Off to Ferrari Exhibition with my son at the Design Museum (3 Feb 18) …
This is a rather stunning exhibition which traces the history of Enzo Ferrari’s life and works with exhibits from many different periods. Its a pity that the history provided is so strongly ‘purified’ as the omitted incidents (Note 1) would have added flesh to the legend. For example, not a word is mention about how Mussolini forced the company to produce machine parts during the war or how the dispute over the role of Ferrari’s wife led to a mass exodus of talent which led to a takeover attempt by Ford or how because Enzo backed out at the last minute Ford in a huff vowed to knock Ferrari off its pedestal – a threat made good after Ford took 1st, 2nd and 3rd at Le Mans. Coming into close quarters with many of these cars and the manufacturing dummies and the technical drawings provides an insight into the mammoth effort involved in designing and producing such cars. This is an undertaking which contradicts the key business school mantra – put the customer first. Enzo had a not so high regard for his buyers (or shall we say occasional contempt!) but he had a dream, a vision – to produce beautiful cars and win races. For some inexplicable reason the world rewarded his obsession!
Unlike many of my friends I have never been taken by cars but beautiful design is a powerful force and in the presence of such beautifully designed and manufactured items there is a sense of awe. There is a sense of a creators unmistakeable obsession, attention to detail would be understatement. Would I ever wish to own one, perhaps. Would I wish to be the envy of my friends? Definitely not! So perhaps one day if you see an African driving the latest Ferrari wearing heavy shades or behind heavily darkened windows perhaps wave and say hi to me.
The History of Ferrari S.p