Modena. One day after the Italian Grand Prix, while walking through the late summer heat on our way to the train station, one anonymous tourist walking into town grabbed our attention. He was unmissable to any curious eye as he was carrying a wooden “coffin” with a leather belt strapped to his shoulders. He seemed very familiar. Some people are hard to miss.
Once I spotted his face, it reminded me about the hardcore American Ferrari fan we met a few days ago, walking through the Monza forest during the Italian Grand Prix. “Are you the American tifoso with the Ferrari F1 car hat from Monza?” – I asked him. “Yes, that’s me.” – The man replied friendly. Who said lightning never strikes twice?!
At Monza you can find just about any kind of tifosi you can ever imagine. If you do not find it at this track, you probably will not find them anywhere else these days. Hardcore F1 fans who still wear Arturo Merzario cowboy hats, others stuck in the days of Jean Alesi, even a ‘Gilles Villeneuve 27’ tattooed with original red Marlboro World Championship Team cap included.
However not even in Monza do you come across two people wearing a hat with attached 1:8 scale of Ferrari FS16H. This unique Formula One fan is Kim Reimer from Tallahassee, Florida, and is always open to show off his handmade Ferrari hat. Reimer began making these amazing hats some 13 years ago, and his creations have gained a lot of attention, especially in Montréal and Austin.
Reimer, a retired Oracle database administrator, began mounting replica Ferraris in 2003 and explains his creations are possible thanks to his advanced knowledge of working with aluminum and styrofoam, techniques he gained having a background as a worker in a theatre, installing atrezzos for stage plays.
Reimer is always open for a pause and sharing his story. “I am used to lots of people coming and asking me about the details. Meeting people motivates me to make a better job every year,” he said. “Every year the replica on top keeps getting bigger. This year it took me about 150 hours. It weighs 1 kg.”
“It’s fine with me to pose with anybody asking me details and posing with a picture with my hat, however I hate it when drunks come touching and destroying the tyres.” – Kim concluded.