George Arents was multi-millionaire who owned the United States franchise for Ferrari. He came from a Virginia tobacco-growing family and was an heir to the American Tobacco Company.
His uncle who initially worked with the family firm, eventually patented cigarette and cigar rolling machines. His machines went on to account for two thirds of the cigars smoked in the USA. George's uncle, who was actually a non-smoker, was also a keen racing driver. During the 1904 Vanderbilt Cup race, he was involved in an accident that clained the life of his riding mechanic Carl Mensel. The Mercedes 60 he was driving, lost a wheel on the Jamaica-Hempstead Road and overturned. Arents survived after two days in a coma.
George lived in an impressive Coral Gables mansion, Carousel, named to call attention to a row of merry-go-round horses that adorned the back porch. Though George Arents was gay he was at one time married and had children. He had a handsome youthful lover who was a professional racing driver, David Cunningham.
George Arents provided the backing to Louis Chinetti to set up the Ferrari Noth America Racing Team (NART).
He drove a number of Ferraris notibly in 1958 when he drove his 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta (0773) to fourteen East Coast SCCA races, winning thirteen of them.