Life’s One Guarantee
It use to be that the only two guarantee’s in life were death and taxes. But as we have seen in the news recently there are those that can escape one of these. The other, death, is one that waits for no one and everyone at the same time. That being said, thoughts about what happens in the afterlife is often in the wandering space of our subconscious. Certain auto enthusiasts, however, preoccupy that space with thoughts of what will happen to their cherished machines once they are no longer around.
When you develop a bond with a vehicle the idea of being separated from it can feel like a parent dropping off their child at school for the first time. “Who will love and look after it as well as I have?”
In the case of Sandra West, she treasured her ice blue 1964 Ferrari 330 America so much that she decided to take it with her, or at least try to.
The Story of Sandra West & the Buried Ferrari
Sandra Ilene West was a Beverly Hills socialite and widow to Texas oil tycoon millionaire Ike West Jr. A bigger than life personality insured that Sandra West’s death would be one to remember for generations when she wrote a hand written Will stating a very specific list of last requests. She asked for three things; to be buried in San Antonio, TX, next to her late husband. To be dressed in a white lace nightgown, and lastly, to be buried in her blue 1964 Ferrari 330 America with the driver seat slanted comfortably.
The Alamo Masonic Cemetery here in San Antonio serves as the final resting place for the oil heiress and her Italian chariot. This year will be the 40th anniversary of her burial ceremony.
Sandra West purchases her Ferrari 330 America shortly after moving to California with Ike West Jr. in 1963. When Ike West Jr. died of health complications in 1968 Sandra West became the heiress to a 5 million dollar fortune. The press referred to her as, “Sandra West, Beverly Hills Socialite and Heiress.”
Sandra West had a fondness for studying Egyptology, which is safe to assume where she got the idea for her last request. After all, when King Tutankhamen died over 3,000 years ago he was buried with two golden chariots.
In 1977, Sandra West and her Ferrari were sealed in a box and transported to San Antonio. A crane lowered them into a grave that was 19 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 9 feet deep. Then, concrete was poured over to insure that no one would disturb the heiress with hopes of unearthing a classic Ferrari. A restored, or original, 1960’s Ferrari 330 America can fetch over $500,000 at auctions today! Hundreds of people showed up the day of her ceremony, mostly out of curiosity after the story became national news.
The grave site is still a tourist attraction today as a spot on locally run San Antonio tours. History buffs and sightseers visit Sandra West to catch a glimpse of the modest patch of grass that covers the Ferrari tomb underneath. You may not be able to take stuff with you after your gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave in style either.
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