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LA Car Quick Book Review
FERRARI 70 Years
By Dennis Adler
Forward by Luigi Chinetti, Jr.
MotorBooks-Published by Quarto Publishing Group, USA
ISBN 978 0 7603 5189 9
298 pages Color and B/W illustrations
$40.00 US, £24.99 UK, $52.00 CAN
Review by Doug Stokes
Like many who live in the LA area, just about all of us here on the LA Car staff drive Ferraris, and a few of us, (NAMES REDACTED), have a couple of them or more. And … so doing a flash review of a new (actually a very well-updated version of a Random House offering that was first published in 2006) Ferrari book should be a snap. Onward.
Remember that we’re only talking about the 70 years (less than a quarter heartbeat in the big timeline of humans on earth) that Ferraris have roamed the earth, a fact that almost amazes me based on the layers of lore and legend of the marque.
From day two, Ferraris have been very special machines and “Ferrari 70 Years” is a well-written and well-illustrated paean to that fact. Prolific auto author Dennis Adler has done an excellent job of summarizing the spell-binding Ferrari phenomena in just under 300 pages.
His picks for the individual Ferraris that he chooses for close-up inspection is each a classic on its own terms and times and breathes life into each of them with a unique story about the concept, the car, the creators, and how all of that played out.
Readers will recognize (and enjoy both the back story and the sharp original photography) classic Ferraris beginning with the first Barchetta and roaring on through machines like the GTB/4 Daytona, 400 Superamerica, 512BB, F40, SWB California, Dino, 250 GT Tour de France, F12 Berlinetta, 458 Italia and Spyder, 250GT SWB, and the (beg pardon) iconic 250 GTO that graces the inner cover* of this book.
And, in the end (quite literally), Mister Adler gifts us with something that I’m a nut about, a good index. My hallmark of a well-managed book that purports to report any sort of recognizable history is a well-organized five-page index. Adler’s complete index is not only an organizational chart for this particular book, but a quick reference guide that can help point the way for additional research and information by reminding the reader of all of the names, places, people and wonderful Ferraris that they came into contact with in this book.
By the way, this book is not all that heavy on the racing side of the road, but it is always there, smoldering in the background, influencing and promoting the brand. But the concentration here is the road-going machines, many of which (of course , they were Ferraris, no?) that were eminently raceable.
There are bigger, fancier, flashier (and far more expensive) Ferrari books out there, but this one stands out for its spirit. And it well could be the gateway book for a new member of the Tifosi, the name that hardcore Ferrari fans have been knows as since their dawn of time … which they will explain to you was only seventy short years ago. -DS
*The slip jacket cover (seen at the top of this article) is almost a mezzotint on a grey background, while the inner (hard cover seen just above) is bright gloss black and features front and rear views of a perfectly red Ferrari GTO with no indication of the title or the author.
EVENT FOOTNOTE: The Petersen Museum (in Los Angeles) www.petersen.org will mount a exhibition entitled: “SEEING RED 70 Years of Ferrari” opening in late April and set for the Bruce Meyer Family Gallery. Oddly enough two of the greatest Ferrari race cars ever, the 1957 Testa Rosa TRC 625/250, and the 1959 250 GT SWB we saw and read about in “Ferrari 70 Years” are both silver and both owned by Meyer. Expect to see both while you’re “Seeing Red” at the Petersen.