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Sporting Maranello

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Ferrari

Sporting Maranello

Geoff Maxted
October 16, 2013

1981 Ferrari F126C
If you find yourself at a loose end in Maranello, as you do, you could do worse than check out the “Ferrari Sporting Spirit” exhibition. The show takes as its theme the sporting spirit that has always characterised the Prancing Horse marque. It opened yesterday at the Ferrari Museum. It features 25 cars, from the earliest 125 S to the latest 458 GT2, passing through the 156 F1 which Phil Hill took to the 1961 world championship title, Gilles Villeneuve’s 126 CK, the 330 P3 that won Daytona in 1967 and Nigel Mansell’s F1-89, the first Formula 1 car to feature a steering wheel-mounted gear change. These cars are the best possible representation of an element fundamental to all Ferraris. The logical car to round it off is the 458 Speciale, the very latest creation, which captures the essence of this spirit in its road-going version.

“Sporting spirit is in our DNA and this show symbolises that,” said President Luca di Montezemolo at the opening ceremony, which took place in the presence of the Mayor of Maranello, Lucia Bursi and the Mayor of Fiorano, Claudio Pistoni. “I am very pleased with the way in which the Ferrari Museum is growing. This year will have welcomed around 300,000 visitors from all over the world: that’s a significant figure for our whole area, not just for us. The busy schedule of special exhibitions – this one comes on the heels of one dedicated to Pininfarina and supercars, where it is possible to admire an incredible car like the LaFerrari, helps a lot. I hope we can develop this structure still further and, in order to do that, to be able to count on the support of the local council and businesses.”

Montezemolo also spoke briefly about all aspects of Ferrari: “We are working on all fronts, all over the world, from the cars, the brand and collectors. Next Saturday, I will be in Hong Kong, where we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of our presence in this market, with an event that brings together five hundred Ferraris.”

Finally and inevitably, he also had a comment about the Formula 1 season that is coming to a close. “I read about assumed bellyaching or about the team concentrating only on 2014,” said Montezemolo. “I don’t even want to hear that kind of talk: there are still four races to go where we will field Ferraris that are fighting for the podium with maximum determination from the drivers and the whole team. As for next season, there will be time enough to talk about it, and in fact I am pleased to see that the group dedicated to that task is working very hard with maximum concentration. Everyone is well aware what they must do.”

The Maranello show also features two cars that symbolise the glory of Ferrari: the 166 F2 with which the Scuderia recorded its first ever victory at Silverstone with Gonzalez is a one off, recreated from the original drawings and fitted with a period engine and gearbox and what many regard as the most beautiful Formula 1 car ever built by Ferrari, the 156, nicknamed the shark nose, for obvious reasons. Even if it is a replica, this car is very important, not just because it won the title in 1961, but because Enzo Ferrari had all of them destroyed when he realised they were not more competitive. This version therefore allows fans to see for themselves what can only be seen in photos and documentary films.

So there you have it. No need to be stuck in Italy with nothing to do. Automotive history at its best.

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