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Ferrari launches official 70th birthday celebrations

On 12 March 1947, Enzo Ferrari fired up his 125 S, the first car to bear his name. Now, exactly 70 years later, Ferrari has launched its official celebrations for the milestone anniversary.

To commemorate the events of 70 years ago, Ferrari has released a special video featuring a re-enactment of the first 12-cylinder to sport the Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse) on its bonnet, the 125 S, driving through the factory gates on Via Abetone Inferiore.

Powered by a 12-cylinder engine, vital to its powerful performance, the 125 S was designed by Gioacchino Colombo with Giuseppe Busso and Luigi Bazzi also contributing to the project. 

Two months after the 125 S first roared to life as an unbodied steel rolling chassis, by May 11 1947, the car was making its track debut at the Piacenza Circuit.

At the wheel of the 125 S (the S referring to its sports car-type bodywork) was Franco Cortese. Enzo Ferrari dubbed this maiden outing as “a promising failure” after the car was forced to pull up with a fuel pump problem whilst leading the race. However, that moment of failure was short-lived as just nine days later on May 20, Cortese drove the 125 S to victory in the Rome Grand Prix, completing the 40 laps of the circuit and the 137 kilometres of the race at an average speed of 88.5 km/h. This was the first of six victories the 125 S delivered in 1947, the most notable of which was the Parma Grand Prix with Tazio Nuvolari doing the driving.

70 years later, Ferrari says its unique core values are ‘brilliantly represented’ by the car launched to mark the 70th anniversary - the LaFerrari Aperta. The new limited-edition spider version of the LaFerrari supercar is a new special series model for Ferrari’s most loyal clients. The LaFerrari Aperta will be present at each stage as the symbol of the 70th anniversary.

During the course of 2017, over 60 nations will host events crafted for enthusiasts of the marque as well as a series of unique experiences as part of the “Driven by Emotion” concept - a tribute to the importance placed by the Cavallino Rampante on emotion throughout the last 70 years, says Ferrari.

The anniversary celebrations culminate in Maranello on the weekend of September 9 and 10, but will also be flanked by other initiatives paying homage to the Cavallino Rampante's history, not least special exhibitions and the first “Cavalcade Classiche”.

A special website has been created to to enable fans across the globe to follow the celebrations as they unfold throughout the year.