What Makes A Ferrari Timeless? New Exhibition At The Enzo Ferrari Museum Seeks An Answer!
We often speak of a car’s design and beauty being ‘timeless’, but have we ever stopped to ask what exactly makes it so? The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena, Italy, has opened a new exhibition that seeks to answer that very question. It’s called ‘Timeless Masterpieces’, and it is appropriate that Ferrari is our first port of call when trying to understand what makes a timeless design, given the glittering marque is synonymous with producing machines whose beauty endure well beyond the era in which they were made. As for the exhibition itself, as its name indicates it features some of the most elegant cars from Ferrari’s history, and even includes iconic ones like the 250 GTO and the Ferrari Monza. Yet this exhibition departs from the norm by going beyond the aesthetic and exploring also the historical and social context of the cars’ designs, by providing links to the trends of their eras both within and beyond the automotive sector.
A car’s designer will face many constraints of course, not only in terms of the fashions of the age but also to do with the car’s need for function. And typically-enigmatic Ferrari, the exhibition argues, has not taken a consistent path in its relationship with the time its cars were created in. In some instances it has chosen to draw inspiration from the trends of a certain era; in others it has done precisely the opposite and forged its own path. And the models on display in this exhibition reflect this, with a wide range of examples displayed of how Ferrari designers have sought, invariably successfully, to achieve timeless designs.
It starts with the 166 Inter from 1948 and the 750 Monza from 1954, as examples of symbols of the post-war boom, while the 1957 250 California represents the ultimate grand tourer. The series continues with an ultra-rare 250 GTO from 1962, one of the most sought-after classic racing cars among collectors, and the 365 GTS4 from 1969. There are more recent examples too, such as the Ferrari California from 2008 and the GTC4Lusso from 2016. This line-up is brought to a close by the Ferrari Monza SP1. This car, unveiled last year, seeks to cross eras as a reinterpretation of the open-top ‘barchetta’ racing cars that made Ferrari famous in the fifties and sixties. It’s the forerunner to the ‘Icona’, the new concept for a limited edition series of cars which again is inspired by the most evocative Ferrari models from the past.
Given the importance of the trends that existed when each Ferrari was made, the cars in the exhibition are displayed in context alongside iconic ‘masterpieces’ from wider design areas of that time, such as furniture, electronics, art, architecture, music and cinema—showing the associations and mutual influences with the Ferraris. But even if you don’t fancy the cultural explorations so much, the exhibition looks like it’ll be a stunning experience for any lovers of Ferrari or indeed of beautiful cars. The ‘Timeless Masterpieces’ exhibition is open now.
Images courtesy of Ferrari North Europe