Drowning in the Red See

William H. Swanson is a serious and committed driving enthusiast and car collector, with something more than 40 superb top-end exotics and classics in his real and metaphoric car barn.  And only his Ford Model A and Super-Duty pickup are painted anything but red. 

The now-retired former CEO and Chairman of global technology giant Raytheon is a busy man, fettling, maintaining, and fortunately driving his magnificent cars; he and (first, original, and only) wife Cheryl built and ran a first-class, organic, and sustainably farmed vineyard and winery in Arroyo Grande (near San Luis Obispo), California, and head their own philanthropic foundation. 

Bill Swanson with a few toys

The Swansons have clearly done well in their lives and thoughtfully yet enthusiastically indulge in their many passions.  Mr. Swanson is deeply connected politically and sits on many corporate board of directors; some are for-profit businesses, others are non-profits or charity-related concerns.

As you can see from these eyeopening photos, the bulk of the Swansons’ collection is made up of Ferraris, although it’s by no means Maranello exclusive.  There’s a Bugatti Veyron here; a BMW 507, an Aston Martin Volante, a range of mouthwatering Porsches. and Ford GTs. 

Most of the Swansons cars were built to order, and of the Ferraris, that means only one color – Rosso Corsa (Racing Red), of course. Funny about the Porsches – they are also all red. 

When restoring his older 356s, he proudly painted them Ferrari Rosso Corsa instead of the more expected Guards Red.  He enjoys the fact that most people, even experts, can’t tell the difference, or at least never say anything about it. 

When Swanson discloses the secret, he said that everyone comments on how great they look in this ironically Italian color.  World-class restorer Paul Russell maintains and restores most of Swanson’s prized machines.

So just how did the whole “Red Thing” get started? 

Somewhat organically, in that his first Ferrari some many years ago was a 308, painted Rosso Corsa of course, Swanson generally subscribing to the notion that “all Ferraris are red, no matter what color they’re painted.”

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Drowning in the Red See
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2021 08:39:58 +0000

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