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Ferrari - 50 years in US celebrated by red floodlighting in New York, and new store opens in Rome

From dusk until midnight on 8th April, the Empire State Building was bathed in red light to celebrate Ferrari’s 50th year in the United States. The honour, accorded the Prancing Horse to celebrate the arrival of the very first Ferrari to New York and the United States in the spring of 1954, coincided with the New York International Auto Show gala evening. The Show itself opens to the public on April 9th.

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo had this to say to the Italian news agency ANSA: "There has always been a great feeling between the United States and Ferrari. In 1949, in fact, an American of Italian origin, Luigi Chinetti, was the first man to win the Le Mans 24 hour race in a Prancing Horse car. We have a very strong presence here now. There are over 20,000 Ferraris on US roads and America’s passion for the marque is growing all the time. We’ll soon be opening a large new showroom on Park Avenue in the heart of Manhattan, too: a further demonstration of how important our cars are to our American clients. The fact that Ferrari’s 50 years in the US are being celebrated by illuminating the Empire State Building with red light would have thrilled Enzo Ferrari as much as it does me and anyone else who is proud to be Italian.”

The theme for this year’s New York Show’s gala evening, organised in conjunction with East Side House, a Bronx-based New York charity, was "Gentleman Racing.” The theme was interpreted by Ferrari and Maserati in a very evocative exhibition of some of the most important Prancing Horse and Trident GTs ever built.

On the safety side, the accessories range also includes the road package comprising a front light with five long-life LEDs, a rear light with a long-life LED, front and rear reflectors, spoke reflectors and a bell.

The United States is traditionally Ferrari’s largest market in terms of sales. In 2003, its 11th consecutive year of growth, 1,350 Ferraris were delivered to clients, 13% more than in 2002. This goes right against the current trend in a segment which has slumped somewhat in the US.

Ferrari’s main markets in North America are California, the North-East from Boston to Washington via New York and Philadelphia, Florida, Texas, and the Mid-West with Chicago and Detroit as the focal points.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, Ferrari has created a special inscription which will be applied to all the cars destined for the US market throughout 2004.

Rome, 16 April 2004 - Ferrari will open a new Store in Rome, on via Tomacelli. Ferrari brand objects, exclusive memorabilia from the world of Formula 1 and the world beating F2003-GA can all be found in the official House of Maranello shop. The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, will attend the event and cut the ribbon and will then salute the crowd of fans gathered in Piazza Augusto Imperatore.

In the historic square, since the afternoon, the public will be able to admire some of the most stunning Ferrari Granturismo cars, including the 612 Scaglietti. They can also play on the Vodafone Race Track, a simulator with four F1 single-seaters so that they can experience the thrill of competition..

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Store will stay open to the public until midnight. The morning after, an event for the smallest Maranello fans, the Ferrari Formula Bimbi. At the event, will take place where children can play at driving electric single-seaters. The Ferrari Store in Rome will be the third official Ferrari sales point to be opened by Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. The Store in the capital follows that at Maranello and the Ferrari Shop at Bologna airport. Future openings are planned at Malpensa airport and there will be a Ferrari Shop in Las Vegas, Shanghai and Tokyo.

The Store is unusual in that it is an innovative commercial space, one that has been planned to become a point of reference for all Prancing Horse fans. Inside, over three thousand articles will be on display, among them: apparel, leather goods, a wide range of watches, scale models and toys. Prices range from 4.50 euros for a Ferrari notepad to 40,000 euros for a Formula 1 F2000 engine. The Store offers items to appeal to the whole range of Ferrari fans, from the youngest to the not so young.

Text/Photos - Ferrari