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Ferrari Race Car Inspires Clearwater Man to Design Piano

Justin Elliott, a Clearwater designer of custom, high-end pianos, debuted his latest creation at Ferrari of Tampa Bay — a very suitable location since the piano was inspired by Ferrari’s 1957 Testa Rossa race car.

No doubt, hardcore Ferrari aficionados get the chills when they hear the rev of the engine from the high-end racing machines. 

Ferrari even released an iPhone app called "Ferrari Sound" which lets users hear the engines of various models of the Italian-built race car. There also are scores of websites featuring the sounds of Ferraris.

But now, a Clearwater resident has created a unique piano inspired by a classic Ferrari. It's music to his ears, minus the roaring engine.

Justin Elliott, 28, is the owner of ResInno, a Clearwater company that makes high-end custom pianos. Elliott recently designed the Grand Rossa, a piano that was inspired by Ferrari's iconic 1957 Testa Rossa race car. Elliott says the sleek design of the piano's legs actually enhances the tonal quality of the piano. Elliott and recording artist Grigorios Zamparas gave the piano a trial run on stage at the University of Tampa, where Zamparas is an instructor, and loved its unique sound.

"The legs change the tone, it's fuller and richer," said Zamparas.

"The legs change it drastically. It totally changes the tonality of the instrument, it gets rid of the harsh and brash sound of it and makes it fuller, richer and easier to play," said Elliott, who is blind in one eye and has been tuning and designing pianos since age 15.

Elliott was on hand for the piano's unveiling at a private party at Ferrari of Tampa Bay's showroom on July 9. Guests listened to Zamparas perform on the piano while enjoying wine and appetizers and admiring the piano.

“Finding the perfect marriage between function and design is something Ferrari has perfected and is something that is also critical for my work at ResInno. I am thrilled that Ferrari of Tampa Bay recognized the art behind my work and welcomed it to the dealership,” Elliott said. 

The Grand Rossa sells for $150,000 with the special legs, or $97,000 without.

The Grand Rossa is not the only type of piano that Elliott and his crew make. He accepts custom orders and is currently working on a piano for a yacht. Elliott says it usually takes two months to complete a piano once a design is finished.

Learn more about Elliott's custom pianos at the ResInno website.

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