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Maranello Rosso - Republica San Marino


Dino 246 Tasman s/n 0008

Dino 246 Tasman s/n 0008

Ferrari 195 S Coupe Vignale s/n 0151S

Ferrari 195 S Coupe Vignale s/n 0151S

Ferrari 250 MM PF Berlinetta s/n 0312MM

Ferrari 250 MM PF Berlinetta s/n 0312MM

Ferrari 330 P2/3 s/n 0828

Ferrari 330 P2/3 s/n 0828

Ferrari 330 P s/n 0818

Ferrari 330 P s/n 0818

Ferrari 512 BB/LM s/n 35529

Ferrari 512 BB/LM s/n 35529

Ferrari 250 GT "TdF" Berlinetta s/n 0619GT/0805GT

Ferrari 250 GT "TdF" Berlinetta s/n 0619GT/0805GT

 

Republica San Marino, April 20, 2010 

In December 2009 the Collezione Maranello Rosso celebrated the 20th anniversary of its foundation, but sadly, the following month witnessed the passing of its founder, Fabrizio Violati, who departed this mortal coil on 21 January 2010, at the age of 74. I had the good fortune to meet him on a number of occasions, and he was great company at dinner, always charming and with a great sense of fun and humour. He was also an accomplished driver, not only in historic racing where he won the European Championship with his 250 GTO, but also in modern racing in period, both as a driver and as an entrant of Ferrari 512 BB/LMs, notably at Le Mans in the early eighties. I vividly recall a race for 250 GTOs held at the Mas du Clos circuit in France, on the occasion of the model’s 25th anniversary in 1987, where he and an American GTO owner, Bob Bodin, had a spectacular dice for the lead in horrible wet conditions, leaving the rest of the field, quite literally, in their wake. Fabrizio took the chequered flag first by half a car’s length, and they both had wide grins on their faces when they stepped out of their cars, so they had enjoyed the battle as much, or maybe more, than us watching it.


Over the years he built up an impressive collection of Ferrari and Abarth cars, his great passion being for his native Italian machinery, together with numerous spares and automobile artefacts, plus works of art and antiques. During the eighties he decided that he wanted to preserve the Ferrari legend, and was deeply involved in discussions with Enzo Ferrari about his idea to create a monument to the company. However, Enzo Ferrari didn’t live long enough, passing away in August 1988, to see Fabrizio’s vision come to fruition, which it did in 1989. The original location of the museum was “up the hill” in the historic centre of San Marino, but moved “down the road” to its present location some years ago, as they had the idea to incorporate a museum featuring the cars of Carlo Abarth, plus the new facility provided more and better lit display space, with good on site parking facilities for visitors. Fortunately, for lovers of the Ferrari and Abarth marques, the legacy that Fabrizio left lives on through Sandra Lodi Vetrano, who has been deeply involved with the organisation of and responsible for, the running of the Collezione Maranello Rosso since its inception. Thus she continues with the responsibility of cherishing and safeguarding this important assembly of Italy’s cultural heritage, with Fabrizio guiding from above, both Fabrizio and Sandra being honoured with a merit award by Italian President Sen. Giorgio Napolitano in 2010, for the “significant contribution to the image of the excellence of <<Made in Italy>> in the world”. 

The museum halls, refurbished in 2009, are on a number of levels, with the main Ferrari display halls, dedicated to the life and products of Enzo Ferrari and his company, providing an almost ethereal atmosphere, with their lofty ceilings, together with the décor and artefacts on display around the cars and on the walls. They also feature mid-level galleries overlooking the displays, housing the library, including a complete collection of Ferrari Yearbooks up to 1970, plus a wide selection of memorabilia, including steering wheels, artwork, engines, mechanical components and models. The Abarth halls are at a lower level in the building, surrounding the Scrigno Conference Centre, where around forty examples of the cars produced by Carlo Abarth, with their famous “Scorpione” logo, are on display. These are mainly Fiat derived models, although there are also examples of the beautifully sculpted Simca Abarths, and range from modified Fiat saloons like the diminutive 595 SS, through the 124 Abarth and 131 Abarth models, to a wide range of GT models like the Bialbero, to sports prototypes and monopostos. The Scrigno Conference Centre can host gatherings from 25 – 550 people, for functions ranging from cocktail receptions to gala dinners, surrounded by the cars, art and memorabilia of the collection, providing a very special atmosphere for the party. 

The core of the Ferrari collection is the range of 250 series cars that dominated GT racing in the fifties and sixties, ranging from a stunning white with a blue stripe 250 MM PF berlinetta, through the 250 GT series, including examples of the 250 GT “Tour de France” berlinetta, the 250 GT “Interim” version of the same model, the 250 GT “passo corto” berlinetta, and the triple World Championship winning 250 GTO model. Amongst the other models on display, which range from a 1950 195 S Coupé Vignale to a F40, there are also a pair of rare road going examples of the 250 GT series. The first is a beautiful white ex-Marilyn Monroe 250 GT S1 PF Cabriolet, complete with the rare optional hardtop, and a sleek dark blue 250 GT “passo corto” Coupé Aerodynamico. 

The collection doesn’t only encompass GT street and racing cars, but also includes a pair of rare sports racing cars, a 1963 330 P and a 1965 330 P2/3, together with a pair of monopostos, a Dino 246 Tasman and an ex-Gilles Villeneuve 312 T3 from 1978. There is also the last 512 BB/LM to race at Le Mans in 1984, entered by Fabrizio Violati’s Scuderia Bellancauto, finished in the attractive red with “blue bubbles” livery representing the sponsorship of his Ferrarelle mineral water company. If there is one criticism that could be made of the displays, it is the proximity of the low tubular protective barriers around the cars, which make it difficult for the average visitor to get unobstructed photographs of the cars. However, these were removed for us during our visit, and they are less obtrusive than the ropes dangling from stanchions that one finds in some museums displays. 

Apart from the main display areas there is also the private Galleria d’Arte with the subtitle “Ferrari Incontri d’Arte” (Ferrari Meets Art), where antique furniture, porcelain, musical instruments, sculptures and artwork rub shoulders with Ferrari images, a chassis, an engine and the Vespa motor scooter that Fabrizio Violati used for stunt riding in his youth. All the private areas are available for special gatherings, like a special dinner in the museum or a cocktail reception in the art gallery, or for guests during private or public motor sports events. Press conferences for private companies, or company incentive gatherings can also be accommodated, and all are organised directly by the Maranello Rosso staff. Upcoming in 2010 will be a new Maranello Rosso website, which will be a real “Made in Italy” portal to the museum, dedicated to history, design, art and culture of the last century. The entrance foyer features a well stocked boutique, offering a wide range of models, plus accessories unique to the museum, together with their own range of “Made in Italy” clothing with the collection logo, all at reasonable prices. 

The museum is easy to find at Strada dei Censiti 21, 47891 Falciano, Republicca San Marino. One leaves the A14 Autostrada at the Rimini Sud exit, then follow the signs to Republica San Marino, after about 8kms you will see the exit sign for Falciano, and the imposing museum building can be seen to the left of the road. The exit slip road loops under the main road, and literally brings you to the front door of the museum on your right. Further information about opening hours, entry fees, group visits, conference facilities etc, can be found at www.maranellorosso.com  

With grateful thanks to Alessio Vetrano and the staff of Maranello Rosso for facilitating the visit, and being charming hosts as well as informative and very helpful guides during the tour of the museum’s halls. 

The Ferraris on Display in the Collezione Maranello Rosso 

Gran Turismo

Year

Model

Colour

Chassis #

1951

195 S Coupé Vignale

Red/Tan

0151S

1953

250 MM PF Berlinetta

White-Blue Stripe/Blue

0312MM

1955

250 GT Berlinetta Comp’

Red/Black

0539GT

1957

250 GT PF S1 Cabriolet with hardtop

White/Beige

0759GT

1956

250 GT Berlinetta Comp’ “Tour de France”

Red/Black

0619/
0805GT

1959

250 GT Berlinetta Comp’ “Interim”

Red/Black

1461GT

1959

250 GT PF Coupé

Red/Black

1255GT

1960

250 GT Berlinetta Comp’ “Passo Corto”

Red/Black

2025GT

1962

250 GTE 2+2 Coupé

Blue Met’/Black

3429GT

1962

250 GT Coupé Aerodynamico “Passo Corto”

Dark Blue/Cream

3615GT

1962

250 GTO

Red/Black

3851GT

1963

250 GT Lusso

Green Met’/Beige

5177GT

1965

275 GTB

Dark Green/Black

08035

1964

330 GT 2+2

White/Black

5797

1966

330 GT 2+2

Silver/Black

8409

1968

330 GTC

Silver/Black

11265

1969

365 GT 2+2

Grey Met’/Cream

11873

1968

365 GTC

Bronze Met’/Cream

12655

1970

365 GTB/4

Dark Blue/Black-Red

13537

1971

365 GTC/4

Pale Blue Met’/Black

15985

1973

365 GT4 2+2

Pale Blue Met’/Black

17261

1987

F40

Red/Red

89460

1967

Dino 206 GT

Dark Red Met’/Black

00338

1970

Dino 246 GT

Red/Black-Blue

00696

1976

Dino 208 GT4

Red/Black-Red

11468

Monoposto, Sport e Prototipo

1968

Dino 246 Tasman

Red/Black

0008

1978

312 T3

Red-White/Black

033

1963

330 P

Red/Blue

0818

1965

330 P2/3

Red/Black-Red

0828

1969

365 GTB/4 Comp’ Conv’*

Red/Black

12719

1970

365 GTB/4 Comp’ Conv’*

Red/Black

12765

1982

512 BB/LM

Red-“Blue Bubbles”

 35529

 

 

 

 

1959

ASA (Ferrarina)

 Red/Black

01018

* Converted to competition specification in 1973/74 by Giocchino Vari, Assistenza Ferrari, Roma.

Keith Bluemel         
04/2010