Some weeks ago an envelope with a Ferrari postmark arrived at the homes of around 250 major Ferrari
collectors worldwide. Within the envelope was an invitation from Ferrari's CEO to attend a dinner party at
his villa, with the incentive, as if it were needed, to witness a preview presentation of a new Ferrari model. It
was unlikely that anybody was going to pass up an invitation like this. Thus a large number of prominent
Ferrari collectors from all parts of the globe assembled with great anticipation, in the city of Bologna around
the 14/15 September to see what delight awaited them.
The presentation was held in the Villa Montezemolo in the hills above the city, with a driveway nearly 2
miles long from the guarded entrance, which would make a great venue to host a hillclimb event, with its
great series of hairpin bends and curves.
Upon arrival at the villa, guests were welcomed by the Montezemolo Family (son, and newly wed Ludovica),
and noted a svelte draped form at rest in the driveway in front of the villa. Also present were Sergio
Pinifarina and Pierro Ferrari, who with Luca di Montezemolo presented and talked about some of the latest
models honouring the people from the towns involved in the production of the cars, namely Maranello and
Modena, and then went on to explain that the new model honours the collectors and true friends of Ferrari,
and Pininfarina who designed most of the cars in the company's history. After the introductory explanations
the dust cover was removed to reveal the 550 barchetta, whose lines drew appreciative comments and
much waiving of platinum cards to place a deposit on the latest limited edition offering from the Ferrari
stable. A production series of 444 cars was announced, and it is believed that most if not all are already
spoken for. Such was the interest in the new model, that nobody wanted to leave it to go to the dinner
table, and it took several prompts to get people to leave the car to go and din. It was almost as if they
thought it would disappear if they left it. As soon as dinner was over, everybody made a bee-line for the
espresso being served next to the car, before reluctantly heading back down the driveway, pondering on
how soon an example would be their's to enjoy.
Luca di Montezemolo wanted to have enough time for each of his guests, and for this reason split the
invited party into two groups. The Wednesday group comprised of clients from the USA, Italy, and Spain,
and on Thursday hosted those from the UK, Germany, Netherland, Austria, and Switzerland. Noted guests
included Albert Uderzo (of Asterix fame), Daniel Marin (CEO Ferrari France), Brandon Wang, Engelbert
Stieger and son, Fritz Grashei ...... to name but a few of the well known collectors present.