Fortunately the exhibition coincides with the auction week in Scottsdale Arizona in January and so not few
enthusiasts in the hobby had the chance to see this exhibition running since November 3rd of last year
while attending the first major sales of the year.
With the offering in special cars this year a little bit down from previous years due to a hesitant market the
superb collection at the Art Museum was a highlight of the week although one would have expected a
higher number of visitors. We went there on Wednesday when the museum had opened in the evening and
only a few typical car people could be seen within the normal attendance.
They were welcomed by a 1911 Franklin in the foyer followed by the newest exhibit, the last championship
winning Lotus 79 of Mario Andretti.
Entering the main room of the exhibition the mix ranged from pre-war European GP racing car like the Alfa
Romeo P3 and the Bugatti T35B famously driven by the first GP winning woman Helle Nice, early Indycar
racers like the 1913 Duesenberg or the Miller 91 to the GT and Sports racers both from the old and the new
world. Two of the most famous cars in the exhibition were the double Le Mans winning Bentley Old Number
One and the Ford GT40 in the famous Gulf Colours. With the recently discovered history of the Ferrari 275P
achieving the same this was the only double LM-winner missing.
Some say the 1950s were the golden age of racing when races like the legendary Mille Miglia, the Targa
Florio or the 24h of Le Mans were ran aside the newly formed Formula 1 championship. Those were maybe
the most beautiful race cars ever and the simple lines of a Jaguar C-Type or the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL
Prototype are great examples. The Lancia D24 is one of the most exotic examples in the exhibition and
also a highlight with only two survivors of the car that not only won the Mille Miglia, the Carrera
Panamericana and the Targa Florio but also was the last sportscar from Lancia before they dedicated to
their F1 project. Nobody less than Fangio was one of the works drivers at the time just as he was later
when the Maserati 250 F dominated the Grand Prix Sport.
The year 1957 changed the world of motorsport with the fatal accident at the Mille Miglia ending the era of
road racing as well as the “big bangers” in the sportscar championship with a restriction to 3 litre from 1958
onwards and so both the Maserati 450S and the Ferrari 315S are the last of their species with the later in
particular important as the very last winner of the thousand miles in Italy.
Just recently the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari was themed in the movie about Le Mans but this was only
the second and final chapter of the battle between American Metal and Italian “bella macchina”. Before the
GT40 duelled the Ferrari 330 Ps in the prototype class it was the GT class that saw the first clash of the
American and the Italian as the Shelby Cobras challenged the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and later the 250 GTO,
especially with the purpose built and extremely rare Daytona Coupé. Only six of them were built and one of
them shared the room in Phoenix with its former rival, the 250 GTO.
In 1965 some legendary names brought the first Indianapolis 500 victory for a mid-engined racer, the
Lotus-Ford 38 by Colin Chapman and driven by Jim Clark and Dan Gurney. This was not only the first
winner of the Indy500 with the engine sitting behind the driver but after that not a single more front-engined
car could be found in the winners list and so the Lotus-Ford 38 certainly was a game changer and therefore
an important milestone presented in Phoenix.
Gurney is also linked to the next exhibit as the Gurney Eagle F1 was the only all American F1 car ever to
win a GP with the race in Spa 1967.
An exhibition about race cars would not be complete without a car from Zuffenhausen as Porsche became
the most successful race car company after the war beating the number of race victories set by Bugatti
before the war. The most famous of the Porsche just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 with the
Porsche 917 becoming their first overall winner at Le Mans . With the 917 dominating sports car racing the
rules changed to get the car banned from the European circuit and so the 917 had its second career in the
CanAm series in the US. The turbocharged 917/30 just dominated the American series in the hands of
Donahue as it did before in Europe and with far more than 1000 hp this was the strongest race Porsche
So 22 cars does not sound a lot but considering the quality of cars on display this was a major task to get
them all together. There is not a single car that can be considered as a “filler” as each of them tells an
important part of racing history. It is not by chance that all these are among the most sought after cars in
the collectors scene being rare and successful.
The display is beautifully set up without any disturbing gimmicks giving a nice focus on the cars. All those
who did not visit during the Scottsdale week certainly missed a great opportunity to see all these cars
together although most of them are well known from various events in the last years, be it in historic racing,
concours or museums collections.
The exhibition will run until the 15th of March so there is still some time to attend, for all those not able to
make their way to Phoenix we hope that our gallery give an impression about the exhibition.
For more informations visit the Museums web-site