Attending 70 years of Ferrari at InterClassics!
InterClassics & TopMobiel, held in the MECC Maastricht (The Netherlands), is the first classic car show of the year, celebrating different themes for almost 25 years. This year’s theme was 70 years Ferrari.
How did it all started?
Enzo Ferrari started his career at Alfa Romeo in 1924 as a racing driver. He continued racing until 1932 when he left Alfa Romeo to start his own racing team named Scuderia Ferrari. Alfa agreed to support him by donating money but they were forced to stop in 1933 because of financial problems. Luckily, Enzo was able to keep the team going which, among other things, resulted in a notorious victory in 1935; Tazio Nuvolari defeated Rudolf Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer at the Nürburgring. In 1937 he decided to start his own business (Auto Avio Costruzioni) when a disagreement between Alfa and Enzo took place. Alfa Romeo wanted to get full control of their racing department and by doing so Enzo was retained as Sporting Director. Enzo, a man who wanted to develop his knowledge and skills wasn’t happy about the decision at all, so he founded Auto Avio Costruzioni; a company which supplied car parts to racing teams. Despite the fact he wasn’t allowed to build any cars, Enzo managed to produce two Auto Avio Costruzioni 815’s for the Mille Miglia in 1940. When the Modena factory was attacked during the Second World War, Enzo was forced to relocate his company. He settled down in Maranello to start producing his own cars under the name of Ferrari S.p.A. The main reason to begin with building street cars was to finance his racing addiction. The first car wearing the utterly famous Ferrari badge was the 125 S in 1947… the rest is history!
What was on display?
Although regular Ferraris were parked everywhere in the halls, one big space included a collection of 20 significant prancing horses from the Enzo Ferrari era (1947-1988). One of them being the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competition with an estimated value of €10.000.000 to €15.000.000. In 1953 Ferrari started the successful 250 series including this gorgeous 250 GT SWB from 1959. It used a shorter wheel base (SWB) for better handling and had a crazy top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph). Within 3 years Ferrari made around 75 examples of the SWB making it one of the most rare prancing horses ever. The #1849GT SWB which attended InterClassics is owned by a Dutch collector who bought it in England where it was restored. The 250 series were represented by a couple of others like the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competitione (Tour de France). The one displayed is a 1 off 9 version with a redesigned roof consisting of 14 roof pillars. Shortly after the car was revealed Alfonso de Portago won the Tour de France Auto hence the name. The first Ferrari produced at a bigger scale was the Ferrari 250 GT Coupé Pinin Farina Serie 1 and InterClassics had managed to get number 500 (chassis #1001) to join the homage. Another special one is the green Ferrari 500 Superfast formerly owned by Dutch Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld. The Louwman Museum (The Hague) made it possible for InterClassics to display it next to an F40. Prince Bernhard had a predilection for green so all his Ferraris were painted in the same colour as the Superfast. Although a 500 Superfast is pretty rare, this Verde Pinto one is as unique as it can get. Instead of the standard 5.0-litre engine the Prince asked Enzo to install a 4.0-litre V12, making it more pleasant to drive. Last one that really caught my eye was the one-off Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia Berlinetta Competition. Kurt Zellers, a wealthy client, asked Ferrari to build a competition car based on the 166 Inter and this beauty was the outcome. A few others cars worth mentioning were the 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider, a 275 GTB/4 Aluminium and the 250 Lusso.
It was my first time visiting InterClassics and I was blown away by the cars. I’d love to attend more in the future and I’m sure I’ll go to next year’s event. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2018 with highlights of the past events. Huge congrats to the organization for yet another successful event!