An important show
The world’s most important show for the tuning business and Europe’s most important
exposition for motor sport was held again between November 30 and December 9,
2001: The Essen Motor Show.
Ferrari ”big” in the Showcenter
The so-called ”Showcenter” is an important part of the Essen Motor Show that usually
combines special exhibitions of cars, design studies etc. belonging to certain themes.
In 2001, the major theme was ”The Cars of the Sports Car World Championship”. Many
years of this constructors’ World Championship — started in 1953 — were represented
by the very type of car which dominated that particular year’s season. Ferrari has always
been a great and important name in sports car racing, and thus the number of Ferrari
automobiles on display was quite high: Seven Ferrari had been brought to the
exposition. Jean Sage’s impressive 375 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0358AM from
1953 was the earliest car on show, followed by the fully rebuilt 857 S Spider Scaglietti
s/n 0578M; the latter car dates from 1956 and is currently owned by British dealer David
Clark of Taylor & Crawley. Unfortunately the organizers could not persuade any owner of
one of the desirable 250 Testa Rossa Spider Scaglietti to give a car on loan for the
Motor Show — instead the 1958 season was represented by a nicely done replica of a
250 TR, based on 250 GTE s/n 2349GT. Bernie Carl did show his Dino 268 SP Spider
Fantuzzi from 1961, and David Piper displayed his second 330 P Spider Fantuzzi
Rebuild using the s/n 0824. This totally rebuilt car sports the livery which it wore when
Swiss driver Tommy Spychiger died in this car in 1964: Racing Red with a white band.
The last Ferrari on display dated from 1972: A 312 PB, s/n 0886, was provided to the
show by Uwe Meißner of Modena Motorsport.
The display of various design studies did include one Ferrari — although in total
disguise: The Sbarro Christelle, which was shown for the first time at the 2001 Geneva
Motor Show, is based on a Mondial t Cabriolet and was rebodied in a strange, futuristic
look by Franco Sbarro on behalf from a Swiss customer. Also on show: Giorgetto
Giugiaro’s Maserati Buran — Italdesign’s answer to the question how a minivan
produced by the great Italian marque might / should / would look like.
The tuning industry does always have an eye on the latest products from Maranello. At
the Essen Motor Show, one could see various modified Ferrari. DigiTec of
Datteln/Germany is a renowned company for chip tuning, offering their services for
various tipos like 348 and F355. Up to now, they did not yet work out a new chipset for
the 360 Modena and 360 Spider, but already offer some custom wheels in the look of
the — non road legal — BBS Challenge wheels used on the 360 Challenge cars.
Hamann Motorsport of Hüttisheim/Germany are mainly known for their spectacular
BMW-based conversions. Since a couple of years, the company offers a Ferrari
programme as well. It includes sports-exhaust, distance spacers, rear wings, skirts
and downforce flaps, plus 18’’ and 19’’ wheels and other equipment. At the Essen
Motor Show, Hamann displayed their interpretation of the 360 Spider.
Two other companies did show their 19’’ custom wheels for the 360 Modena and 360
Spider: Both Inden-Design of Dillenburg/Germany and MAE Autodesign of
Limbach/Germany offer spectacular chromed wheels which should hit especially the
American taste on the spot.
SKN-CHIPTECH of Salzhemmendorf/Germany did display a totally stock 360 Spider,
but their tuning programme includes modifications for any 360 resulting in an
Some interesting Ferrari on sale
At least one hall of the Essen Motor Show is always dedicated to the classic and
collector’s car trade. In 2001, some interesting Ferrari were on show there — and for
sale. The largest gathering of sports cars made in Maranello took place on the stand of
Mr. Huberti, a dealer from Düsseldorf/Germany. He had been entrusted with the sale of
a number of Ferrari by Uwe Meißner’s Modena Motorsport of Langenfeld/Germany.
Oldest Ferrari was the dark blue 250 GT Coupé Pininfarina s/n 1123GT, totally restored
in the early 1990’s. Also very nice: A red w/black 275 GTS, s/n 07521, formerly owned by
the well-known French Ferrari historian Antoine Prunet. The 330 GTC s/n 10641 had
recently been restored by Dutch specialist Piet Roelofs, and the 365 GT 2+2 s/n 11533
is for sure one of the best examples of its type in Europe after a ”regardless-of-cost-
restoration”. Car looked very nice in light metallic blue with covered headlights.
Coys of Kensington did display 250 GT SWB Berlinetta s/n 3565GT. The car was
unearthed after decades of slumber in the shed of a man living in Alsace/France in
1993 or 1994 — at that time, it became obvious that Lord Brocket in the UK did have a
replica produced using the same serial number… It was sold to a German enthusiast
and totally restored by Piet Roelofs. The German owner later had it auctioned by Coys
who sold it to a London based collector, who now offers s/n 3565GT for sale through
A Cobra specialist did display Bernd Cohnen’s 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competition
Conversion s/n 15723 — the car was somehow supplied with the 440 hp high-output
engine when new (or did receive a ”period” upgrade) and was brought to Competition
specifications in recent years during a restoration by Piet Roelofs. Although this car is
not suitable for events like the Shell Historic Challenge or the Tour Auto, it is for sure
the ultimate fun machine in events like the Tour d’Espana. The only other classic Ferrari
in Essen was a black Dino 246 GT (s/n 03320) which was for sale on consignment
from its German owner at the stand of Top Cars of Essen/Germany. Top Cars also had
a 308 GTB with fibreglass body on sale which had been slightly modified; color-coded
bumpers, a light blue dashboard, a light blue steering wheel and light blue seats with
cloth inserts were not standard… The car was claimed to have been owned by the royal
family of Qatar.
Sachs and BBS had Ferrari Formula One cars on display, the one of BBS apparently
being a mock-up only without mechanical components. Another real crowd-drawer was
the F50 displayed by dealer Weiland of Remagen/Germany.
Maserati on show
Authorized Maserati-dealer Auto Becker had arranged a special display for the new
Maserati Spyder. The 390 hp spyder with an all-new 4,2 litres non-turbo engine had
been unveiled on September 11th at the Frankfurt Motor Show IAA, and the first units are
presently being supplied to the franchised dealers in Germany. Auto Becker had two
examples on show, one in yellow and one in silver. As a reminiscence to Maserati’s
long tradition as manufacturer of beautiful and exciting spyders, Auto Becker had
brought two classic cars of the marque to Essen as well: A wonderful 3500 GTi Vignale
Spyder and a Mistral Spyder, both perfectly restored and — interestingly — both painted
in an elegant dark metallic grey. The 3500 GT Vignale Spyder s/n AM101.2755 is owned
by Auto Becker’s Ferrari- and Maserati sales representative Bernd Hahne and scored
2nd in a Concours d’Elégance held to choose the most beautiful car of the Essen Motor
Show (the Concours was won by the one-off Aston Martin DB4 GT ”Jet” by Bertone by
the way, that was displayed by Auto Becker, too).