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Ferrari Exhibit: Cavallino Rampante

Tue, 21 Oct 2008

On the weekend of October 11, the San Diego Automotive Museum celebrated its 20th Anniversary by hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a special exhibit, Ferrari: Cavallino Rampante - Italy's Prancing Horse. The Saturday evening event was the grand opening reception for 15 rare Ferraris on exhibit, joined by designs created by retired automobile designers and local high school students. 

The extravagant evening celebration also served as a finale of two-day Ferrari Road Rally event, inviting owners of Ferraris from various eras to show their cars - which ranged from a 1967 275 GTB and 1968 Dino to a 360 Challenge Stradale. Over a dozen Ferraris parked in front of the museum served as a pleasant prelude to some of marque's memorable examples displayed inside: a collection of rare Ferraris that includes a 1952 212 Europa, 1955 250 Boano Prototipo, 1956 250 GT Zagato, 1957 250 Testarossa, 1959 410 Super America and 1965 275 GTB/Competizione.

"We are grateful that owners of these Ferraris were gracious enough to let us display their cars at the museum," President of the Board of Directors, Howard Matloff, said. "Some of these cars are in public display [in the museum setting] for the first time in US. The cars came from as far as Seattle and New York."

Executive Director Robert Swanson told CDN how the walls of exhibit space had been painted with a stripe of Ferrari red for this special occasion.  

The most intriguing exhibit, however, was the display of the Ferrari Design Challenge created by retired automotive designers and local high school students, orchestrated by the League of Retired Automobile Designers. Ron VanGelderen, president of the league, told CDN that it was well received by the members: "Once we told everyone that it was a Ferrari that they have to design, they were very excited to show off their design skills!" he said. "Over 33 designers submitted their design."

It was also the great effort by Chuck Jordan, former Vice President of Design at GM, that helped to make this special event happen. Chuck, who resides in greater San Diego area, also teaches transportation design course at local high school and brought along renderings and scale models done by his students. Chuck told CDN: "Designing Ferrari is a dream at any age and level; students and retired professionals, we all share the joy of designing it!"  He submitted few of his own ideas for the challenge as well.

Joan Klatil Creamer, the first female exterior designer ever to work at GM, showed off her mid-engine Ferrari concept characterized by twisting character line and soft forms. "I have not drawn cars for years, so it was really exciting getting back to it and Ferrari was the perfect marque to do so! It was a lot of fun" she said. Joan now has her own design consultancy, Joan Creamer Design, and also writes children's books from her home in Connecticut. 

William Molzon, whose design career includes experience at Calty, Chrysler and GM, did an impressive mid-engine Ferrari proposal. "I enjoy working in Photoshop a lot. I like the precise control and the flexibility it offers. Also, you hands stay clean!" said William. He was previously a principal at Molzon Design and is now retired.

Rey Isip, who started his automobile design career with Ford and Chrysler design studios, displayed Ferrari Fortissimo 1+2 concept. "It is a solo driver F-1 concept with a room for two passenger accommodations, so that the driver can share his joy and excitement of driving with them." Following a successful design career, he is now focused on 'full-time' painting as a more personal endeavor. His work can be seen in many States and at his studio in Laguna Niguel, California.

It was refreshing to see the work of these respected designers and talk to them in a casual ceremonial atmosphere. While the collection of Ferraris displayed at the exhibit will make enthusiasts drool, the passion of designers communicated through sketches and renderings is something to be appreciated.

The Ferrari exhibit runs to Dec 1, 2008 at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

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By Yichan Chung