Sahkir, April 3-8 2008
What some called the 'Party In The Dunes', saw some 20 classic Ferraris
spanning over five decades of Ferrari production, come to the Kingdom of
Bahrain, centered around, and in tangent with, the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand
In the middle of the Formula 1 Village, a giant, purpose built white pavilion was
built and flown in from Europe to house the Ferrari Classics. The Ferraris
themselves came from around the world, about half from the United States and
the other half from Europe and the UK. The cars were displayed in the pavilion
for the Grand Prix weekend, open to all local and international patrons. Some
tens of thousands of people viewed the Ferraris over the weekend, many of
them viewing this caliber of Ferraris for the first time.
The cars were displayed chronologically around the inside of the Ferrari
pavilion, with the earliest car being the 1950 Ferrari 166 MM Touring 'Barchetta'
(##0054 M) brought by Lawrence & Irene Auriana. The 166 MM's, of course,
were a huge part of Ferraris early history, putting them back on the racing map
in the postwar. Displayed shoulder to shoulder with the 166 MM was the Mille
Miglia winning 290 MM (#0616) brought by Ed Davies. Ed's 290 MM was an
anchor tenant of Ferraris 1956 World Championship efforts. Certainly one of the
most significant and beautiful cars built by Ferrari in the 1950's. In the two
private track days for the Ferrari owners following the Grand Prix, Ed Davies
proved that his car was not just for show, drifting through some of the corners
the F1 drivers had been through the day before.
A couple of Ferraris most iconic cars came to Bahrain in the form of not one, but
two, 250 Testa Rossa 'Pontoons'. The first, a 1957 Pontoon Testa Rossa
(#0716) was brought by Bill Pope (USA). Not to be outdone, Bill had a blast
whipping his TR around the track on the days following the GP, generously
turning over the wheel to a number of the other Ferrari owners and guests. The
second Pontoon Testa Rossa was a 1958 Pontoon TR (#0742) sent over by
Christian Glaesel and family to be exhibited for the patrons. Six time Le Mans
winner Jacky Ickx couldn't help but take a seat in the Glaesel Testa Rossa for a
some laps, and was then kind enough to do numerous exhibition laps with
some of the folks who were guests at the Ferrari Classic from around the
Middle East. Ickx is definitely a man who knows the short way 'round a track.
The 'Boulevardier' cars were amply represented by the 1959 LWB California
Spyder (#1501) brought by Mark and Allison Ketcham. This California Spyder
was formerly owned by the Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage, a wow factor to
many of the patrons. Alex & Roxane Papas brought their newly acquired 1966
Ferrari 275 Alloy GTB/2 6C (#8749 GT). Rounding out the Boulevardier class,
was Lawrence Auriana's 275 GTB/4 'NART Spyder', the first NART Spyder built,
and one of only two alloy NART Spyders, which was also raced successfully at
Sebring, and used by Steve McQueen in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair.
Britain was amply represented as well, with Nick and Annette Mason bringing
their 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competition Series II (#15373) which garnered good
success at Le Mans and Spa in its front line racing days. As well, they brought
their 512 BB/LM (#27577). Annette was seen to be smoking the tires out of the
paddocks and onto the track more than once, not to be outdone by the boys, by
any stretch. Their BB/LM had represented itself well at Le Mans back in the day.
David Cottingham brought along his well traveled 500 TRC (#0682), and Roald
Goethe did more than a few laps on the track days in his 246 Dino GP car.
A special guest featured at the Ferrari Classics was the 1969 Pininfarina
SIGMA, which was kindly brought out of the Museo Pininfarina by Paolo Garella,
head of Pininfarina's Special Projects Department. Paolo, a former race driver
and still a very able engineer, along with Jacky Ickx, drove exhibition laps for
many of the the events special guests from around the Gulf and around the
world. The SIGMA was a design prototype built by Pininfarina to test many new
design elements for the Formula 1 cars back in period.
What presentation and exhibition of Ferraris would be complete without some
of Ferrari's Supercars and Prototypes? The Ferrari Classic in Bahrain had a
wonderful line-up with Jas and Sanjam Dhillon's 1992 Ferrari F40 (#92336),
Alex & Roxane Papas' 1995 Ferrari F50 (#103921), Chris & Mary Lou Sordi's
2003 Ferrari Enzo (#133918), capped off with Jim Glickenhaus' show stopping
Prototype developed in conjunction with Pininfarina known simply as the P 4/5.
The crowds were five deep in front of the Supercars all weekend. The Dhillons,
Pappas', Sordis and Glickenhaus were around the Pavilion much of the
weekend answering questions and posing with their cars for the crowds. All the
Supercars saw track time for the owners days, as well, none simply relegated
to the Pavilion display.
The final WOW! factor in the Pavilion was Jim Glickenhaus' newly acquired
1967 Ferrari Pininfarina Dino 206 Competizione (#10523), the very famous and
much photographed yellow 'Gullwing' Pininfarina Prototype. Jim is the first
owner, fresh from Museo Pininfarina. How would that be for a candidate to win
the Preservation class at Pebble Beach?
But, the Ferrari Classic was an adjunct to the main event, which was of course
the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix. With Ferrari taking a 1-2 podium finish,
followed closely by BMW rounding out the podium, the F1 was a great show,
seen by record overflow crowds all weekend. The Bahrain GP Circuit is
heralded by many drivers and fans alike, as one of the finest circuits in the
world. This is evidenced by the fact that there is 'no bad seat', where all seats
literally have a significant view of the circuit.
While the cars were the stars of the Ferrari Classic event, enough cannot be
said about the hospitality extended to the Ferrari owners by the Bahrain
International Circuit, it's staff and support people.
* The Bahrain Ferrari Classics was organized by the Bahrain International
Circuit in conjunction with Mark Ketcham, under the patronage of the Crown
Prince of Bahrain.
Bahrain Ferrari Classics
1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta (#0054 M)- Lawrence Auriana
1956 Ferrari 290 MM Spyder. #0616. (FL, USA) Ed & Leslie Davies
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 'Pontoon' (#0716)- Bill & Linda Pope
1957 Ferrari 500 Testarossa (#0682)- David Cottingham
1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa 'Pontoon' (#0742)- Christian Glaesel
1960 Ferrari 250 SWB Alloy Berlinetta (#1741 GT)- Lawrence Auriana
1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Competizione Series I #7271- Francisco Albuquerque
1972 Ferrari 365/GTB4 Competizione Series II (#15373)- Nick & Annette Mason
1978 Ferrari BB/LM (#27577)- Nick & Annette Mason
Prototypes & Supercars Class
1967 Ferrari Pininfarina Dino 206 Competizione (#10523)- Jim Glickenhaus
2003 Ferrari P 4/5 (#135441)- James Glickenhaus
1992 Ferrari F40 (#92336)- Jas & Sanjam Dhillon
1995 Ferrari F50 (#103921)- Alex & Roxane Papas
2003 Ferrari Enzo (#133918)- Chris & Mary Lou Sordi
Formula 1 Class
1969 Pininfarina 'Sigma' F1 (#99711)- Pininfarina SpA- Paolo Garella
1970's 246 Dino F1 (#0006 R)- Roald Goethe (UK)
1959 Ferrari 250 LWB California Spyder (#1501)- Mark & Allie Ketcham
1966 Ferrari 275 Alloy GTB/2 6C (8749 GT)-Alex & Roxane Papas
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 "NART" Spyder #09437- Lawrence Auriana
List compiled by Mark Ketcham- April 8 2008