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California Dreaming Exhibition – Museo Ferrari

Thomassima III (Ferrari 250 GT s/n 1065GT)

Thomassima III (Ferrari 250 GT s/n 1065GT)


Maranello, 19 May, 2014 

A new exhibition opened at the Museo Ferrari in Maranello in April 2014, and is planned to run through to the end of the year. The theme is essentially Ferrari in the USA, very apt in the 60th anniversary year of official imports to the country, with particular emphasis on the state of California, in light of the recent launch of the new California T model, hence the exhibition title “California Dreaming”. The start of the new exhibition was coincidental with the inauguration of the newly laid out space and information centre in front of the museum, and was attended by Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, together with the Mayor of Maranello.

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As befits an exhibition celebrating one of the company’s largest markets over the years, and a country where some of the biggest and most varied collections of Ferraris live, there was an eclectic array of models on display. They ranged from the replica of the 156 “Sharknose” F1 car, of the type that Phil Hill drove to become the first American to win the World Driver’s Championship in 1961, through to the unique Testarossa based Colani Testa d’Oro, which set a world land speed record for a car fitted with catalytic converters of 351kph on the Salt Lake Flats in Utah in 1991. The exhibition is laid out with themed areas, essentially monoposto, including the 375 Indy car and the 637 Indy project car, sports racing cars like the 330 P, 712 CanAm, and F333 SP which was built with the IMSA series in mind, and road cars built with the USA in mind or as an inspiration, like the 250 GT California Spider, 330 America, 550 Barchetta and the new California T.  

One gallery is devoted to probably the most famous concours in the world, Pebble Beach, and has been decorated with faux turf to mimic the 18th fairway, where the annual concours is held each year on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Large mural photos of concours scenes complete the atmosphere. This gallery gives the exhibition great flexibility of choice in what to display, and it is likely that exhibits will change as it runs its course. Part of this display is the Ferrari 250 GT based Thomassima III, the brainchild of one-time Modena domiciled American designer Tom Meade. This is the first time that the car has been shown in public since it was presented new in the late sixties, and is in the process of being re-commissioned to running form. It made headlines when new, probably the best description being a front engine 330 P4, and was a Road & Track magazine cover car, also being modelled by Mattel in their Hot Wheels series. Other models “on the lawn at Pebble Beach” included the 212 Export sports racing model that featured in the 1955 film “The Racers”, starring Kirk Douglas, where it was called a Burano, a 400 Superamerica, a 500 Superfast, the previously mentioned Colani Testa d’Oro and a 365 GTB/4C “Daytona”.  

Further details, with opening times and admission prices, can be found at www.museo.ferrari.com   

Text & Images Keith Bluemel