FERRARI MARKS ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Ferrari has been selling cars in the United States for six decades. To mark the occasion, it took over Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles on Sunday, lining the street with 60 of its best, most famous, and latest offerings, including a new model. Unsurprisingly, the result was a parade to make even the most conspicuous of consumers feel inadequate, even those leaving the nearby Bulgari and Louis Vuitton shops loaded with fresh purchases.
Among the standouts were the 1948 166 MM Barchetta, the first Ferrari imported to the United States, and the 1954 Ferrari 375 MM built for Italian filmmaker Roberto Rossellini that won Best in Show at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The street was also littered with the occasional 250 GTO and Testa Rossa, and a pair of LaFerraris, the brand’s hybrid supercar.
The anniversary show happened to come at a tumultuous time for Ferrari. Last month, longtime chairman Luca di Montezemolo resigned, reportedly due to conflicts over strategy with Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Ferrari parent company Fiat SpA. He left in a huff, reportedly saying that especially since his brand was integrated into Fiat Chrysler, “Ferrari is now American…[which represents] the end of an era.”
Given that frustration, maybe it’s better di Montezemolo didn’t see the centerpiece of the L.A. show, the F60 America. Built as a tribute to the 1967 275 GTS4 NART Spider, the car is based on the F12 Berlinetta coupe tourer, but with a convertible top. Like the NART, Ferrari will build only 12 examples of the car, all of which are already spoken for.
With Marchionne now at the helm of Ferrari, presumably with some strategic shifts in mind, it’s as good a time as any to enjoy the classic and contemporary prancing horse stars that consumed Rodeo Drive.