Enzo Ferrari has been dead for nearly 30 years but his name is still a powerful force in Italy where the Ferrari legend is only slightly less revered than Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This week, Italian police uncovered a plot to snatch the body of the great man from an above ground burial vault located in the San Cataldo cemetery in Modena, the next town over from Maranello where the factory that bears his name stands.

Enzo Ferrari

According to Reuters, police in the town of Nuoro on the island of Sardinia told a news conference they believe a gang had planned to demand a ransom after making off with the body. Apparently, the gang has made several trips to Modena to further its dastardly plan.

Police first learned of the plot during an investigation into gun runners and drug dealers. They used helicopters and parachute troops to serve 31 subpoenas on suspected criminals (Just driving up to the door to the door to serve legal documents is a good way to get killed in rural Italy it seems). After several arrests, some tongues were loosened and the nefarious cabal was revealed.

The idea was to snatch Ferrari’s body and hold it for ransom from either the Ferrari family or from the company — or both. When it comes to body snatching, the rules are fairly fluid. It is lucky for the thieves that their plot was foiled. Had they actually pulled this off, the Ferrari faithful, known worldwide as tifosi, would have tracked them down and created yellow and black cavallino rampante tattoos on their foreheads without the benefit of Novacaine.

I was privileged to witness the tifosi in action during the Italian grand prix in Monza last September. There is no more rabid group of sports fans in the world. They would not take kindly to their patrón being disturbed in such an insulting fashion.

For Enzo Ferrari fans, two bio pics are scheduled for release soon. In one, Robert De Niro, who is almost as old as the great man himself, will play the part of the Ferrari founder. Hugh Jackman will star in the second movie. The Ferrari brand is said to be the most valuable in the world, thanks to the life and times of it renwoned founder, may he rest in peace.

Source and photo credit: AutoBlog