London 'Ferrari: Under the Skin' exhibit

Iconic cars celebrated at Design Museum

(by Alessandro Logroscino). (ANSA) - London, November 16 - Speed and beauty are being feted in 'Ferrari: Under the Skin', an exhibition that opened this week marking the 70th anniversary of the car brand. The show is being held in London's Design Museum near Holland Park, along upper-class Kensington High Street, and aims to show the technology, history and aesthetic content that lies beneath the cars made before and after the death of Enzo Anselmo Ferrari, also known as 'Drake'.
    Ferrari, an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur who founded both Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team and subsequently the Ferrari carmaker, died in 1988. The guests of honor at the inauguration were Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, after he spend a day meeting with investors in The City, and Lord Peter Mandelson, influential in Tony Blair's governments, a Labour Party member at ease among billionaires and now head of the museum.
    With them were collectors and fans of the brand as well as many members of the 'jet set', crowding round the centerpiece: about a dozen historic vehicles, masterpieces of Ferrari history worth more than their economic value, which reportedly stands at a few hundred million euros. A replica of an absolute first from the carmaker, the Ferrari 125S from 1947, is one of those on display, as is a black GT Spider Pinin Farina from 1957 belonging to Peter Collins, one of the most famous and rowdiest of Ferrari's racecar drivers from the Roaring '50s; an iconic 250 GTO from 1962; and a 275 GTB4 from 1967, which many claim is the most beautiful car of all time. These and other pieces of 'mechanical art' have passed through the hands of such celebrities as Steve McQueen, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Paul Newman and Herbert Von Karajan, whose typewritten contracts - often through the legendary importer from America Luigi Chinetti - tell of dreams that came true. There are also cars that gained glory on racetracks, such as the original 500 F2 that made history with Alberto Ascari in 1952-53 as the F1-2000, with which Michael Schumacher 17 years ago gained a world championship for the team that Ferrari had not seen since 1979. Accessories, engines, helmets and old wooden models used to forge the very first cars are included in the exhibition, as are images of Enzo Ferrari, the father of the iconic brand.