Ferrari logo

Royal Flush

13 ottobre 2020

Jason Barlow

For Hans Bøgh-Sørensen what began as a one-off purchase - of a Ferrari 488 Spider bearing one of Maranello’s 70-year anniversary liveries - became the start of a very special, family project: a worldwide search for the other four cars of the collection

Here’s the question: is collecting a form of mania? Perhaps. Your correspondent can’t really justify why he has eight different copies of The Beatles’ 1968 ‘White Album’ – or three alternative pressings of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Electric Ladyland’, released that same year. The music industry calls us ‘completists’, and it can be an expensive hobby.

Then there’s Hans Bøgh-Sørensen. His Ferrari collection runs to 16 cars – and counting – among them some of the most sought-after of recent years, including the F12tdf, 599 GTO and the latest special series car, the Monza SP2. But this story has a unique twist.

Bøgh-Sørensen is a mild-mannered Danish entrepreneur who started the pharmaceutical company Orifarm in 1994 with his wife and has since grown it into a billion-euro business. Yet he claims that Ferrari ownership was always something he felt would remain beyond his grasp. The epiphany only began in 2007 when his youngest son, then just seven years old, noticed that a grand tour organised as part of Ferrari’s 60th anniversary celebrations would be passing through their nearest town.

“I’ve always been a car freak, but Ferrari was just a dream. I’d driven lots of BMWs, mostly the M5,” the Dane tells The Official Ferrari Magazine. “I’m not sure how my son found out about the Ferrari tour, but he suggested we go. It was fantastic, I made contact with a Ferrari dealer that day, and we made an arrangement for me to try a 599 GTB. I don’t imagine he thought I’d actually buy one, but I was absolutely fascinated by it. I remember getting back into my BMW and I felt like a retired person. I ordered a 599 a few weeks later. It just blew my mind.”

For Bøgh-Sørensen, the next curve on his Ferrari journey arrived exactly a decade later. “We took part in the Cavalcade in Venice, and during that we were told we would be offered a special car to celebrate Ferrari’s 70th anniversary. We had two possibilities, a GTC4Lusso or a 488 Spider. I’d never had a Spider so the choice was easy.”

Ferrari celebrated its 70 years by creating a livery inspired by 70 particularly significant cars from its history. Bøgh-Sørensen’s 488 Spider was resplendent in one of the more intriguing paint schemes. Livery no.54 was known simply as ‘celebrating an anniversary’, but its Bianco Italia paintwork and Giallo Modena and Rosso Corsa stripes pay homage to an important car in Ferrari competition history. This was the Ferrari F40, chassis no.80742, which wore MonteShell sponsorship livery, and was one of only seven F40s upgraded by Michelotto for racing duty. Modifications included a lighter body (it weighed just 1,050kg), a power increase to 590cv, rose-jointed suspension, an uprated gearbox, a quick-fill fuelling system, and hydraulic quick-lift jacks.

This particular car dominated the 1993 Italian GT championship, winning eight of the nine races it competed in, making it the most successful of all the F40s that ever raced and the only one to triumph in an FIA championship.

The collecting part of this story turbocharged itself about a year ago, he continues. “We discovered that the MonteShell California T was for sale in an auction. Then I was at the Nürburgring with my two boys, and the idea came up to collect all five of the MonteShell cars. My sons are very quick on their phones, and within half an hour they’d found the GTC4Lusso, which was in Stuttgart and also for sale. Now we had real momentum. They searched some more, and a few days later my youngest son found the F12 in Tokyo – which also happened to be for sale.”

Soon afterwards, they found the 488 GTB, in Dubai. But luck ran out when they sought the F40. “It just wasn’t available, so we bought a different F40 and wrapped it with the MonteShell livery. Now we have a complete collection.”

While the collection may be finished, the Danish entrepreneur has continued along the Ferrari road and already ordered his next Prancing Horse car: “I have an SF90 Stradale coming soon. I expect to have my mind blown all over again.”