thought of as one of the world's premiere luxury brands, I've seen a very human side to this company as well. Last month, two earthquakes shook the Northern Italy region of Emilia-Romagna about 25 miles from Ferrari's Marinello headquarters, killing almost 30 people. To raise money to aid those impacted by the quake, Ferrari has assembled a large collection of Formula 1-related memorabilia to be sold via online auction during June.
It's not just signed photos and common stuff, the auction will feature things like a Ferrari V8 race engine, race helmets and racing suits from Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. The showpiece of the auction will be a super-rare 599XX Evo car, worth over $2 million. The auction will also feature items donated by Ferrari clients and collectors.
Fans and supporters all around the world can participate in the online auction and I will be logging in to check out what's available. While I can't afford the 599XX, I think even to be able to buy a small part from a Ferrari F1 car would be cool, especially given the proceeds go to help the quake victims. The auction will be sometime next week at ferraristore.com, the marque's official webstore.
How the earthquake has affected Ferrari
According to the Washington Post, the quake was a large 5.8 on the Richter scale and as a resident of Los Angeles, I know that's a big one. Many of the buildings in Italy are unreinforced masonry, the most vulnerable to quake damage. Although the Ferrari plant survived undamaged, one of their suppliers had to close, which can interfere with vehicle production. The company is helping workers find work at other plans and is also moving some equipment from the company damaged in the quake to the Ferrari headquarters so they can continue producing cars.
Ferrari's history of helping
Previously, I held the common image of Ferrari of a super luxury brand and a brand with a strong racing heritage. I was not aware of their charitable efforts. It's not the first time Ferrari has stepped in to help those in need. They helped raise money after the Abruzzo earthquake in April 2009. Abruzzois a region in central Italy, just east of Rome. And after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, they contributed over $1 million to build after-school facilities in the Japanese city of Ishinomaki.