Friday, March 9, 2012

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari: The Final Countdown

Only days after Ferrari’s technical director, Pat Fry, admitted to the international media that the team would not be in the hunt for a podium finish at the first race of the season, the city of Modena is busy preparing for the grand opening of the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari. Tomorrow the Ferrari-focused museum, which is the latest to spark the curiosity of tifosi worldwide, will open its doors for the first time. Thousands of locals and enthusiasts alike will pour through its doors at around five in the afternoon to be treated to what are set to be both beautiful and informative displays.

The inauguration of the 6,000 square meter building will mark the end of almost three years of construction on the now fully restored site of Enzo Ferrari’s birth. In 2009, when work first began, Enzo Ferrari’s son Piero expressed his excitement over the project. “The restoration of the birthplace of my father and the new building make true his dream and lifelong work and passion: automobiles and racing.” He stated. “I’m pleased and moved to be here today and I want to come back here again for the opening.”

Although there will be a collection of Ferrari cars and memorabilia amongst the museum’s featured attractions, its aim is to not only educate people about the man behind the legend but also about the rich racing heritage of the area that he was born in. From Maserati to Ducati, the museum promises to highlight all of the Emilia-Romagna entrepreneurs who helped the region to achieve worldwide notoriety, leading it to become known simply as the “Motor Valley”. The museum’s desire to pay homage to Modena is so great that the building’s architect, Jan Kaplický *, even designed the roof to be in the shape of an engine cover painted in bold yellow. For those of you who are not already aware of the colour’s significance, it is the colour of the city of Modena itself and therefore was selected by Enzo Ferrari to be used in the background of the shield that adorned his cars.

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, Modena has organised several events aimed at generating both publicity and enthusiasm for the museum. By far the most exciting of these events is set to take place this evening. According to the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari’s official website, tonight from about six o’clock there will be classic car exhibitions, live entertainment and even the simulation of a Grand Prix start in the city’s historic centre. Although sadly I am unable to attend the “Notte dei Motori”, I will be heading to Modena tomorrow to be one of the museum’s very first patrons. I am absolutely looking forward to exploring the completed museum myself and am also eagerly anticipating walking on the holy ground of Alfredo Ferrari’s restored factory.

Look out for pictures and reactions from my day out at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari in the coming days!

*On a sombre note, Jan Kaplický passed away suddenly in 2009. As a result, the ultimate construction of the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari has been overseen by his associate, architect Andrea Morgante.

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