Decades of pure plea­sure as Fer­rari cel­e­brates 70 glo­ri­ous years of mo­tor­ing ge­nius

Fer­rari is one of the most fa­mous car mak­ers around. In its 70-year his­tory, it has cre­ated some iconic cars. Which ones stand out? Si­mon Davis finds out

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - USED CARS -

Fer­rari is one of the most well-known and revered car man­u­fac­tur­ers in the busi­ness. Pic­tures of var­i­ous Fer­rari mod­els have been a fix­ture on count­less bed­room walls, while the real things have long been cov­eted by those seek­ing what is thought by some to be the pin­na­cle of au­to­mo­tive engi­neer­ing and per­for­mance.

This year is the 70th an­niver­sary of the first Fer­rari road car pro­duced, so to cel­e­brate, we’ve col­lected our favourite Pranc­ing Horse from each decade, from the 1940s through to to­day.

1940s — 166 In­ter

As the first true Fer­rari road car, the 166 In­ter au­to­mat­i­cally de­serves a place in the list of the most iconic road cars from the Maranello man­u­fac­turer. The 166 In­ter was a proper grand tourer, and fea­tured a 2.0litre V12 that pro­duced be­tween 109bhp and 138bhp — not bad for a car that first de­buted at the 1949 Paris Mo­tor Show.

The gor­geous coupe was de­signed by Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing of Mi­lan, the same firm that worked on ear­lier Fer­rari and Alfa Romeo rac­ers. Dur­ing the course of its pro­duc­tion run, which lasted from 1948 to 1950, there were 37 166 In­ters built. It was the first Fer­rari to be pur­chased for the road, rather than the track.

1950s — 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia Spy­der

Those who are fa­mil­iar with the clas­sic 1986 film Fer­ris Bueller’s Day Off will recog­nise the iconic Fer­rari 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia Spy­der. In the film, Bueller and his friends take a short-wheel­base ver­sion of the V12 con­vert­ible for a joyride in down­town Chicago be­fore head­ing off on a se­ries of other mis­ad­ven­tures. The 250 GT Cal­i­for­nia Spy­der was avail­able in both long- wheel­base (LWB) and short-wheel­base (SWB) con­fig­u­ra­tions, with the first LWB model be­ing pro­duced in 1957. It was pow­ered by the same V12 was used in the 250 Tour de France rac­ing car, which pro­duced up to 237bhp.

1960s — 250 GTO

As far as Fer­rari road cars go, the 250 GTO is noth­ing short of leg­endary. A mere 39 ex­am­ples were built be­tween 1962 and 1964 to make the car el­i­gi­ble for the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Tour­ing Car cat­e­gory. It was pow­ered by the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer’s Tipo 168/ 62 V12 en­gine, which pro­duced 296bhp.

The iconic car could be seen as the orig­i­nal Fer­rari su­per­car. When in­tro­duced, the GTO cost $18,000 new in the US, with buy­ers hav­ing to be ap­proved by Enzo Fer­rari him­self. The 250 GTO is now one of the most prized col­lec­tors’ cars on the planet, and holds the record for the most valu­able car sold at auc­tion. In 2014, a 250 GTO went un­der the ham­mer and achieved a stag­ger­ing price of stg£30.6 mil­lion.

1970s — Ber­linetta Boxer

The Ber­linetta Boxer was a se­ries of cars pro­duced by Fer­rari from 1973 to 1984, which in­cludes the 365 GT4 BB, the BB 512 and the BB 512i. While all were in­cred­i­bly sim­i­lar in terms of their ap­pear­ance, this se­ries of cars was an im­por­tant one for Fer­rari, ow­ing to the fact it was the first Fer­rarib­adged road car to fea­ture a mid-en­gine lay­out.

The Ber­linetta Boxer was a se­ries of cars pro­duced by Fer­rari from 1973 to 1984, which in­cludes the 365 GT4 BB, the BB 512 and the BB 512i. While all were in­cred­i­bly sim­i­lar in terms of their ap­pear­ance, this se­ries of cars was an im­por­tant one for Fer­rari, ow­ing to the fact it was the first Fer­rarib­adged road car to fea­ture a mid-en­gine lay­out.

All BB cars were pow­ered by a flat-12 en­gine that pro­duced be­tween 340bhp and 355bhp de­pend­ing on model. Enzo Fer­rari was sup­pos­edly not too keen on the idea of in­tro­duc­ing a mi­dengine road car to the Fer­rari line- up, as he thought they would be too much for his cus­tomers to han­dle, and it was only af­ter the Ital­ian brand be­gan to lose its edge in rac­ing in the face of mid- en­gined com­peti­tors that he agreed to adopt the lay­out.

While the Dino was the first Fer­rari-pro­duced road car to adopt the mid-en­gine lay­out, the Fer­rari name was re­served ex­clu­sively for the mar­que’s 12- cylin­der cars. The 365 GT4 BB was the first mid-en­gine Fer­rari, and can be seen as the car that mod­ern Fer­raris such as the 488 GTB stem from.

1980s — F40

To some, the F40 is the de­fin­i­tive Fer­rari. I t was cov­eted the world over, and was a com­mon sight on bed­room wall posters at the time.

When re­leased in 1987, it was the fastest, most pow­er­ful, most ex­pen­sive road car Fer­rari had ever pro­duced. The mid- en­gine su­per­car was pow­ered by a 2.9- litre, twin-tur­bocharged V8 that de­vel­oped 472bhp, al­low­ing for a 0-60mph time of 4.5 sec­onds and a top speed of 199mph.

Dur­ing its five- year pro­duc­tion run, a to­tal of 1,311 F40s were pro­duced, de­spite the fact Fer­rari had only ini­tially planned for 400 ex­am­ples to be built.

It was the car that cel­e­brated Fer­rari’s 40th an­niver­sary, and was also the fi­nal car to be re­leased by the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer that was per­son­ally ap­proved by Enzo Fer­rari be­fore his death.

1990s — F355

To some, the Fer­rari F355 is one of the pret­ti­est road cars the Maranello man­u­fac­turer has ever pro­duced — re­plac­ing the 348.

The stun­ning F355 was first re­leased in 1994, and was avail­able as a coupe, targa or con­vert­ible.

The F355 fea­tured a mi­dengine lay­out, and was pow­ered by a 3.5- litre V8 that de­vel­oped 370bhp and en­abled the car to sprint from 0-60mph in 4.5 sec­onds, be­fore hit­ting a top speed of 183mph.

With a pro­duc­tion run of 11,273 units, the F355 was at the time the most-pro­duced car the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer had re­leased. This fig­ure was later sur­passed with the re­lease of mod­els such as the 360 and the F430.

2000s — Enzo

When it was re­leased in 2002, the Enzo rep­re­sented the pin­na­cle of what Fer­rari could achieve at the time.

It fea­tured bags of For­mula One tech­nol­ogy, such as its car­bon- fi­bre body and F1- style trans­mis­sion, as well as a colos­sal 6.0- litre V12 en­gine.

This power plant pro­duced 651bhp and al­lowed for a 0-60mph time of just 3.1 sec­onds, as well as a top speed of 221mph. Fer­rari pro­duced 399 En­zos dur­ing its two-year pro­duc­tion run.

2010s — LaFer­rari

Just as the Enzo had been the Fer­rari of its decade, the LaFer­rari is the de­fin­i­tive model of the 2010s, hence its name. It’s the first Fer­rari road car to fea­ture hy­brid tech­nol­ogy, which works in con­junc­tion with a 6.3-litre V12 en­gine to give a com­bined power out­put of 950bhp and 900Nm of torque. Th­ese ridicu­lous per­for­mance fig­ures mean the LaFer­rari sprints from 0-60mph in un­der 3 sec­onds, while it has a top speed in ex­cess of 217mph. Along with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918, the LaFer­rari forms the “Holy Trin­ity” of hy­brid hy­per­cars.

Hon­ourable men­tion — 458 Spe­ciale

The Fer­rari 458 Spe­ciale gets a special men­tion here be­cause it rather sadly rep­re­sents the fi­nal mid-en­gine Fer­rari to fea­ture a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated V8 en­gine. Emis­sions reg­u­la­tions and the de­sire to im­prove fuel econ­omy mean Fer­rari has shifted to­wards tur­bocharged en­gines, which, while cer­tainly not lack­ing in power, don’t have the same the­atre as the V8 that pow­ered the 458 Spe­ciale.

The 458 Spe­ciale was a faster, and more hard­core ver­sion of the beau­ti­ful 458 Italia. Its 4.5- litre V8 pro­duced 597bhp and 540Nm of torque, al­low­ing the mid-en­gine su­per­car to sprint from 0- 60mph in three sec­onds, be­fore hit­ting a top speed of around 202mph.

At Noel Deasy Cars Ltd, New Mal­low Road, Black­pool, in Cork, are , ex­ec­u­tive; Jackie Deasy, dealer prin­ci­pal, and Wil­liam Buck­ley,

LaFer­rari, the first Fer­rari road car to fea­ture hy­brid tech­nol­ogy.

Pic­ture: Denis Mini­hane

( from left) Marc Gor­man, sales ex­ec­u­tive; Jackie Casey, busi­ness man­ager; John Crowley, sales sales ex­ec­u­tive.

The Fer­rari 458 Spe­ciale, a faster, and more hard­core ver­sion of the beau­ti­ful 458 Italia.

The Fer­rari F355; for some fans, one of the pret­ti­est road cars the man­u­fac­turer has ever pro­duced.

The Fer­rari Enzo, packed full of For­mula One tech­nol­ogy.

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