Ferrari Turns 60...

Published: 26 June 2007

Happy Birthday to you...

Ferrari is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a five-day party at its famous Fiorano test track. More than 1000 Ferraris have descended on Maranello from around the world, including some of the rarest and most valuable road cars. Invited Ferrari owners saw Scuderia legends from Nino Vaccarella to Michael Schumacher take to the track in the cars they raced. And the 60th anniversary baton too, which has made a five-month relay around the world involving 10,000 Ferraris starting at the site of the new Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi. It was brought into Maranello by Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen on Saturday and was then carried into Enzo Ferrari's house at Fiorano by Niki Lauda.

Is Ferrari really 60?

The event marks 60 years since the first car to be badged as a Ferrari – the 125S – was driven by Franco Cortese at a race in Piacenza on 25 May 1947. Clashes with the F1 schedule mean the party is a month overdue, but this allowed both Raikkonen and Massa to attend. Raikkonen drove the current F2007 F1 car and Massa was spectacular in the 4.5-litre, 400bhp 1951 375 in which Froilan Gonzalez won Ferrari’s first F1 race. Ferrari legends Gerhard Berger, Rene Arnoux, Jody Scheckter and Jean Alesi also drove, but the crowd’s standing ovation was saved for Schumacher in his F2004. The timing of the event meant last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed was denied many of its regular stars.

What is it doing to mark the date?

Ferrari marked previous decades with the F40 and F50 supercars, but this year’s anniversary sees the production of only a limited edition of 60 two-tone 612s with a glass roof, each bearing a plaque commemorating one of Ferrari’s 60 years and which also appear on the anniversary baton. All are now sold. It also unveiled the Mille Chile concept car showcasing the weight-saving technology with which the Scuderia hopes to cut CO2 emissions and avoid the attention of lawmakers keen to impose stringent limits that powerful cars won’t be able to meet.

Would Enzo have approved?

Well, his son certainly did. Speaking exclusively to CAR Online, Piero Ferrari, the biggest shareholder in Ferrari after Fiat, said: 'It’s great to welcome our best collectors, who love the historic Ferraris, and our best customers, who are always looking for the next Ferrari, the new Ferrari. To choose one car as my favourite from all of these is too difficult. The best part of the event for me is the Concorso d’Eleganza. It shows that Ferrari is not just about racing but also style and elegance and tradition and Italian taste.'

A fitting tribute or a missed opportunity to launch the real Mille Chili? Tell us what you think by clicking the 'Add Comment' button below and start typing...

By Ben Oliver

Contributing editor, watch connoisseur, purveyor of fine features

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