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Home Events Ferrari museum features one-off cars created for the ‘Avvocato’

Ferrari museum features one-off cars created for the ‘Avvocato’

Our weekly roundup of car museum news and notes

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The newest exhibit at the Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena, Italy, features the one-off cars built by Ferrari for Gianni Agnelli, long-time head of the Fiat group. The exhibit also celebrates the centennial of Agnelli’s birth. 

“Gianni Agnelli and Ferrari: The Elegance of the Legend” is, the museum said in its announcement, “a testament to the symbiotic relationship that developed between two of the most charismatic and authoritative figures of the 20th century and endured for over 50 years.”

Among those cars are custom models crafted for the Avvocato (Agnelli was known as “the Lawyer”) were a 166 MM, a 212 Inter, 375 America coupe, 400 Superamerica, Testarossa spider, 365 P Speciale, F40 and 360 Spider. Also included is the 2003 F1 racing car which was dedicated to Agnelli, who died just before the car was unveiled.

While the museum remains closed to visitors, it offers two free live and online tours of the exhibit through the month of March. For details, visit the museum’s website.

“A Prancing Horse enthusiast from a young age, Gianni Agnelli was consistently courteous and respectful in his proposals for highly customized special versions of certain models,” the museum notes. “For his part, Enzo Ferrari was aware that the influence, aesthetic tastes and personality of a client who was both very close to the factory and familiar with working on exclusive projects, might lead to successful and farsighted choices. 

“The duo’s close relationship produced a collection of peerlessly beautiful and seductive cars, which Gianni Agnelli drove with rigorous understatement.”

The exhibition “combines, on the one hand, the excitement that the most beautiful cars in the world evoke in people who love driving, and on the other, the enormous respect and real passion that my grandfather had for Maranello cars,” Ferrari chairman and Agnelli heir John Elkann is quoted in the museum’s news release. “A passion that led him to make every Ferrari he owned special and which we are happy to share with all the enthusiasts.”

“My father was impressed by the Avvocato’s power, acumen and ability in business,” added Piero Ferrari. “They understood each other intuitively and that relationship consolidated over the years, culminating in the agreement in 1969 that created one of the strongest partnerships in the automotive world. 

“I was with my father on that historic day when I had the pleasure of meeting Agnelli. From then on, with Fiat by his side, we felt that our company had a guarantee of continuity and development.”

ACD gets grant for E.L. Cord exhibit

Cord
Rendering of the new E.L. Cord permanent exhibit | Museum illustration
Cord on Time magazine cover

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Indiana, has received a grant of nearly $250,000 from the Indiana Destination Development Corporation to complete the E.L. Cord Gallery of Entrepreneurship, a new and permanent exhibit that will tell the story of Cord and his business activities. 

In 1929 at the age of 35, Cord reigned over more than 150 companies, primarily in the transportation segment and including Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles, Checker cabs, Stinson aircraft, American Airways and a shipbuilding company. He later became a major player in the Los Angeles real estate and broadcasting markets.

E-type Evolution showcase

The evolution of the E-type on display | Museum photo

The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and the British Motor Museum at Gaydon have created the E-type Evolution Exhibition highlighting the British sports car’s history as part of its 60th anniversary celebration. The museum plans to re-open May 17 and the E-type showcase will run through June.

“The Exhibition tells the story of the evolution of the E-type from the racing C- and D-types of the 1950s, the E2A Prototype, its launch at Geneva on 15 March 1961 and finishes with a couple of very successful Racing V12 E-types from the 1970s,” the museum notes.

In addition to the cars, the exhibit includes a V12 engine. However, since the engine is fuel injected rather than carbureted, XK Engineering has loaned its display engine with the correct quartet of Stromberg carburetors for the exhibition.

Porsche museum reopens

956 race car back on the ceiling after being track prepared once again | Museum photo

After being closed for several months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Porsche Museum in Germany has reopened to visitors. 

“We wanted to be able to offer our visitors an unforgettable experience right from day one, so we made the most of the time during the closure to bring forward changes that had been planned for this year,” said Achim Stejskal, Porsche’s director of heritage and the museum. “For instance, we’ve changed some of the exhibits, undertaken modernization work and installed new interactive stations.”

Among the project completed was removing a 956 race car that was hanging from the museum ceiling and sending it to the Historic Motorsport garage to be restored to roadworthy condition before returning to its elevated location at the museum.

The museum staff also developed a Multimedia Guide for visitors, including a children’s version, installed racing simulators, updated lighting, and set up a souvenir photo booth so visitors can be photographed in the most current Porsche model.

Phone in Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman-Landaulet | Museum photo

From CBs to cellphones

We’ve written previously about some of the “33 Extras,” smaller exhibits featuring “motoring culture” at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany. Here’s another: A focus on the CB tw0-way “citizen’s band” radio.

The museum notes that communication was a one-way event in the era of the standard AM/FM radio in cars, but since the 1940s in the US and since 1975 in Germany, radiotelephone installations were approved in the frequency range of 26.960 to 27.280 MHz.

“Many people were able to grab the device and start talking without needing a lot of radio training,” the museum notes. “Up until the date above, only licensed radio amateurs and users with special permits could use the radio waves. Or occupational groups that needed them – such as security and emergency services or taxi drivers. They each had their own frequencies.”

CB radios were limited in range to a few kilometers, but drivers could chat, asking for recommendations for places to eat, etc. — and warn each other of speed traps. 

“The properties of CB radio make it a precursor to today’s social media,” the museum notes. “It allowed for exchanges with other, like-minded people in just the same way.”

For those who could afford it, the CB was replaced by in-car telephones, and nowadays, of course, too many drivers have the phone in one hand and the steering wheel in the other.

Kartplex open at Corvette facility

The NCM Kartplex across the highway from the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, has opened for the season and offers family-oriented arrive-and-drive events from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Special events this weekend

The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, will demonstrate four cars from its collection between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. March 20. The museum also will do a hoods-up display of its most unusual vehicles through April 5.

The California Automobile Museum in Sacramento reopens March 20. The museum will be open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., though Thursday hours are for museum members only.

Mark your calendar

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles reopens March 25 and will offer free admission to healthcare workers, first responders and their guests.

The “Driven to Win” exhibition opens March 26 at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan.

Author and Barn Find series host Tom Cotter shares the story of his Cunningham, one of only four C3 models produced with a manual transmission, in an AACA Museum Live presentation via a Zoom webcast at 10 a.m. on March 27.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, reopens on weekends starting March 27, though for the time being, tickets must be reserved in advance through the museum’s website.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Dave Wolin and his IMSA RS and Showroom Stock racing books from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 27.

The Kansas City Automotive Museum in Olathe, Kansas, resumes its cars and coffee events on the first and third Saturdays of the month starting April 3 at 8 a.m.

Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California, features Denny Miller and his book, Indianapolis Motor Speedway: The Eddie Rickenbacker Era, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on April 3.

“The GM Oshawa Strike of 1937” is the subject of the Third Thursday Zoomcast presentation April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Canadian Automotive Museum.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will offer free admission to everyone who arrives at the facility in a Ford Mustang on National Mustang Day, April 17, and with a bonus perk for the first 100 Mustangs to arrive.

The Mustang Owners Museum has moved its Spring Carolina Cruise to April 24 and its California Special Mustang Day to May 1.

Beginning in May and running into September, the LeMay Family Collection in Tacoma, Washington, hosts a second Thursday “Cars and Comedy” evening starting at 6 p.m. The museum says to bring a picnic and enjoy an evening featuring local comedians.

Michael Schumacher and Paul Page will be inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame on May 27.

The AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, will host a “Sizzlin’ Summer Cruise In” from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on June 19.

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville, California, hosts a Father’s Day car show on June 20.

Does your local car museum have special events or exhibitions planned? Let us know. Email larrye@classiccars.com

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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