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 CLASSIC CARS

Maranello Majesty

James Nicholls profiles the proud history of Ferrari and highlights the company’s most desirable models

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Ferrari Classiche

erhaps the greatest star in the car galaxy is the Ferrari. The Italian über-brand has an incredible history both on the road and on the track, which continues to live on to this day. Enzo Ferrari (1898 – 1988) was an extraordinary man with an amazing history of his own. He raced cars for Alfa Romeo and set up his own team in 1929. His successes were many and at the end of the war in 1945, Enzo started designing the first Ferrari. March 12, 1947 saw the V12-engined Ferrari 125 S taken out on its first test drive. The 125 S was an immediate and unqualified success. Ferrari won its first Mille Miglia in 1948, which was soon followed by victory in the Le Mans 24 Hour Race the following year. With Alberto Ascari in the driver’s seat, the marque won back-toback Formula One World Championship titles in 1952 and 1953. Ferrari built great cars and had unprecedented success on the track in F1. Following Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio (1956), Mike Hawthorn (1958), Phil Hill (1961) and John Surtees (1964) all tasted championship victory. These triumphs on the track spilt over to the road cars. The list of great cars produced by Ferrari is too long to catalogue here. Whatever classic Ferrari one might be lucky enough to own will bring tremendous driver satisfaction and social kudos. Mention must be made however of the legendary 250GT, which was launched in 1955 and which appeared in various guises until 1963. This car played a key role in the history of Ferrari for its competition record and acclaimed commercial success. The 275 model is another highly desirable Ferrari for the serious collector. These cars are beautiful, fast, rare and very expensive. Perhaps a more readily available but still highly desirable Ferrari classic is the 246 Dino. Produced between 1969 and 1974 and not originally badged as a Ferrari, the Dino (which was named after Enzo’s son who tragically died at the age of 24) was the first Ferrari model produced in high numbers: 3,761 of them were made. The 246 GT and 246 GTS (sporting a Targa roof), with its mid-engined 2.4 litre V6 is a wonderful car. Another great classic from this period is the Daytona (with a traditional Ferrari V12), which has a very striking body shape designed by the great Leonardo Fioravanti of Pininfarina. The Daytona name was attributed to the car because of the racing success of Ferrari’s 330P4 at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Ferraris had traditionally always been cars for movie stars and 16

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royalty, but from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, and now part of the FIAT group, Ferraris became much more accessible and available in greater numbers, to those who had the money to afford one. The history and lineage of the great Ferrari models is still in evidence today and the supercars (still being built at Maranello) that roll off the production line owe a great deal to the heritage of Enzo and the post-war years. One of the enduring and more modern classics – and an ultimate track toy – is the Ferrari F40. Unveiled in 1987, it was the last car to be created under Enzo’s management. Conceived as the fastest production car on the planet (the F40 has a top speed of 201 mph), Enzo’s idea for the F40 was simple: “[I wanted to] build a car to be the best in the world,” he said shortly before his death in 1988. For more information on Classic Cars please visit the Bonhams & Goodman website: www. bonhamsandgoodman.com.au

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