The Ferrari Enzo is one of the most iconic cars of the 21st century, but it’s also emblematic of the insider’s club that hypercar ownership has become. Designed by Ken Okuyama at Pininfarina, the Enzo’s timeless architectural lines still capture the imaginations of youngsters and seasoned car fanatics alike. Yet, the vast majority were specced in the red: the de-facto choice for those who treat their prancing horses as investments rather than objects with the power to inspire the next generation.
Arthur Kar was one of those teenagers who was captivated by the Enzo upon its release, and now he’s attempting to break down the mystique surrounding these illusive automobiles while giving the public the opportunity to see these cars up-close and personal like never before with L’Art de L’Automobile’s ‘Red Enzo’ exhibition in Paris last weekend. Following on from the exhibition, we spoke to Arthur about why the Enzo is more relevant than ever in 2023.
Arthur, what inspired the ‘Red Enzo’ exhibition, and what can visitors look forward to?
Everything started between me and a friend as a joke, when we bought the Silver Enzo. When the Enzo came out, most were red, so when we bought this beautiful Enzo in silver, my friend was like, “Why do people always say the Enzo has to be red?” That’s the problem with car culture, lots of people have good taste, but people were unwilling to take risks on the colours.
So, we said let’s make a T-shirt that is a reflection of what people are expecting — a ‘Red Enzo’ — but instead of putting the words in red, we wrote them in Argento Silver. Most of my friends who love cars aren’t car guys — they’re in fashion, or art, or architecture — they appreciate them, but they’re not car guys. That’s why I love what we do, people think these cars are just made to show off your money, but to us it’s about the appreciation of the design and the drive. The Enzo is a pure design car.
We couldn’t help but notice the “Serious inquiries only” line too…
It’s one of the things that guys like me, who have been in the business for over 20 years, still don’t understand. You can you can have money, you can dream of owning the car, but you still won't be able to buy it. I don’t like these companies who create beautiful specific cars, but only build them for one type of customer, it’s not fair. Always selling the same product to the same person isn’t a good thing and you shouldn’t have to buy twelve bad Ferraris to get the supercar you want.
So it’s a joke. Even if you’re not serious, you deserve to know about the Enzo, which is why we put the dealership number on the jacket. Even if you can’t afford the Enzo, you might still be able to afford the jacket. Above all, it’s about showing these cars to the people; lots of people aren't able to buy anything, but they were still be able discover this car at the exhibition, and maybe one day they will be able to afford one themselves.
Now that there are so many hypercars, why do you feel the Enzo still has that X factor?
It’s all about the design. No disrespect, but the name is just a name. Driving the car is great because it has a V12, but the gearbox is old and you cannot update it. But it’s a very beautiful car when it’s parked, especially with the doors open. When you see how it’s built, it’s like a formula one car. For me the best supercars ever are first the Carrera GT, second the McLaren F1, and third the Enzo Ferrari. It’s very, very architectural.
And why is the Enzo such a special car to you personally?
I love the Enzo because it came out when I was a late teenager, and it was the car we all dreamed about. There were quite a few people in Paris driving an Enzo at the time, and one of them was a guy called Jonathan who was one of the biggest Ferrari Paris customers. He had a black Enzo and — I’m not exaggerating — he would drive it every day. I would see it often stopped at red lights, but I was too shy to talk to him. Eventually, he began to say hi to me because he knew I loved cars and that made me extremely happy. Then there was a guy who had a yellow Enzo from Monaco who drove it a lot around town, and there were also a bunch of other diplomats who had Enzos in Paris. So, I love the Enzo because it represents a formative moment for my generation.
So how do you feel it compares to the other halo cars from Ferrari’s History?
Of course, I fell in love with the F40 when I sat in it and rode in it for the first time. The F50 too is one of my favourites because it has a manual gearbox and you can remove the top, but the Enzo has something design-wise that separates it from the rest. If you told someone it was a new car, they would believe you. Only the Carrera GT and Enzo have that in my opinion.
Do you think the Enzo is still relevant to the kids of today?
Yes! The kids today love the Enzo, I know because I’m lucky enough to drive Enzos in the streets of Paris like the guys who inspired me back in the day. I can see they know what it is and they’re very excited about it. Whenever I stopped at a red light and looked around, I could see the kids were on fire taking photos.