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Spatafora, the marshal with Ferrari

Armando Spatafora

Dear reader, as I have already mentioned in another article (the one about Nino Vaccarella), one of my greatest passions is linked to the motor environment.

The singular fact that I am about to tell you, despite being incredible, really happened in Rome in the 1960s and concerns a black Ferrari 250 GTE 2 + 2 and one of its drivers, the young brigadier of the rapid response team, Armando Spatafora.

Armando Spatafora, The Lynx

Armando Spatafora was born in Syracuse on March 9, 1927, and, after serving in the Air Force, he became one of the best agents of the Rome Police Headquarters, nicknamed The Lynx by organized crime.

In those years, the police had Alfa Romeo 1900 Super, which were often inadequate for the crazy night chases around the Eternal City. Criminals used to use high-powered cars, such as Maserati (usually stolen from some unfortunate).

At this point, the situation appeared to be critical.

The incredible request

Angelo Vicari,  the prefect and the head of the police, tried to resolve the issue. He therefore decided to meet the policemen to have a face-to-face confrontation. After listening to their various needs, a young sergeant suggested to the prefect that perhaps the ideal would have been to own a Ferrari.

There was a tumbleweed moment in the room. But Vicari, surprising everybody, consented to the request. Thus it was that the Rome rapid response team had, within a few months, a black Ferrari 250 GTE 2 + 2, complete with flashing lights, a siren, and the panther (logo of the State Police flying squad) on the front side.

Ferrari 250 GTE
Ferrari 250 GTE

Such a car had 240 hp and could reach speeds of over 250 km/h. It was therefore necessary for the lucky men of the police to take a driving course in Maranello. So it was that they left for Maranello, aboard brigadier Spatafora’s Fiat 500, facing a journey of over 6 hours.

The stories about Spatafora

From then on, the stories (truth or legends?) follow one after the other. One of these involves the engineer Ferrari. He, who was amazed by the brigadier’s skills during some tests in Maranello, proposed him to drive for his team. The sergeant, however, declined the offer, arguing that being a driver was a dangerous job.

They also say that the criminals looked for him during the night to challenge him along the streets of Rome.

The brigadier and the Marseillaise

However, one of the most incredible stories remains a daring chase by Spatafora against a Marseillaise. The latter, to escape the sergeant, drove down from the steps of Trinità dei Monti. He thought that the sergeant would not have had the courage to do the same, but he was wrong. Having to stop for having damaged his car, he was arrested.

Brigadier Spatafora retired with the rank of marshal, and his Ferrari went missing for years. It was found in the garage of a private collector, who had bought it at an auction of disused military vehicles. Today it has returned to be part of the collection of the State Police vehicles.

Marshal Spatafora died on February 26, 1987.

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