70 Years of Ferrari: A History Lesson

By Author: Carolyn Briggs, Date: Apr 04, 2017

There’s something about a Ferrari. It’s the kind of car that makes your heart beat faster when you’re behind the wheel. Honestly, I even get excited when I spot one driving by.

It’s about more than the beauty and quality and performance of the car; it’s about nostalgia and history. It’s about a feeling.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the company, and the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California is honoring the occasion, putting them front and center with their new exhibit, Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari.

“We’re so thrilled to bring some of the world’s most beautiful Ferraris to the Petersen,” said Bruce Meyer, founding chairman of the Petersen’s Board of Directors. “Seeing that Rosso Corsa paint and the beautiful curves of the body work is always enough to make your heart skip a beat. ‘Seeing Red’ will be one of the most significant gatherings of Ferraris in the world and I’m so pleased to be able to share it with the public in our gallery.”

Significant is the right word here; the exhibit is pretty expansive. The 250 GTO, the 166MM, the 250 TR, the 250LM, and the 2001 Ferrari F1 driven by Formula One racer Michael Schumacher will all be featured. The press release did not provide a comprehensive list of cars gathered for the exhibit, but looking at those five alone would be worth the cost of admission. But maybe not a plane ticket to LA.

As much as this exhibit is a tribute to the cars themselves, it is also set up to honor Enzo Ferrari, a man so legendary we named our family cat after him.

Before founding the iconic brand, Enzo Ferrari was a race-car driver and car manufacturer working for Alfa Romeo. After a dispute with Alfa that left him contractually forbidden from racing or manufacturing cars for four years, World War II broke out, and Ferrari’s factory was forced to manufacture war vehicles for the Italian Fascist government. It was a pretty low point for Enzo.

After the Allies bombed his disgraced factory, Ferrari relocated to Maranello, which is where he founded his own racing company under his own name.

It only took two years for a Ferrari 166M to win a major victory at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans. I could go on for thousands of words about Ferrari’s distinguished legacy, but I think you might have a better time learning it from the exhibit at the Peterson.

For $100, you can attend the opening reception on April 27th and see the stunning results of all of Enzo’s hard work, otherwise you can wait two days and peruse the exhibit for the general admission price of $15. The exhibit will run all the way through April of 2018, so you’ve got time to make your way to California. If you check it out, tag us in your photos on instagram and twitter! We’d love to see these beauties!

Carolyn Briggs

I grew up on the road. As a child, my family took regular trips from Wisconsin to both coasts. That's how I've seen most of this country — through the window of a car. Years later, I still feel that excitement when I toss my bags in the trunk and get behind the wheel. That's how seeing something new always begins. I've scaled mountains, dived with sharks, and stepped to the very edge of the Grand Canyon, all because I spent hours in a car. This site combines my passion for the road with my actual talent — communication and journalism. In college I rose to the position of managing editor for The Badger Herald, the largest independent student newspaper in the country at the time. I spent a year after graduating in social media marketing before moving off the grid to explore the wild beauty of West Virginia.

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