|Title||Ferrari: Under the Skin||Posted In||Transportation design, Exhibition||Duration||15 November 2017 to 15 April 2018|
|Venue||The Design Museum||Opening Hours||Daily 10:00 - 18:00||Location||
224 - 238 Kensington High Street London W8 6AG
|Telephone||+44 20 3862 5900|
Marking the 70th anniversary of the launch of the first Ferrari car in 1947, the Design Museum in London is hosting Ferrari: Under the Skin, a major exhibition that traces the company’s rise to its present iconic status. Featuring a selection of famous cars worth an astounding 140 million pounds as well as drawings, models, personal letters and other memorabilia, the show explores Ferrari’s pre-eminence in automotive design and brand value.
The exhibition opens with an exploration of the life of the company’s founder Enzo Ferrari whose ambition to build the ultimate racing car led him to establish his own car manufacturing company in 1939 following a successful career as a racing driver. Defying the market trends of the post-war period which saw automakers focus on economy vehicles and scooters, Enzo’s first design, the 125 S, which visitors can examine through an exact replica and a selection of original drawings, was a sleek racing machine powered with a V12 engine, its fiery red colour destined to become synonymous with the brand.
Visitors are granted a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the secretive world of Ferrari's modus operandi which creatively combines engineering, manufacturing and design to produce a product of technological and aesthetic marvel. Featuring a variety of hand-drawn sketches and sculptural techniques, from hand-crafted wooden through to high-tech wind tunnel models, the exhibition demonstrates the varied techniques used throughout Ferrari's history to develop a design from conception to final product (the most impressive in this section being an original, life-size, hand-crafted clay design model of the J50, a 2016 limited series of 10 cars commemorating the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan).
Part of the allure of the Ferrari brand is its celebrity clientele whose enthusiasm for its cars both established the brand as we know it today and perpetuate its enduring appeal. Photographs and notes on display showcase some of the famous owners throughout its history such as Miles Davis, Clint Eastwood, Sammy Davis Jr., Brigitte Bardot and Peter Sellers, while others are represented by their own cars including Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s F40 (1988), head of Fiat Gianni Agnelli’s 166 MM (1950) and renowned British driver Peter Collins’ 250 GT Cabriolet (1957).
Ferrari was primarily established as a manufacturer of racing cars and its stellar racing history is well documented in the exhibition through a selection of unseen documents, trophies, famous racing suits and helmets. Charting half a century of the evolution of racing car design, this section also includes the Ferrari 500 F2, which Alberto Ascari drove to victory at the F1 championship in 1952 and 1953, and the Ferrari F1-2000, the championship-winning car driven by Michael Schumacher.
Undoubtedly the most impressive car on display is Gordon Ramsay’s futuristic LaFerrari Aperta, the most technologically advanced Ferrari to date. This hybrid vehicle, which is accompanied by concept sketches and an in-depth look at the engine, is the epitome of speed and beauty encapsulating the company’s decades-long mastery in engineering and design innovation. But more than that, it validates Design Museum founder Sir Terence Conran’s observation that ultimately “we have all at some point had delicious dreams of owning a Ferrari.”