Unbridled Passion

Since Phil and Martha Bachman bought their first Ferrari in the early 1980s, they’ve travelled the world with their FXX, become longtime concours judges and built an unrivaled collection of (mostly) modern Ferraris.

July 17, 2014
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Greeneville, Tennessee, a small city of around 15,000 located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is probably best known as the longtime home of Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States (as well as the first president to be impeached). Of more significance to this story, Greeneville is also home to Phil Bachman, who, over the course of the last 30 years, has assembled a fascinating collection of Ferraris.

Ferraris are about as common as unicorns in this part of the South, and Bachman, who opened his first auto dealership in 1967, initially collected his fair share of pristine Corvettes, Pontiacs and little British cars. He discovered our favorite marque in 1983, and things took off from there. How far Bachman has come since his first encounter with the Prancing Horse is immediately evident when he and wife (and fellow Ferrari enthusiast) Martha welcome me to their unassuming garage.

Unassuming on the outside, that is: Upon entering, I’m nearly blinded by a sea of bright yellow thoroughbreds. This near-ubiquitous color is far from the whole story, however. When I dig a little deeper, I learn that most of the cars are the last example of their kind built.

“I think the final production car is the one that best exemplifies the series,” Bachman explains. “It also seems like a nice trend for the collection. For instance, I purchased the last 512 BBi produced—which is red, by the way—when it became available.”

Tour completed, the Bachmans invite me into their home for a cool drink; genuine Southern hospitality from some of the friendliest car collectors I’ve ever met. Sweet tea in hand, we soon sit down for a long talk about Ferrari.

Also from Issue 136

  • California T first drive
  • P4/5 Competizione goes hybrid
  • One-off 375 MM
  • Ferrari wins GTE-Pro at Le Mans
  • F1: Trying Times
  • Driving coach Ed Zabinski
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