George Arents

21/4/1916 - 30/5/1992

Record updated 21-Apr-20

George Arents was multi-millionaire who owned the United States franchise for Ferrari. He came from a Virginia tobacco-growing family and was an heir to the American Tobacco Company

George Arents
George Arents was born in New York City, into a wealthy American family. His grandfather and father made their living in the tobacco industry. He studied at Columbia University and later received a MA from Syracuse University at the age of 57.

George lived in an impressive Coral Gables mansion, Carousel, so named to call attention to a row of merry-go-round horses that adorned the back porch. Though George Arents was gay, by some accounts he was at one time married and had children though I can find no reliable reference to this.

He drove a number of Ferraris notably in 1958 when he drove his 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta (0773) to fourteen East Coast SCCA races, winning thirteen of them.

Besides his personal racing, his most important contribution to motor racing was the founding and funding the North American Racing Team with Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti and Jan de Vroom in 1956. Chinetti ran it and Arents and de Vroom supplied the funding. NART raced with much success all over the world until '70 or '71 including winning Le Mans in 1965.

Though apparently de Vroom was a bit of a poseur and where his money came from is not clear. Anyway he was murdered on November 13th 1975 in his New York apartment by someone he had brought home. Arents' handsome young lover, David Cunningham, was a professional racing driver who ended up committing suicide.

George died in Burbank, Los Angeles, California at the age of 76.