Ferrari Club Australia began in 1972 as The Australian Ferrari Register, making it one of the oldest clubs in the world.
Because of Australia’s isolation, our first contact with Ferrari, outside the pages of motor racing magazines, was when some of the retired racing cars came here after they were no longer competitive in Europe in the 50′s and 60′s. Little were these owners to realise how valuable these cars would eventually become and they were frequently left in sheds or dismantled for parts once their racing days were over. Australia’s fastest speedboat of the 60′s was powered by the engine from a 1950′s Ferrari GP car (it’s now been reunited with the correct chassis).
Ferrari Club Australia is highly active and has a passionate and enthusiastic membership. Events are run all over the country and include track days, rallies, concours d’elegance, drive days, social gatherings and just about any excuse we can think of to use our cars and mix with our friends. Many members have been with the club for over 25 years and many still own the car they purchased when they first joined. New cars and owners are equally welcome and just about every event attracts a wonderful blend of models from early V12′s and Dinos through to F430, 612 and 575′s.
Our members take great pride in the presentation of their cars and all our concours events are keenly contested but our real emphasis is on driving, with regular track events being a long-standing club tradition. We publish several, quality club journals and interstate friendships, formed over many years of attendance at our much-loved annual rally, are an important part of our culture.
In a clear case of history repeating itself, we are just starting to see a trickle of older competition cars coming into Australia (F40LM, F50LM, F333SP, Challenge cars of all models etc.) and hope this continues to boost the numbers of important, later cars at our events.
Australians are great followers of F1 and just like everywhere else around the globe, Ferrari is the favourite team. Whenever our club gathers, the recognition and respect our cars receive from the general public is very heart-warming and reminds us how lucky we are to be the custodians of these wonderful pieces of automotive history.
Later, cars like 250GTE’s and 275 GTB’s were imported and raced with some success in open sports car fields and gradually, the performance and elegance of Ferrari’s road cars became more widely known. In the 60′s, Australia and New Zealand hosted a wonderful series for open wheelers known as The Tasman Series. This attracted many of the top F1 stars and constructors, including Ferrari who sent specially upgraded F2 cars and drivers like Chris Amon and Derek Bell, during the European winter. At about this time, David McKay imported a brand new 250LM (6321) which quickly became a crowd favourite, winning almost everything it entered, over a number of years. This much-loved car is now owned by Ralph Lauren. It was quickly followed by an ex-Can Am 4.2 ltr P4 (0858) that perhaps wasn’t ideal for our sprint racing formats and was sold to Paul Hawkins and later owned by David Piper.
These exotic cars really put Ferrari on the map in Australia. From an initial group of 14 dedicated enthusiasts in 1972, Ferrari Club Australia now boasts over 1,380 members and a fantastic array of cars reflecting Ferrari’s complete history.