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History - How the club started

The following is based on an article written by George Luk, founding president of the Australian Ferrari Register (AFR), and originally published for the 20th AFR Rally, Benalla, Victoria, April 12th, 1993.

"It all started with an idea

It is said that a thing of beauty is a joy forever - and this applies particularly to that mobile work of art - THE FERRARI. Fired with enthusiasm for all things Ferrari since my acquisition of a 250 GT Coupe in January 1969, I noticed a very small advertisement in the Classified pages of the English magazine "MOTOR SPORT", inviting Ferrari owners to join the UK Ferrari Owners' Club. Contact was established with Godfrey Eaton, Secretary of the F.D.C. in England, and the idea of forming an Australian club grew and grew, until it became unmanageable, forcing me to depart our shores in search for the "Holy Grail!" 

Thus in early 1971, I found myself walking the streets of Modena with my head in the clouds - this had to be paradise! I wandered in on Tom Meade (an American enthusiast trying to improve on Enzo's work), and Piero Drogo (coach builder and ex-racing driver) who had some incredible machinery at his works. The 'Breadvan', built on a 250 GTO chassis, is one of his creations.

Finally, introducing myself at the main Ferrari Office in Modena, I had the good fortune to meet Dott. MANICARDI (Ferrari General Manager) who was hosting Col. Ronnie HOARE (Chairman of Maranello Concessionaires UK). In our discussion, the formation of an Australian F.D.C. was warmly supported, and resulted in a good relationship with Maranello Concessionaires, who were soon to have the Ferrari agency for the whole of the R.H.D. world.

After Modena, I drove to Switzerland, and met Rob de la Rive Box, an enthusiast, author and part time dealer in Ferraris, who was quite enthusiastic about my plans. Subsequently I organized a meeting with Godfrey Eaton in the U.K. and we became serious plotters: it was quite amazing, but in his involvement with Bugatti Owners' Club, Godfrey knew Bob King from Melbourne, who was thinking on similar lines, writing in the Bugatti Newsletter of August 1971 as follows :

On my return to Australia, I called Bob and met him for dinner at Molina's Imperial Hotel in Spring St., in November 1971. After discussion we decided to invite Ferrari's to the 4th Great Australian Bugatti Rally at Griffith, NSW in June 1972. At that rally my words fell on fertile ground as I reported in the August 1972 Bugatti Newsletter.

A proposal for the formation of a Ferrari Owners' Association was made at the opening of the 4th Great Australian Bugatti Rally at Griffith by the writer thanks to courtesy of the organizer's. 

As apparently the need for such an association had been felt before, the words fell fertile ground, and after many words over even more glasses, the inaugural meeting the Ferrari Owners present was scheduled for the evening of the Presentation Dinner The owners present at Griffith were Lou Molina with his 250 GTE 2+2, Geoff Stubb his 330 GT 2+2, Noel Thomas with his Dino 246 GT, and the writer with a 250 GT coupe. Other owners, but alas without cars, were Stuart Murdoch, Peter Menere, lan Ferguson, about whose ill fortune more should be written. 
The owners present ,all Bugatti enthusiasts had a great time drinking, visiting wineries or just looking at the super machines around.

At the presentation Dinner, and informal meeting - the first on record took place and it was pronounced desirable that we exist, and a more formal meeting was proposed to be held at the Central Hotel, Church Street, Brighton on Wednesday 12th July, 1972 at 7 pm. 


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