Ferrari Museum To Celebrate First Le Mans Win With Exhibition
Long-term ticket holders for the Ferrari Museum in Maranello will be pleased to hear that a new exhibit, celebrating seven decades since the prancing horse’s first victory at Le Mans, will be inaugurated on 15 January 2020.
The ‘Ferrari at 24 Heures du Mans’ collection will be headlined by the 166 MM Barchetta Touring, with which Lord Selsdon and Luigi Chinetti won Ferrari’s maiden 24 Hours of Le Mans outright in 1949. This was not only the third and final 24-hour win at the event for Italian-born Chinetti (the others being 1932 and 1934), but was also the first of nine outright victories for the prancing horse across the next 16 years.
For contemporary motorsport fans, the 166 MM will be joined by the AF Corse-entered 488 GTE in which Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Daniel Serra took the LMGTE-Pro category win earlier this year.
As well as other memorabilia celebrating the cars, engineers and drivers to have donned the scarlet colours at Le Mans – to say nothing of the 27 class victories over the years – attendees can also see the famous La Sarthe trophy. ‘Ferrari at 24 Heures du Mans’ will remain open until 19 April 2020.
Ironically, despite being Ferrari’s maiden outright winner, the 166 MM was actually an eponymous entry in 1949 for British privateer, Lord Selsdon, Peter Mitchell-Thomson. ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ would have to wait another five years before José Froilán González and Maurice Trintignant won in a works-entered 375 Plus in 1954.
Easily the Italian marque’s most commanding period at La Sarthe though was between 1958 and 1964, in which the 250 / 330 / 275 won all but one of the eight races, Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori famously taking the one and only outright win for an Aston Martin in 1959. This was the run, nevertheless, that cemented Ferrari as the most successful manufacturer at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with nine wins to Bentley and Jaguar’s five. A record that would take Porsche 20 years to beat.
Of course, then along came 1966, and well, we all know what happened there…
*Images courtesy of Ferrari