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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started thinking about this

I started thinking about this as I drove home recently from a 400 mile drive to deliver a used Stebro X-pipe to another 550 owner from Salt Lake. He's owned 14 Ferraris...from a 248 on up...and is now awaiting word on a posible F430 Challenge. He likes the 550 as the best of the cars he's owned, because for him the 550 exemplifies the Ferrari driving experience.

This made me think about all the other cars Ferrari has manufactured...and which model- from each era- best defined that time and place of the Ferrari culture, auto technology in general and the evolving desires of the consumer marketplace.

Your ideas?

Considering that the Ferrari automobile company is now 60 years old, I'd suggest that there are four "eras" of the company:

1. The first was from 1947 to some (defined by you) time, characterized by Enzo's complete control over racing and manufacturing, selection of staff; and reliance on early architectures like V-12, front engine, etc. For me, "the" cars of this era were the 275s and 250's and 330s

2. The second era seems to me to have started in the 1960's as companies like Ford and Fiat tried to swallow Ferrari; And Lamborghini got the clutch he wanted..FINALLY! I look at the F-40, as the defining (road) car of this era...along with the TR and 355.

3. The third strikes me as being in response to the competitive pressures of #2; as Ferrari slowly began being absorbed into Fiat, as Enzo died and the contrmporary management took over. I'd nominate the 550 as the defining car of this era: Because it goes back to the front-engined Berlinetta 12 and is a car that Enzo himself would have responded to as "his kind of car".
But the drawbacks of the 550 were that it was dumbed down by Fiat to be a global car...meeting Swiss noise standards, California emissions, etc.

4. Finally, there is the current era, which in my mind began with the 360 and 575, with F-1 paddles and more and more electronics. The 599 may exemplify this era, as its design (and driveability) is dependent on computer codes more than human finesse: From the CAD designs of the body, to the CFD codes that determined its aerodynamics, to the F-1 andf ECU codes that can mash gears in a tenth of a second. That's pretty amazing, but is it more emotionally satisfying- than caressing a stick shift in one hand, the wheel in the other...and leaning as the curve exerts its G-forces?


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Interesting topic.

In looki

Interesting topic.

In looking at the cars of the 60s,70s,80s and 90s I think we need to seperate Ferrari cars into two groups, supercars and ... ?non-super?. Most of the time, the 12 Cyl cars are the super cars.

In looking back, the daytona, the Dino, the 308, and the Testarossa standout. The 328,348 and 355 are evolutions of the 308. The 550 is a nice looking car, I had the pleasure to take one out out for a spirited drive, the feeling of unlimited power was outstanding, but I do not think it "exemplifies the Ferrari driving experience."

I had the pleasure to drive both a 275 which I did not like very much and a 330 GTC which I loved. The 330 GTC invoked all the emotions and feelings that I associate with Ferrari.

I drove 308, 328 and a Testarossa, while I think they are gorgeous cars, I hated driving them. They were uncomfortable for a fat guy like me. The pedals cramped, the interior "plastic" looking. So I would discount them. The 248 I drove was wonderful. The feeling of speed even when going 50 MPH was wonderful and it could be a contender.

An F40 owner, Chris Parr, gave be a very scary F40 ride. I had enough in that car to know it is a no frills race car so I would discount it from exemplifing the Ferrari driving experience.

The 348 is nice looking and has the right amount of power for the street. Can not really comment on this car since I only drove one around the block. The 355 is a wonderfull car, fantastic sounding at high RPMS,. This could be a contender for the 90s.
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