E-Mail E-Mail

1 2 3 4 5 6

® ®
Made with StudioLine Made with StudioLine
Made with StudioLine

 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, 12 August, 2014

The Beverly Hills were alive with the sound of music on Sunday 12 October! Not the voice of Julie Andrews from the musical, but the music of close to a thousand Ferrari V6, V8 and V12 engines as they congregated on and around Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari in the USA. The location of Beverly Hills in the northern suburbs of Los Angles was chosen, not only for its chic location amidst all the boutiques of the world’s major fashion names, but because California is the largest Ferrari market in the USA. It was to have been Luca di Montezemolo’s last public appearance before he handed over the reigns of the “Cavallino Rampante” to Sergio Marchionne, after 23 years of leadership. However, for unbeknown reasons he was unable to attend, and so the factory was represented by the Vice-President, Piero Ferrari, incoming Chairman Sergio Marchionne and CEO Amadeo Felisa.

... MediaCenter Gallery >>>

For participants, the event started with a gala dinner on the Saturday evening in the grounds of the municipal buildings hosted by the Mayoress of Beverly Hills, with live music spanning orchestral works to the singing of R&B songstress Mary J Blige, culminating with a spectacular firework display. Whilst they were carousing the night away, the erection teams were busy transforming Rodeo Drive into a vast Ferrari theatre, with an impressive stage at the Wilshire Boulevard end, which would be the scene of the unveiling of the limited edition of 10 cars, Ferrari F60 America, at lunchtime on Sunday.

The F60 America is a barchetta built specifically for the US market, and is based on the F12 berlinetta, which boasts similar performance to the model upon which it is based. The suggested colour was the presentation colour, Blu NART, although clients have free choice, whilst the driver’s side of the cockpit is a study in red, with a red dash face, centre console, door panels and seat. A further special feature is a unique to the model, rectangular enamel shield on each of the front wings. The car sat under a red shroud during the Sunday morning, although those who arrived early could catch glimpses of the form, whilst sections of the shroud were lifted to carry out last minute cleaning and detailing. The car was unveiled after a speech by Sergio Marchionne, in the presence of Piero Ferrari and Amadeo Felissa, and once the stage was opened to the VIP pass holders, it was mobbed by those wishing to get a closer look at the latest jewel from Maranello. Once the hullabaloo had died down and the dignitaries had left the stage, there followed a question and answer session with four drivers who had driven Ferraris during their racing career. They were American drivers Bob Bondurant and Dan Gurney, together with Didier Theys, who was heavily involved in the 333 SP programme during the nineties, and ex-Ferrari F1 driver Stefan Johannsen.

The sixty Ferraris for sixty years (I didn’t actually count them) were lined along the kerbs and either side of the central divide of Rodeo Drive, and made a great spectacle, both in the quality and variety of offerings, spanning the whole of the Ferrari production period, their locations being determined by classes, i.e. cars from films and film stars, racing tribute, Le Mans tribute and Supercar etc. Even for hardened enthusiasts who attend events worldwide, this was a spectacular assembly of models, whilst to the general public, who had free access, it must have been a mind blowing experience. It would be easier to list what significant competition Ferraris and classic road cars weren’t there than to list what were there. On that note, there were no four or six cylinder models in the feature displays, although there was an example of the 250 Monza, which is better known with a 3 litre four cylinder engine, as the 750 Monza, and similarly a 625 TRC, another four cylinder model, but the example on show was fitted with a V12 engine in period.

Being so close to Hollywood, naturally there were cars from films, and these included a 308 GTSi used in the Magnum P.I. TV series, a Mondial t Cabriolet used in Al Pacino’s film The Scent of a Woman, and the white Testarossa used in the Miami Vice TV series. There was also other cars with film connections, notably a 275 GTB4 once owned by Steve McQueen, and the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours winning 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe, once owned by film director Robert Rossellini. The competition cars were truly spectacular, with the only remaining original 330 P4, a pair of 250 GTOs in 1962 and 1964 body configurations, a 250 LM, 250 Testa Rossas, including the 1960 Le Mans winning car, together with the 1957 315 S which won the final edition of the Mille Miglia in 1957, and the 166 MM Barchetta that took Ferrari’s first Le Mans win in 1959. Add in more modern examples, like the 333 SP from the nineties and the modern GT racing variants in 360 GT, 430 GT and 458 GT forms, and it can be seen that there was a rich vein of Ferrari racing heritage, and that is without considering the great array of classic and modern road cars that accompanied them on display, together with the hundreds assembled in the adjacent streets. Congratulations to Ferrari SpA, Ferrari North America for putting on a tremendous event, and to all the owners who brought a wonderful selection of Ferrari’s finest for everybody to enjoy and appreciate.

... Ferraris on Display >>>

Keith Bluemel