No doubt: Ferrari celebrate
their 50th anniversary this year - 50 years ago,
an automobile with this name hit the road for the
very first time.
question for the Ferraristi: Which day should one
chose to celebrate this anniversary in an
finally the very date on which Ferrari celebrated
their first racing victory 50 years ago turned
out to be the most adequate one: On May 25, 1947,
Franco Cortese drove the little 125 S to 1st in
the 9th Grand Prix of Rome which was hosted on
the streets around the Caracalla hot springs.
50 years and one week after Cortese's victory, on
June 1st, 1997, about 200 classic Ferrari
gathered at nearly the same spot in Rome,
including Formula 1 cars, racecars, prototypes
and of course many street models that all once
took part in building the myth of Ferrari.
event organizers had achieved what would have
very probably been impossible in every other
metropolis on earth: Ferrari had been allowed to
revive the old Caracalla racetrack in the heart
of Rome to celebrate their anniversary!
that begun two days earlier in the Stadio dei
Marmi (an ostentatious building remaining from
Mussolini's era) in the northwestern part of
Italy's capital. Nearly everything that had left
the factory in Maranello in the last 50 years was
example: the 166 Spider Corsa s/n 002C, which had
very probably been built on the chassis s/n 1C
that originally had been Cortese's winning car in
1947. As reminiscence to the 125 S (of which none
survived), Ferrari had built two complete
replicas in the 1980's, and one of these was
present at Rome, too.
On Tuesday, June 3, 1997, a
cavalcade of more than 200 of Enzo's finest took
the route of the Mille Miglia from Rome to
Maranello, Siena and Florence being waypoints
along the journey which was absolved at high
by the police and RAI (Italy's most important
TV-station), the participants from all over the
world reached Maranello in about eight hours.
the arrival in Maranello, one gathered on
Ferrari's factory-owned track, the Pista di
Fiorano. The following weekend, the entire region
was involved in the celebration, which featured
public displays of the cars in and around
Maranello and Modena and a glamorous finale in
the Braglia stadium at Modena with a Formula 1
demonstration involving Froilan Gonzales, Nicola
Larini and Eddie Irvine, plus an open-air concert
by Chris Rea and Roxette. Overall, about 2.500
Ferrari were present!