Maranello under the skin Design Museum relaunches with a Ferrari spectacular… Words and photography James Elliott.
The relocated Design Museum has opened with a stunning exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Ferrari. Though it comes late in a year in which there has hardly been a shortage of Maranello-related activity, it features some £140 million of cars and is a compelling show for marque fans and all devotees of motoring form.
Taking place in the former Commonwealth Institute just off Kensington High Street, London, it runs until April 2018 and is pretty much the same exhibition as one that has been running in Italy for the past six months. The event is officially titled Ferrari: Under The Skin and showcases 14 mouthwatering and priceless cars, kicking off with an Ecurie Francorchamps Daytona in the foyer. Once inside, the timeline starts with a recreation of the first Ferrari, a 125S, and concludes with the current LaFerrari Aperta belonging to TV personality Gordon Ramsay.
Highlights include a 250 LM bodyshell suspended from the ceiling, the ex-Peter Collins 250 GT Pininfarina Cabrio, plus the ex-Gianni Agnelli Testarossa that was turned into a convertible by Pininfarina. One of the real stand-outs is the ’1961 250GT passo corto Sperimentale that ran at Le Mans in 1961 and chalked up a class win with Stirling Moss in the 1962 Daytona Continental 3 Hours.
Almost more interesting than the cars is the selection of personal letters and effects, celebrity photos, styling models and drawings, engines and even a wire frame of a GTO and full-size wooden bucks for the 365P and the 156. There is a great display of helmets from a host of drivers including champions Ascari, Fangio, Hawthorn, Hill, Surtees, Scheckter and Schumacher.
Design Museum founder Terence Conran said: ‘The Ferrari story is truly one of the great adventure stories of the industrial age and I am proud that we are able to tell it at The Design Museum.’
Visitors be warned: no flash photography is permitted and neither are pictures of Lord Bamford’s 1963 250 GTO, slightly odd considering it is surely one of the best-known examples in existence.
The exhibition is open daily from 10am until 15 April and tickets cost £18 for adults, £13.50 for students/concessions, and £9 for 6-15-year-olds, while under-6s go free.