Ferrari Owners Club
The Hans Tanner Trophy

The Hans Tanner Trophy

For many years, the Ferrari Owners Club (FOC) national office has awarded a trophy to members who have shown extraordinary service to the Club over many years. This is the Hans Tanner Trophy, and it has existed in relative obscurity until now. Even people attending National Election Brunches and seen the trophy awarded have not realized the significance of the award. It is the highest award the FOC presents.

Hans Tanner was an early member of the FOC. His hard work and innovative thinking is why the trophy is named after him. For example, it is Hans Tanner that founded the Virginia City Hill Climb. Yes, the Virginia City Hill Climb was originally an FOC event. Hans organized the event, dealt with all the permissions needed in Virginia City, and turned it into a major racing event. Hans Tanner hailed from Switzerland, and was a writer and author. He wrote a book about Ferrari, simply called FERRARI. He fell in love with the Old West, spending a lot of time in Virginia City, where he became enamored with the cowboy life and embraced it fully.

The trophy is not awarded every year. In fact, it has only been awarded to 18 people over the (as of this writing) 62-year history of the Ferrari Owners Club. The FOC was founded in June 1961 and was officially recognized by Enzo Ferrari himself, the letter signed in his characteristic purple ink, as the only factory authorized Ferrari club in North America.

While all winners of the Hans Tanner Trophy are special people who have dedicated years (or decades) of service to the FOC. There are two people who have been awarded the trophy twice, the husband-and-wife dynamic duo of Walt and Carolyn Ward. Walt held member number 46, and Carolyn met Walt in the FOC. Together they held virtually every office the FOC has, and did the jobs no one wanted or even knew about. They created and organized events, ran membership, regions, and forged new ground for Ferraris nationwide. When these two started, there were only a handful of Ferraris in the country. They served the club for half a century each. Walt was still attending events and board meetings at 92 years old, a few short weeks before his passing. Carolyn is still active in the club and a board member.

So, when you meet one of the amazing, hard-working individuals listed below at an FOC or other car event, you might now understand the decades of hard work these people have expended to make the Ferrari Owners Club and their events possible.

1973 Ed Niles*
1974 Chuck Queener*
1975 Bill Schanbacher*
1976 June Pruden
1978 Bill Schworer*
1979 Lyle Tanner
1981 Bob McMillan*
1983 Larry Bloomer*
1989 Walt Ward*
1991 Marshall Buck
1993 Carolyn Sledge*
* - Past President

1996 Bob Turner*
1997 Rick Principe*
2000 Tex K. Otto
2002 Walt Ward*
2005 Mike Greenwald*
2007 John Cannizzo*
2010 Robert De Pietro
2013 Richard Adams*
2019 Carolyn Sledge Ward*
* - Past / present President