The Case of the Buried Ferrari, Part Two

Buried FerrariYesterday, you hopefully read about the buried Ferrari Dino 246 GTS. Today, you’ll find out that not all of it was entirely true … and why the public was led to believe some of the inaccuracies. If not for the curiosity of a gentleman named Mike Spinelli … an automotive columnist for Jalopnik, we may never have known the whole truth.

Intrigued by the story, Spinelli did some Internet research in 2012, trying to find out more about the buried Ferrari. He contacted one of the two police detectives, Dennis Carroll, who worked the case nearly 35 years ago. At first, Carroll didn’t give him Spinelli the time of day. 

Eventually, the detective (long since retired) realized that Spinelli was a legitimate reporter. Once that was established, he – along with the car’s current owner – filled in many of the blanks and revealed that some of what had been written was actually untrue.

The Real Truth Behind the Buried Ferrari

For starters, Detective Carroll divulged something completely unexpected … the original story of kids digging in the mud and finding the car was completely fabricated. The truth? An informant told Detective Carroll and then-partner Sergeant Joe Sabas about the car, explaining that the original buyer, Rosendo Cruz, was behind the car’s disappearance. The fable involving “the kids” was made up to keep the snitch’s identity confidential.

According to the informant, two men hired by Cruz were to “steal” the Ferrari while Cruz and his wife were in a restaurant celebrating their wedding anniversary. Once the car was pilfered, it was to be disassembled and the parts discarded, never to be found. Cruz would get a fat check from his insurance, minus a cut for his employees. Everything went smoothly at first; when grilled by authorities, Cruz simply played the role of distraught car owner, and there was no reason for police to believe otherwise.

There was just one problem: Cruz’s two hired thugs fell in love with the car, so instead of chopping it up they decided to bury it and retrieve it at a later time. Of course, that later time never came, and the car remained buried for the four-year period until the informant came forward.

Who Owns the Once-Buried Ferrari Today?

Today, the once-buried Ferrari is owned by Brad Howard, who told Spinelli he has owned it since it was fully restored in 1978. To find out more, and to hear first-person accounts from Spinelli, Detective Carroll, Howard and Ferrari expert Giuseppe Cappalogna, click here. It takes about 20 minutes to watch the entire production, but it’s fascinating – and you get to see the car in action at the end!

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