CARS.COM — Italian police foiled an invasion of the body snatchers today, nabbing a gang of would-be grave robbers plotting to steal the body of Enzo Ferrari and hold it for ransom, Reuters reported.
The auto racing pioneer with Alfa Romeo and Scuderia Ferrari, and founder of his namesake Ferrari car company, died in 1988 at age 90. His body is in an above-ground family tomb in Modena, Italy, the site of his first 1930s factory before the company moved to nearby Maranello during World War II.
The bizarre plot involving 34 people was uncovered during an investigation into arms and drug trafficking, according to Europe’s Sky News, by an organized crime ring that is based on the island of Sardinia. Italy pulled out the stops: Some 300 officers were involved in the raids.
Kidnapping for ransom has a long history in Italy but typically involves live victims. In this case, however, the demands for the remains still could have been high. Ferrari is a national hero and a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, the highest order of knighthood in the Italian Republic. And this is the 70th anniversary year for the modern Ferrari car company.
While the planned plot sounds like something from one of Liam Neeson’s “Taken” movies, the racing pioneer’s colorful life may actually come to the screen soon in a Michael Mann biopic, “Ferrari,” a tale of Ferrari’s 1950s golden years and tempestuous relationship with wife Linda. Hugh Jackman is reportedly on board to play Ferrari, opposite Noomi Rapace.
The grave robbers might have gotten even more profit, however, if instead they had looted the final resting place of rich Beverly Hills socialite Sandra West. The wife of an oil tycoon was buried in 1977 in a giant grave in San Antonio – dressed in white and seated in her beloved powder blue 1964 Ferrari 250GT.