Ferrari’s unseen archives revealed in this Marc Newson-designed monograph
Not content with taking over London’s Design Museum for a 50-year retrospective, Ferrari is now getting the full-on Taschen monograph treatment. With unrestricted access to the iconic Italian marque’s extensive archives, this is a book for the enthusiast, the completist and the collector – and few car manufacturers have more rabid sets of all three. Called simply Ferrari, it’s also a boost to the legend that is Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988), a manufacturer who began his career as a triumphant racing driver and team leader and who remains a totemic figure in car design. Enzo embodied Ferrari, for all his passion and foibles and the company’s idiosyncratic ways can still be traced back to the sheer bloody-minded determination of him, his drivers, engineers and designers.
Those pictures provide an unstoppable beauty parade, of course, for Ferrari has had very few aesthetic misfires over the course of 50 years. The company has always tracked fashion as well as occasionally defining it, employing the skills of Italy’s finest car designers – Pininfarina, Giugiaro, Scaglietti – and finding the sweet spot between performance, aerodynamics and sheer aesthetic perfection. Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the company was responsible for some of the most enduringly beautiful cars ever made, both on and off the track (the book includes a comprehensive appendix of Ferrari’s racing history). It helps, too, that Ferrari regularly comes in top of investment lists like the Coutts Passion Index, as the vanishing rarity and aching beauty of cars like the 250 GTO continue to outperform every other kind of fund; a 250 GTO sold in June for $70m.
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Detail of the Marc Newson-designed aluminium slipcase
That collectability is also referenced in the monograph’s presentation, a Taschen speciality. Just 1,947 copies are being printed in total – referencing the year of the company’s founding. The German publisher has turned to one of its regular collaborators Marc Newson for a spot of auto-related extravagance. Newson is a renowned car enthusiast and collector, and for Taschen he has pulled out all the stops.
The ‘regular’ edition gets a Newson-designed aluminium slipcase, referencing the marque’s many years of experience with the ultra-light material, as well as Newson’s own penchant for it, while the Art Edition receives its own camply iconic stand. Just 250 of the copies will get the Art Edition treatment, each mounted on a massive sculptural stand inspired by Ferrari’s legendary 12-cylinder engine. The Rossa corsa and chromed steel object will make the same kind of statement in your library as a Ferrari does on the street, just as Enzo always intended. §