Software Review - La légende Ferrari

By: Jeff Littrell

Those of you who get the Ferrari Market Letter probably saw the write up by Southwest Region member Charles Betz on a new piece of Multimedia software entitled "La légende Ferrari." But, for those who don?t, I have it and thought I?d pass on a bit on information on it.

First, it is quite good. It runs on Mac or Windows and uses QuickTime technology for Video. It is published by Arborescence, 113, rue Anatole-France, 92300 Levallois-Perret - France, Tel: (33) 1 47 57 38 38. Fax: (33) 1 47 57 37 03. The content authors are Christian Descombes and Alberto Martinez.

It opens with a nice bitmap of a 250 GTO partially under a car cover, as well as the sound of a motor starting and taking off. From there it moves to an interesting artistic black and white shot of Enzo where different full-color road and racing models flash by in his sunglasses. Kind of cheesy but overall effective. At this point you choose your language, English or French. From there it moves to the Summary (or Main) Screen, which provides 4 main options: Models, Events, The Man, and The Game, against background music (which can be turned off).

Models allows browsing information about the specific Ferrari models. Cars are grouped into 4 chronological groupings: Early Years, The Myth, Prestige, and Modern Cars. Each grouping has a gallery with small pictures of the cars in the grouping. Click on the car you want to dive into its details.

The Early Cars covers 125 S to the 410 SuperAmerica. The Myth covers the 250 GT to the GTE 2+2, Prestige covers 400 SuperAmerica to 365/400/412 GT. Modern has the Dino 206/246 to the F355. Obviously, there is a certain amount of artistic license taken in the groupings since the Dinos should probably be in Prestige and the 365/400/412 GT could be argued into Modern (certainly 400s and 412s anyway).

Diving into a particular model gives you 3 sections, an Album of pictures, a write-up about the Model, and Technical details. The graphics in the albums are good, roughly 1/4 size of VGA. The text in the Model section is reasonable, with hypertext jumps to a pop-up Glossary for items like Pinnfarina, Maranello, etc. Each Technical section sports an ignition key with Ferrari key chain that, when clicked, plays a sound clip of the engine being started, reved, and driven off. These are not always accurate - all V-12s seem to share the same clip, for example. Also on the Technical screen are specs for Engine, Transmission, and Dimensions (switchable through icons on a silhouette of the model). Specs are fairly good (engine location, layout, construction, cooling, displacement, bore/stroke, compression, valve actuation, carbs/ignition, lubrication type, max power (HP), wheelbase, track, weight, top speed, acceleration (0-100kph and standing start kilometer), gearbox type, clutch type, frame, suspension, steering, brakes, tire sizes).

There are many small details that make this product interesting. For example, the scrollbars are a road with the thumb marker being a car that moves along the road as you scroll. The Go Back icon which exists on many screens is a small 250 SWB that, when clicked, zooms off the page leaving a cloud of exhaust smoke. The icon to return to the Summary screen is a gated shifter that shifts from 1st to 4th when clicked. There are also little tachometer icons for two features called "Locate" and "Compare" which make a motor noise and move the needle when clicked.

The Locate feature displays a timeline of when the models where produced, with your chosen model?s production run highlighted. It is fairly accurate. The Compare feature is very cool. It brings up a screen with an icon for your chosen model and two question mark icons that you click on to choose up to two other models to compare it to. As these are chosen, their specs are shown along side the specs for your car, allowing direct compa