Currently on view through January 31, 2017, at Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert is a stunning display of four vintage Ferraris, as art not just cars. This special exhibition curated from a single collection by well known automotive journalist and appraiser Donald Osborne invites one to view these cars as objects to be appreciated as art, regardless of their function.
1950 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta Touring
The word inter, in Ferrari lingo, is used to commemorate the racing victories earned by Scuderia Inter, an early race team. Berlinetta, in Italian means “little saloon” often a two seater plus two, two additional seats which you and I hardly consider a seat. Only 37 of the 166 Inter was ever produced, all between 1948 and 1953. The 166 Inter is the first road-going sports car built by Ferrari. This car build by Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring, the most popular builder for the 166.
1951 Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta Touring
As the American market for Ferraris was growing the big grand touring V-12 America cars were built to meet the demand. America was and is a big country, car owners traveled larger distances. This car is one of two built by Touring. The purpose of the long nose is to house the new “long block” V-12 engine. The extremely lightweight needs of the car in race ready form explains the use of Plexiglass window and the absence of door and roof padding.
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Speciale PF
The 250 series of Ferrari is probably the most varied and popular of vintage Ferraris and certainly at the top of the high dollar cars. From 1956 to 1958 Ferrari made the second generation of the 250 GT coupes. Of the ten designed by Pininfarina, only two were speciale. Slightly smaller than the Superamerica coupes it shared certain styling characteristics of the Superamerica-style body without fender vents. This particular car was one of four, special order non-production models, it raced in the 60s at Nurburgring.
So happens this car was at the 2012 Cavallino Classic where it received a First In Class award.
1963 Ferrari 400 Superamerica
The new pointed, open-mouth nose with a sleek roofline stunned the crowd when the new 400 Superamerica as introduced in 1960 at the Turin Auto Show. Everything about the design is a nod to aerodynamics. The second series, introduced in 1962 sported a longer wheelbase, hence SWB and LWB designations. Sold new in 1963 to Nelson Rockefeller, at the time this car one of less than 40 built, the 400 SA was one of the world’s most luxurious supercars, only owned by royalty and the super-rich.
Whether or not one is a car lover, certain automobiles are equally as enjoyable when viewed as art. exemplary The sculptural form, precise consideration of balance, scale, and function are all central to the designs of these very special vintage Ferraris. Their low number coachbuilt pedigree along with their exemplary beauty qualifies them as art, automotive art, but art all the same and worthy of appreciation.
For more information on the exhibition which only runs through the end of this month, click on Heather James Fine Art.