‘Celebrazione Ferrari’ at the Lyon Air Museum

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From the museum's own collection, a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/r 'Daytona' is among the cars featured in 'Celebration Ferrari' at the Lyon Air Museum | Howard Koby photos

Enzo Ferrari gained fame in the mid-1920s as a racing driver for Alfa Romeo, driving an Alfa RL, the company’s first post-war sports model, to victory in the Coppa Acerbo in Pescara, Italy.

In 1929 he started his own racing team, still using Alfa Romeo vehicles but distinguishing his from the official factory team with an insignia that had a prancing horse on a yellow shield, a tribute to a pilot shot down during World War I. 

Ferrari continued to race until 1932, when his son, Alfredo “Dino,” was born. In 1939 he opened his own business producing parts and tools for cars and airplanes. Ferrari cleared his name after the war and, with Gioachino Colombo, in 1947 built his first racing car, the Tipo 125S. 

Retired Maj. Gen. William Lyon opened his museum to showcase World War II aircraft and other vehicles

And the rest, as they say, is history and brings us to the Lyon Air Museum in California’s Orange County, where a special exhibit “Celebrazione Ferrari,” includes 13 examples of the legendary Italian automobiles positioned  alongside historic WWII aircraft and other vehicles is a fantastic visual experience.

Maj. Gen. William Lyon (USAF-Ret.) founded the 30,000-square-foot Lyon Air Museum in 2009. It features aircraft and unique vehicles from World War II, including a Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” which once carried Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Douglas A-26 “Invader,” a“Mitchell” B-25 bomber and a 1943 Ford GPW Military Jeep which was hailed as “the savior of WWII.”

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Displayed next to a DC-3 are a Ferrari Testarossa and a LaFerrari Aperta

 The Ferrari exhibit includes some of the most important and pristine examples on the planet. The “Celebrazione Ferrari” runs through September 2. For more information, visit the museum website.

(Special thanks to docent Dennis Arrobbio and marketing manager Jade Nguyen for arranging our visit and accommodating our photographic needs.)

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Howard graduated with honors from the Art Center College of Design in California. He has been a photographer and automotive journalist for 35 years out of his Los Angeles studio. He has been published in Hot Rod, AutoWeek, Road & Track, Car and Driver, Jaguar Journal, Forza, Vintage Motorsport, Classic Motorsports, Robb Report, Motor Trend Classic, Hemmings Muscle Machines, and 50 Years of Road & Track (MBI Publishing). He has served on the Advisory Committee of the Transportation Design Department at Art Center College of Design. He is the author of the books Top Fuel Dragsters of the 1970s and Pro Stock Dragsters of the 1970s, both available on amazon.com.

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