Unique exhibits in the new California Dreaming exhibition

California Dreaming

With #MuseoFerrariMaranello visitors can tweet their photos.
The best will feature in the Ferrari Official Magazine

Maranello, 11 April 2014 – There’s a big red banner bearing the word Ferrari stretched across the square, a welcoming message alongside the Cavallino which greets visitors with a phrase that perfectly captures the scene: “Live the dream, vivi il sogno”. There’s a new building which is home to the information office and the play area with real Formula 1 cars transformed into simulators for kids of all ages to try their hand at wheel, and it leads to the Museo Ferrari in Maranello. It is the most recent addition to a facility which last year welcomed over 320,000 paying visitors, making it one of the top museums in Italy. And now it features giant banners promoting the 2014 exhibition, “California dreaming.” To coincide with the recent launch of the California T at the Geneva motor show and the sixtieth anniversary of Ferrari’s presence in the USA, the Museum has put on a show with a real Stars and Stripes feel to it. And one can really live the dream! It takes up five halls, alongside the imposing amphitheatre that houses the Formula 1 cars, each one with its own unique theme.

The first hall, on the ground floor, is given over to racing with a recreation of the Laguna Seca circuit, featuring the famous and vertiginous Corkscrew turn. Among the single-seaters on display, the 312 used by American legend Mario Andretti, the 156 which America’s Phil Hill drove to the World title, the T4 driven by Canada’s Gilles Villeneuve and even, a truly outstanding attraction, the 375 transformed for Alberto Ascari to drive in the 1952 Indianapolis 500. Still on the American theme, the Ferrari Indycar built in the 80s although never used, but which gave rise to the Alfa Romeo built on a Lola chassis, which sits alongside it in Maranello.

In the second wing of this first hall, there are surprises aplenty. First of all, you bump into Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, standing next to their actual Yamaha and Ducati bikes with which they had an exciting duel at the very same Corkscrew turn. Then one has the opportunity to admire very rare Ferraris, such as the monstrous 712 Can Am car, built for the eponymous North American series in 1971, the very successful 333 SP and the beautiful 330 P sports prototype that won the World Championship for Makes, to name but a few. Leaving this hall via a Hollywood-style red carpet, one crosses the hall featuring Ferraris in film, which also celebrates many Italian Oscar winners and then emerges right in the middle of Los Angeles. Here, between Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills one can see, one in front of the other, the famous California from the Fifties and the new T, thus taking in 60 years of style in one glance. On display around them, cars with a strong American flavour, such as the 275 GTB4 NART, which sold at a recent auction for 25 million dollars, and the true classics, the 250 America, Spider Pininfarina and SA Aperta. Leaving the neon signs of Los Angeles behind, one is met with a truly stunning scene: the large hall opened last year has been transformed into a golf course, with greens, players and a smell of newly-mown grass. We have landed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, surrounded by really incredible cars, just like at the event itself.

There are some amazing classics, the 500 Superfast, 330 America and the 400 Superamerica, produced for the American market. Alongside them, there are some real finds such as the Ferrari transformed into a “Burano” for the film “The Racers,” starring Kirk Douglas, which really took part in the 1000 Miglia, so as to be filmed racing; the Thomassima, a 250 GT inspired by the P4 and designed by the brilliant American designer Tom Meade and, maybe even more inspired and amazing in its lines, the Testa d’Oro, from Swiss style genius Colani, based on a Testarossa chassis. The final hall plunges visitors into the technological world of Silicon Valley. Here one can see the many technical innovations created by Ferrari starting with the steering wheel-computer from the Schumacher era, to the F1-style steering wheel mounted gear change, to carbon-ceramic brakes, the new generation of turbo engines and last but not least naturally, the LaFerrari supercar, which is displayed in a very unusual manner: in a completely dark room it is lit with ultraviolet Wood’s lights, which emphasise the shapes as if seeing the original sketches.

The engine is treated the same way, shown in its component form so that one can appreciate its technology, especially the KERS and the complete hybrid system. To spread the word about the exhibition and show one’s friends, visitors are invited to take photos and be photographed, posting them with the hashtag #MuseoFerrariMaranello. The most interesting ones will be published in the end of year edition of the Ferrari Magazine and the photographers will be receive a copy of the magazine as a prize. The museum, as well as the Enzo Ferrari one in Modena, is open every day.