Celebrating 70 Years Of Ferrari, In England
Photography by Patrice Minol
Ferrari made its already towering presence known at the 24th edition of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, what with a 70th birthday to celebrate and a whole lot of cars to help them do it. Seven decades of racing success and automotive achievements on and off the track, the festival in England was beset by red, or if we’re being accurate, “Rosso Corsa,” and some of the most iconic Ferraris ever made were in attendance.
To mark the occasion, spectators had the opportunity to see in one place and at one time the lengthy evolution of Ferrari over the course of 70 years (and by association, motorsport in general), from the first, the handcrafted 1947 Ferrari 125 S, to the technological tour de force that is the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta, both prove the marque’s aptitude hasn’t diminished from its high standards that have been there since the beginning. Both of these cars are stunning track machines, but the gap between them is too vast for much of a comparison—fortunately they are both powered by a V12 and they both share the Maranello spirit that lives below every Prancing Horse badge.
It is said often, but it can’t be overemphasized: the FOS is a crazy event. Combining a concours contest, a hillclimbing race, and an autoshow exposition, I can personally say that the anticipation the day prior was spellbinding. Even getting there on the day of, it was exhilarating to see the Ferraris lying in wait in the paddock, but I just couldn’t wait to see them in motion on the hill. I’m not just talking about the powerful FXX K or the legendary Michael Schumacher’s F2001 perched 35 meters in the air on the “Goodwood Eye” (the central structure made to celebrate the career of Bernie Ecclestone), but really every car there is special. It’s the Festival of Speed after all. And beyond just being in that atmosphere, further excitement came from the sounds of the Italian V12s and V8s, the cold start of the 330 P4, peering into an F40 Competizione, the fascinating process of the Scuderia Ferrari team working in the paddock or the driver still putting on a good show of pace while driving a priceless Formula 1 car (when they still had manual gearboxes!).
Over the course of the birthday celebration, the 250 series was surely the most iconic and complete part of the show. Showcasing cars from the emblematic Gran Turismo Omologato (GTO) version to the more pedestrian GT, my favorite moment was comparing the Pininfarina creation to the Bertone one; Pininfarina created the 250 GT Berlinetta TDF, one of the most influential and impressive models produced in Maranello for the Tour de France (auto) road race, while on the Bertone side there was the stunning one-off 250 GT “Shark Nose,” styled by a young then-23-year-old Giorgetto Giugiaro, and inspired by Ferrari’s championship win with the 156 Grand Prix car, with its signature shark-shaped front end. It was such a pleasure and a great moment for some contemplation to see these two design languages both arising from a 250 series car, but taking such different approaches.
As you can see, the brand from Italy had quite a good showing at Goodwood this year, with pieces of art on display like the 250 GTO, the 750 LM, 250 GT Berlinetta… one could go on like this for a while. Even off the track, all the cars offered a static performance to behold, showing their perfect bodywork reflections and preservation, while playing with the sun and the volumes of people crowding around them during the elegance contest. In motion things only got better though; the smells and sounds of everything from four to twelve cylinders overwhelming. It seemed every car that came up the hill was “the one,” a moment that would only last until the next “one” followed! It was a real mission to find a place near the track at some points too—everyone wanted to see the spectacle. Can’t blame them.
So, if we have to describe Ferrari in one word, for a majority of people this could be “passion,” “pedigree,” or flat-out “peformance,” but honestly, one word just isn’t enough. Those words and so many others apply. From the elder crowd for whom Ferrari was the brand that created their automotive passion to begin with, to the younger generation who are now ready to buy a diecast model of a Ferrari due to their first time experiencing the brand at Goodwood, Ferrari will reside in the soul of every enthusiast.