The inspiration, evolution and creation of both the Monza SP1 and SP2 are finally being revealed in a new and equally extraordinary book
Words: Jason Barlow Photography: Andrea Frazzetta
The Ferrari Monza SP1, together with the Monza SP2, are the forerunners in a new concept, known as 'Icona'
Both tap into a leitmotif of the most evocative cars in the company’s history to create a new segment of special limited series cars for clients and collectors.
The intention is to use a modern aesthetic to reinterpret a timeless style, with technologically advanced components and the highest performance possible through continuous innovation.
Now the inspiration, evolution and creation of this model are finally being revealed in a new and equally extraordinary book, Ferrari Monza SP1/SP2.
Published in large format and printed on finest quality eco-friendly Italian art paper, it is enriched with details that tangibly link to the car itself: carbon-fibre binding, a spine in the same leather used for some of the cockpit trim and a stunning slipcover lined entirely in Alcantara.
Ferrari is a brand so influential that it nourishes its own publishing eco-system, with thousands of books devoted to the marque over the years. But never one quite like this. Ferrari Monza SP1/SP2 is a limited-edition volume of only 499 copies, emulating the special series model whose story it relates.
Each book will be signed by the actual individuals who helped to realise this remarkable car. And it has the distinction of being published by a company that knows the territory rather well: Ferrari itself, through the company’s Brand Diversification department working in close partnership with Maranello’s Communications team.
In order to tell the complete story of the new Monza, the book delves deeply into early Ferrari competition history and reproduces some of the most atmospheric motorsport images ever captured. It explores the stories of the great heroes who helped put the original 750 Monza and its competition compatriots on the map during the first decade of the company’s existence.
For the book the team took the Monza SP1 to the iconic Mugello Circuit
It also features a studio shoot of the Monza’s sibling, the Ferrari 857 S, captured by well-respected photographer Alex Howe, while celebrated still life photographer John Akehurst spent several days capturing the foundry and the production line, depicting the moments in which the Monza SP1/SP2 begins to transcend the sum of its – admittedly fabulous – parts.
Following the red Ferrari Monza SP2 – the first car in the company’s inspirational new Icona series – through the hills of Tuscany
The book also contains many previously unpublished images and design drawings, a major attraction for both owners and fans of Ferrari. The new Monza’s minimalist ‘language form’ may be reminiscent of the earliest Ferrari barchetta road and racing cars, but it pushes that design language in a progressive new direction.
“It is such a particular car,” explains Flavio Manzoni, Ferrari Chief Design Officer. “It has a completely different architecture. The fascination for me wasn’t in recalling the forms of the past, it was to create a new animal. My team and I understood that there was a chance to make a shape that was really pure, really sensual. The past is a universal force representing Ferrari, but never forget the importance of modernity and an original approach.”
The Monza is, of course, powered by the Ferrari 6.5-litre, naturally aspirated V12 engine, the ultimate iteration of a format with which Ferrari has been synonymous since the company’s birth in 1947. It is a power unit whose impact and appeal straddles the line between rational engineering and pure emotion.
Ferrari Chief Technical Officer Michael Leiters was another person happy to participate in the book. “It is pure, it is the combustion itself. It is not filtered,” he says. “When we talk about emotion in the context of driving, what are we actually talking about? It is the sound an engine makes, and the perceived acceleration. You could create a sound which is beautiful. And you could create a degree of acceleration that is very impressive. But if these two things aren’t in perfect harmony the final result is lacking. So the V12 is the perfect concept, because you have a direct response when you put the pedal to the metal.”
Something similar can be said of the book. In an ever more digital world, a certain strata of client now looks for something that is tangible, beautiful, and intelligent. With its expansive shape, exquisite paper and a carbon-fibre cover, the team behind Ferrari Monza SP1/SP2 have created an experience akin to a great film, producing a must-have publication for Monza owners and Ferrari collectors alike.