The Ferrari community is filled with interesting people and experts of high competence. You will agree, if I say that the number of people who can tell stories from the early Ferrari-days is getting smaller. Having lost Gerald Roush and Denny Schue amongst other, it is always a pleasure to see that people like Edward K. Niles are still with us and we are grateful that they still like to share their eye-witness reports of those times, gentlemen-like, straightforward, uncomplicated and friendly. Thank you for knowing you, Ed!

Ed Niles’ introduction the first supplement of “The Ferrari Serial Number Manual 1947-2007”:

“I bought my first Ferrari in 1959, and caught the bug so severely that I ended up owning over 100 before old age and common sense finally cured me. Well, perhaps I’m in remission; is anyone truly cured of this exquisite disease?

At first, I didn’t even know what “telaio” meant. But soon I figured it out, and started referring to my purchases by their number, as did a few others in the growing world of Ferraris. In the 60’s, I met that great Ferrari enthusiast and historian Jess Pourret. When he realized that I was a kindred spirit, he shared with me that he had been granted access to the Ferrari factory records, and had been compiling records of all Ferraris! Whoa, what a treasure trove! Not only that, he let me copy his records, on my solemn oath that I would keep them confidential, which I have done to this day. My “book”, which goes up to about S/N 1100 (plus certain competition models), was kept up-to-date as I heard of new owners or corrections. When the market collapse of 1990 arrived, I lost interest, and quit keeping current. Of course, by then, dealers and brokers were taking over this craze, and using computers instead of my hand-scrawled notes.

All these efforts were private - very private - and jealously guarded. Then, in 2001, Hilary Raab astonished us all by publishing the first of his serial number books. For the first time, such information became public; truly public. His efforts helped spawn a new cult, a group of Ferrari spotters who avidly chase serial numbers and keep records. The easy access to the world of computers, of course, has made all this much easier.

I admit that I am constantly astonished at the number of people who have taken up this interest, and even more astonished at the depth of knowledge shown by some who are involved in this hobby (if hobby is the correct word). Perhaps one shouldn’t be surprised, though, when one remembers that no automotive venture in history has created such fervid enthusiasm as Ferrari.

Matthias Urban has done a great service to all of us by up-dating Hil Raab’s books, and by publishing this very complete volume. Naturally, it doesn’t contain such information as ownership history, for several reasons. The addition of such history would require a set of encyclopedias, and many owners don’t want their names published anyway.

The information in this book represents a remarkable amount of work on the part of its compiler/author. You’ll find it both useful and entertaining.


Ed Niles“

Edwin K. Niles, born 1924, owned more than 100 cars from the Factory’s most interesting early production period. A list of the cars, accompanied by a beautiful story about Ed can be read in October 2001-issue of “Forza”-Magazine. If you are subscribed to you will be surprised, how many cars the keyword “Niles” will return if you have searched for it.