A recent picture of Sergio Scaglietti with his most celebrated creation, the Ferrari 250 GTO. Only 32 were made, each one bodied entirely by hand at the Carrozzeria Scaglietti workshop. All of them are still running and each is worth a kings ransom.

The flags at Modena were flying at half-mast today as the Ferrari family mourned the death of legendary coachbuilder Sergio Scaglietti, creator of such classics as the California, the 250 Testa Rossa and the iconic 250 GTO.

"Today is a sad day for Ferrari," said chairman Luca di Montezemolo. "We have lost a friend, a travel companion, a man who had his name forever connected to the Prancing Horse.

"Sergio Scaglietti leaves behind the legacy of an artist who created some of the most beautiful cars of our history, and those who were privileged to know him as I did will also remember him as a straightforward and honest man, completely dedicated to his work.

"We will miss him.'

Sergio Scaglietti was a real and natural talent who liked to say he made cars with his hands and with his eyes. His Carrozzeria Scaglietti workshop created beautiful bodies for some of the earliest Ferraris a life-long friendship grew between Scaglietti and the young Enzo Ferrari.

Later the Carrozzeria Scaglietti was to become an integral part of Ferrari, and it remains so today, with models such as the 612 Berlinetta dedicated to the great craftsman.

Piero Ferrari recalled: "He was one of my father's closest friends. He and Marco Piccinini were with me the day my father died and he stayed with me the whole night before the funeral.

"I loved him and he was a very important part of my life. My life will be emptier without Sergio."