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12/30/2015, 1:42:44 PM cet

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Zaventem, Belgium, 17 – 27 January 2002

The relationship between Jacques Swaters and Ferrari started in 1952, when his Ecurie Francorchamps racing team took delivery of a 500 F2 model, his first Ferrari. You never forget your first car, and certainly not your first Ferrari, especially when it provides you with a Grand Prix victory! Thus the yellow 500 F2, chassis # 0208, holds a special place in his multitude of Ferrari memories. It was also the car in which he had one of his most memorable drives, and it wasn’t on a circuit! He drove it from the factory in Maranello 1000km overnight, without lights or any road equipment, all the way back to Belgium, so that the team could compete in the GP des Frontieres.

This initial purchase led to the factory requesting him to represent them at the 1953 Brussels Salon, as their commercial director couldn’t make it and they already had a car on the way for display. From little acorns mighty oaks grow, and as they say the rest is history, Ecurie Francorchamps went on to become one of the best known and most respected private Ferrari racing teams, entering races world-wide from the fifties through to the end of the seventies. In parallel Jacques Swaters built up a successful commercial business, Garage Francorchamps, as the Ferrari concessionaire for Benelux, which continues in this role today as part of the Inchcape Group.

Thus 2002 marks the 50th anniversary of a continuous association with Ferrari, which was celebrated by an exhibition called 50 Anni di Passione”, at the headquarters showroom in Zaventem. This ran in parallel with the Brussels Salon between 17 – 27 January, and the showroom was completely remodelled to give the impression of being on a motor show stand. Temporary timber walls were installed within the glass faced showroom, and the windows were covered with heavy black drapes to block out all natural light, to provide a completely closed environment, completed by a reception foyer which was erected around the main entrance. The effect was completed by carefully managed lighting, together with a display of twenty historically significant pictures around the walls.

Apart from the full range of current Ferrari production cars, which were displayed in one area of the showroom, there was the 375 Plus, chassis # 0394AM, from Jacques Swaters personal collection, a 360 Challenge car raced under the Garage Francorchamps banner during 2001, and an example of the FIA GT championship class winning 360 GT.  Within the new car display area there was also an example of the recently announced Maserati Spyder, heralding a new liaison, as Garage Francorchamps will become the Benelux concessionaire for Maserati from the beginning of February 2002.

As a prelude to the public opening of the exhibition there was a press conference at lunchtime on 14 January, with a champagne reception held during the evening for invited guests. This proved very popular, with over 720 people attending during the course of the evening. The boutique situated at the far end of the showroom was constantly busy, mainly with people interested in the new range of ”Fila for Ferrari” clothing and the new book about the 50 year association with Ferrari. This is called ”Garage Francorchamps Ferrari 50 Anni di Passione”, and is available in soft-back form at 24 Euros, or you can buy the same edition in a silver box with prints of the twenty pictures displayed in the exhibition for 60 Euros, the latter being a 500 copy limited edition. The cover of the book is also reproduced as an event poster. More
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Cars On Display

Model

Colour Chassis #

F399 F1

Red SSC 6

375 Plus

Red/Blue 0394AM

360 GT

Red-Blue-Green-White/Red 119349

360 Challenge

Red-Silver stripe/Red 122899

456M GT

Nuovo Nero Daytona Met’/Black 126264

550 Maranello

Argento/Black 126528

360 Modena

Red/Black 126626

360 Modena*

Titanio/Black 126704

360 Spider

Argento/Dark Blue 126714


·

substituted by Maserati Spyder after press conference on 14.01.2002



Keith Bluemel

Garage Francorchamps
Ferrari 375 Plus PF Spyder s/n 0384AM
Didier Moreau, Jacques Swaters and Keith Bluemel
360 spider argento Nuergburgring/blu notte s/n 126714
Jacques Swaters in his Ferrari 375 Plus s/n 0384AM
360 GT s/n 119349
Grand Prix Monoposto s/n 0208/0540
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