Arguably, one of the core tenets of vintage and historic racing is the notion of the rolling time frame, that is to say with each passing year, a new model-year or era of racecar becomes “classic.” With the passage of time, today’s modern weapon will eventually become tomorrow’s historic racing treasure. And for the last 70 years, perhaps no other racecar manufacturer has better exemplified this phenomenon than Ferrari. However, recent news would indicate that this may no longer be the case.
Certainly throughout the “Enzo Era” (1949-1988), Ferrari racecars were—at least in the eyes of their creator—a tool to achieve a goal, rather than a revered artifact of history. After a Ferrari had achieved its short-term goal, whether that be winning an important race or completing a season of competition, most Ferrari racecars were sold on to a privateer and the money generated put back into constructing the next “tool.” Old racecars were either a commodity to be liquidated or, in some cases, “junk” accumulating on the grounds of the Maranello shop to be either cannibalized for parts or unceremoniously destroyed. The most glaring—and truly tragic—example of this philosophy being the 1961 156 “Sharknose” racecars that Phil Hill drove to that year’s F1 championship…not a single original example of this most historic racecar exists today. The Commendatore had no time or interest in nostalgia, his focus was always on the next racecar being built.
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