Ferrari’s Lavish Hollywood Homage Has Two Glaring Omissions

And one of them isn’t really a Ferrari.

byBen Keeshin|
Culture photo


Few get a birthday party full of the world’s rarest Ferraris, but then, there's only one Enzo Ferrari. To celebrate the 118th anniversary of its founder’s birth, Ferrari is throwing a lavish party at the intersection of Via Ferrari and Hollywood Boulevard: a new exhibit at the Museo Enzo Ferrari in Modena called “Red Carpet.” For the show, Ferrari is unearthing pristine examples of the most famous rides to have appeared on-screen and in celebrity garages. Cars and stars! Glitterati, Scaglietti! The display has Magnum P.I.’s 308 GTSi, the Testarossas from Miami Vice, a 512S that starred in Le Mans and the curvy 375 America that Sofia Loren drove in Boy on a Dolphin. From the Famous Ownership collection come some of the marque’s highlights from the Fifties and Sixties: Marilyn Monroe’s 250 GT Cabriolet Pininfarina, and a 365 GTB4 racecar that Paul Newman piloted in the 24 Hours of Daytona. They are all very pretty and lovely and nice.

But you know what’s not included? The two sets of wheels that helped build the cornerstones of Eighties American cinema: Christie Brinkley’s Ferrari 308 GTS convertible from National Lampoon’s Vacation and the fake Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, responsible for setting more hearts aflutter than all the amphetamines in the Florida panhandle. Yes, the former was Ferrari’s entry-level car at the time. And, yes, the latter is really no Ferrari at all. But think of the children! Or, the adolescents! Both these movies were blockbusters that had huge reach, able to sear those iconic Ferrari profiles into the hearts, minds and loins for good. They’re the cars any person under forty thinks of when he thinks of Ferrari’s movie cars. Maybe the good people at Scuderiawill mount a tackier iteration of the exhibit for Enzo’s 119th.