“The Yellow Crayola Ferrari Enzo” was the last and one of the best articles submitted to VeloceToday by Werner Pfister, who died earlier this week after a lengthy battle with cancer. His story about a Crayon Ferrari crafted by a renowned artist for a Children’s hospital reminded us of Werner’s keen eye for an interesting story as well as his generosity and kindness.
Werner was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1950 and came to New York with his family in 1958. His family was in the automotive repair business and Werner became a car enthusiast quite naturally. Nevertheless, after graduating from college he worked for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, then with the parent company American Express. In 1987 he decided to join Bob Sharp Ferrari in Connecticut, which was followed shortly after by a job offer from Richard Koppleman, who had purchased the Sharp Ferrari franchise and opened up the now famous Miller Motorcars in Greenwich. Werner held the position of sales manager for Ferrari and Maserati cars until just recently.
Along the way, Werner became friends with Ferrari historians Dick Merritt and Stan Nowak as well as many other Ferrari and Maserati enthusiasts.
In a short biography written by Stanley Cohen (who funded the Yellow Crayola Ferrari) it was noted that Werner enjoyed collecting automobilia, from driver’s autographs to a wing from the Garlit’s “Big Daddy” dragster. He wrote for other publications as well as VeloceToday and helped local organizations and clubs with some very classy concours, including those in both Fairfield and Greenwich Connecticut. Werner’s love of art ranged from classical to the abstract and he was quite a talented painter.
He always had an ear out for a good story and working at Miller enabled him to report on interesting events around the New York area. One of our favorites was “Bugattis on Broadway”, a story about the presentation of the Veyron at the famous Sardi’s restaurant. ( Link) He also covered the Cavallino Classic for us on many occasions. Right up to the end, Werner was working on another article for VeloceToday, tracing the history of the “Bro Crim” OSCA.
We’ll miss Werner, his kindness and his articles. We extend our condolences to his wife Elizabeth, his three children, family and friends. Below, “Yellow Crayola Ferrari Enzo”.
By Werner Pfister
In 2013 the Crayola Company will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the introduction of their eponymous crayon. Ever since then, kids all over the world have enjoyed creating their masterworks of art while drawing with Crayolas. But recently, I was blown away when I saw those crayons used for a sculpture! Stanley Cohen, an attorney in West Hartford, Connecticut recently commissioned a work of art using Crayola crayons in a most unusual way.
As background, I should mention that Stanley was for many years a European sports car owner when about 30 years ago he was invited to a drive a Ferrari. He loved it and has been an avid Ferrari owner ever since. Incredibly, he has owned every new Ferrari since, including some very collectible older Ferraris including a 330 GTC, a Daytona and a Daytona Spider. More recently his garage has been home to a 458 Spider and an FF. Any Ferrari enthusiast would have been totally ecstatic with that ownership history, but even more impressive is the fact that Stanley also owns all four Ferrari supercars: a 288 GTO, an F-40, and an F-50 which are all in traditional “Rosso Corsa” paint…and a yellow Enzo!
Cohen has also been a mover and shaker in the Ferrari Club of America-New England Region. About a dozen years ago, Stanley and his fellow club members founded the popular Hartford Ferrari Concorso to showcase their cars and to raise money for charitable causes, including the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC). One of the highlights of this annual event is when Stanley and his team drive young patients from the hospital to the show site in their Ferraris. To date, this event has raised more than $1,200,000 with the CCMC receiving the bulk of that funding. However, for Cohen even that admirable feat wasn’t enough.
Earlier this year, Stanley and his wife Janet made a substantial personal donation to CCMC in order to build a Chemotherapy Infusion Center and Nurses Station. “I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family and the ability to acquire some wealth. Making the lives of the children and their families easier during their stay at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a pleasure, and a way I can show my sincere appreciation to the Good Lord for bestowing me with health and opportunities,” said Cohen. To complement their donation, the Cohens wanted to give the hospitalized kids something they could really appreciate. Quite by accident, Stanley read about Tennessee-based Crayola artist Herb Williams who has his art in the White House, the Smithsonian and other prestigious locations around the world. That is when Cohen hatched this idea.
Williams works entirely with crayons and is the world’s largest purchaser of crayons from the Crayola Company. He regularly buys the crayons in 50 pound cases of a single color containing 3,000 pieces! Stanley took his idea of doing something special for the kids and approached Williams to create a large scale replica of his Ferrari Enzo, made entirely out of yellow Crayola crayons!
Recently I was invited to the Crayola Enzo model installation reception at the CCMC. Wayne Carini of the popular TV show, “Chasing Classic Cars” was the MC of the event and assisted in the unveiling of this spectacular sculpture. (Carini has also been a regular exhibitor and a dedicated committee member of the Hartford Concorso since its inception.)
When I spied the Yellow Crayola Enzo at this event, I was immediately very impressed and spent a lot of time walking around the glass-covered work of art to take in all the details. At 4 feet long and 3 feet wide it has a real presence. Williams said “It weighs about one hundred pounds even though I used lightweight Styrofoam and some wood for the core.” Who knew that crayons could weigh that much, but when you use up to 36,000 of them, it all adds up.
The Yellow Crayola Enzo is detailed right down to the miniature replica of Cohen’s actual Connecticut vanity plate: Enzo-1 which Williams painstakingly created. There are many fine details visible everywhere, including outside mirrors, headlights/taillights, exhaust pipes, air scoops, windows and alloy wheels, all done in different colored crayons. The artist told me that each crayon is individually bonded to the form using an archival adhesive. The entire work of art took Williams between 3 and 4 months to complete.
“It was a tremendous honor to pay homage to one of the most iconic Ferrari’s ever designed. I was then humbled at the generosity of Stanley Cohen and the West Hartford Ferrari Club by including me in their tremendous support of the Children’s Medical Center.” said Williams.
The kids at CCMC love and treasure their new art installation at the hospital. I bet that they are already dreaming about the next Concorso scheduled for June, 2013 when they might get to ride in the real thing! I know that Stanley Cohen will be working to make those dreams a reality.