An exhibition in Modena shows how passion and beauty have long been essential threads weaving through the world of Ferrari
‘Ferrari Grand Tour, a journey amongst passion and beauty’ is a fascinating exhibition being staged this year at the Museo Enzo Ferrari (MEF) in Modena.
First stop is the Italian capital, represented by the marque’s latest creation, the Ferrari Roma, a eulogy to the era of the Dolce Vita.
In 1949 it was Paris' International Motor Show that debuted the 166 Inter Touring, a model that found its way into the Gianni Agnelli personal car collection. Exhibition visitors can see the very car in which John Elkann, the current Chairman of the House, sat as a little boy playing in his grandfather's garage.
Also featured is the 375 MM from 1954, a one-off commissioned from Pinin Farina by film director Roberto Rossellini for his wife, the actress Ingrid Bergman. Following an accident, Sergio Scaglietti worked on it for a year. The legendary coachbuilder introduced features that were later adopted by the Testa Rossa. Decades later, that particular 375 MM won the 'Best of Show' prize at 2014's Pebble Beach 'Concours d'Elegance'.
The United Kingdom, for its part, is the marque's leading European market and its historic racetracks have witnessed some memorable Ferrari victories, beginning with the Scuderia's first Formula One triumph, in 1951. A 1964 image shows the 330 GT 2+2 in front of the Palace of Westminster. A model made for a gentleman rather than a playboy, it won the heart of the legendary Beatle, John Lennon, who apparently convinced his wife he was acquiring an ordinary family car when he bought it.
In terms of sales, the United States has always been the most important Ferrari market, and here we see the brand's long association with Hollywood stars such as Jane Mansfield and Paul Newman, and musicians such as Miles Davis.
On display is a startling embodiment of Stateside passion for the brand: a 250 GT SWB from 1959. Its sporting pedigree included success in the Coppa Intereuropa, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Montlhéry 1,000km, and the Targa Florio.
The eastern boundary of this Grand Tour is represented by Shanghai, where Ferrari won the first Chinese Grand Prix in 2004. On display is the 599 GTB Fiorano from 2006, a year which celebrated the nine hundred and ninety-ninth Chinese client, and a 599 decorated by the artist Lu Hao in the style of Song dynasty porcelain. Visitors can get up close to the very 612 Scaglietti that made a fifteen-thousand-kilometre tour of China in 2005.
Abu Dhabi's Ferrari World theme park is featured. It was there that the FF, the first four-wheel drive Ferrari, was presented in 2011 following its triumphal debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
The exhibition also recalls last year's Cavalcade event that celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Ferrari entry into the Emirates, a parade that involved more than one hundred cars, including the F12 Tour de France and the California.
All in all, the MEF exhibition provides a comprehensive tour of the House and its history.