In 1954, America changed forever.
This wasn’t because of a traumatic event or even something that seemed all that significant when it happened. The impact, though, has spread across six decades and left a trail of inspiration and breathlessness, along with plenty of burned rubber and lofty aspirations.
It was in 1954 that Ferrari formed an alliance with the North American Racing Team and began selling cars in the United States. Over the next 60 years, Ferrari won countless races and produced some of the most exhilarating and beautiful automobiles to ever scorch the pavement.
With a 60-year anniversary car debuting next month, let’s take a moment and look back at some of the most influential Ferrari designs in U.S. history.
First, though, I want to share what little info there is about this 60th anniversary car. AutoEvolution says,
In all likelihood, it is expected that this car will be based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and it will add an exclusive exterior and interior design to account for the price jump of almost $3 million; a standard 2014 F12 Berlinetta starts at $318,888. Among the upgrades include a distinctive blue paint scheme with white stripes acting as a throwback to the Ferraris raced by the North American Racing Team (NART) from the 1960s through the 1980s. Big changes are also expected inside this car.
For $3 million, it had better be special! Not that it matters, because word is that only 10 vehicles will be produced and all are already sold. With that in mind, here are my favorite Ferrari designs from each decade:
1950s: 250 GT
There are modern cars without the sexy curves and grace of the 250 GT. This was the first truly beautiful Ferrari.
1960s: 250 GTO
The 250 GTO continues to be among the most expensive cars ever sold. When they come up for auction, expect a multi-million dollar price. In my humble opinion, they are worth every million.
1970s: 308 GTB
The 1970s were hard on everyone. Ferrari included. Considering this was the era when designers pretty much threw their hands up and went home, this Ferrari still looks like a Ferrari. Plus, they’re available used!
What teenage boy in the 1980s didn’t have a poster of this car in his bedroom? Today it defines the entire decade and remains a somewhat attainable Ferrari for those looking for a used Prancing Horse.
It has a 4.7-liter naturally aspirated 60-valve V12 engine and remains one of the most exotic cars ever put on the road.
All the allure of an F1 race car, but with the added bonus of active aerodynamics and traction control.
2010s: 458 Italia
Here’s proof that Ferrari design continues to age like wine.
What’s your favorite Ferrari design from the last 60 years?