F50 at Beverly Hills

By: Earl Gandel

Just about everyone in the Southern California Ferrari world, plus several from the international scene, gathered as guests of Ferrari of North America at Ferrari of Beverly Hills on Thursday night, July 11 as the National company showcased not one, but two new models!

The invitation to come to the beautiful Wilshire Blvd. headquarters stated as its purpose to see the new F50. But, after Gian Luigi Buitoni, President of Ferrari N.A., made the initial presentation, Technical Director Umberto Masoni surprised the gathering of more than 200 enthusiastic guests by projecting slides of the as-yet-unannounced F550 Maranello, the beautiful new replacement for the Testarossa.

Sr. Buitoni assured the gathering that we were the first anywhere outside the company to see photos of the coupe. The new car was code-named "F133", but it was later publicly identified as the F550 Maranello. It will be first seen in public at the Paris Show in October.

The star of the party, the F50, sat quietly in the shop between two active bars and a splendid Italian buffet, surrounded by admirers. Ferrari of Beverly Hills' showroom was also a busy place, with a lovely selection of the old and new getting a lot of attention.

Ferrari notables who attended were: Dott. Gian Luigi Buitoni, President/CEO of Ferrari North America, who presented U.S. plans; Dott. Michele Scannavini, Member of the Board of Directors, Ferrari SpA., who shared marketing strategies; Umberto Masoni, Technical Director, who made the technical presentations of the F50 and the F133; Philippe Langksweert, the newly appointed General Manager for California, recently from Belgium; Giampaolo Letta, P.R. for North America; and Giacomo Mattioli, the current Gemeral Manager, for whom special thanks is due for arranging the event.

Although the contingent from the East were late getting from their flight at LAX to Beverly Hills, no one complained during the wait. With plenty of great stuff to eat, drink and look at, what's to complain about? As a bonus, everyone who attended and signed the guestbook will soon receive a copy of the video of Ferrari's major '95 events, which was shown by Mr. Buitoni.

A big thanks is due to Ferrari of Beverly Hills and Ferrari North America for yet another phenomenal FCA Southwest Region event.