Switzerland has seen several Ferrari clubs over the past three decades. Some of these clubs had been officially authorized by the factory, others were rather small groups of enthusiasts and some were more the sort of a loose club of regional Ferraristi.
Following the new international marketing strategy of the Ferrari factory in Maranello it was decided that there should be only one official Ferrari club per country. That’s why three years ago the factory instructed their Swiss Ferrari importer in Nyon to form one new Ferrari club, the Ferrari Club Switzerland. It was founded on 17 May 2001. This is now the only factory authorized Ferrari club in the small country in the heart of Europe. All of the previously existing Swiss Ferrari clubs are no longer allowed to use the Ferrari logo, the Ferrari name with the long “F” or the Prancing Horse symbol.
A large number of members of the former Ferrari Owners Club Switzerland, the Ferrari Dino Owners Club Switzerland, the Club Ferrari Suisse and the Ferrari Club 1898 (based in the Geneva area) have now become new members of the only official Swiss club. At present the still young FCS has about 410 members. The Swiss importer strongly supports the new club as do most of the ten official Ferrari dealers in Switzerland. Six regional directors have been elected and each of the three different language areas (German, French and Italian) is covered.
The first Annual General Meeting was held in Solothurn, conveniently located between Berne and Zurich, on Saturday, 1 March 2003. Almost 200 members arrived on this beautiful day in the historic town. The meeting took place in the former “Horse Dressage Hall”, a huge building situated right next to the “Baseltor” city entrance. Due to the still chilly and unstable weather relatively few of the members arrived in their Ferraris. A total of 19 road-going Ferraris was seen on the parking lot.
The annual general meeting saw the confirmation of the president and his committee and Mr. Müller, director of the Swiss importer, also held a short speech. Following the AGM a delicious lunch was served and members were invited to have a look at a special display of carefully selected super rare historic Ferraris of the 250 era.
A 1953 Ferrari 250 Mille Miglia Spider Vignale was the earliest car in this interesting show. The second oldest Ferrari on display was Erich Traber’s 250 Europa GT in race trim. This automobile is painted red with a black roof and still regularly entered in the historic challenge series by the 75 year old Swiss collector. From a collection in Zurich came a metallic silvergrey 250 GT LWB Tour de France Berlinetta, also a car that can often be seen in the historic challenge. There was a yellow 1960 competition SWB Berlinetta and a black 250 GT SWB California Spider with open headlights and no air outlets in the front fenders. Right next to it a genuine 250 GTO Series I, darkblue painted and with a lot of English race history. A bronze metallic 250 GT Lusso with black interior completed the group of 250s.
The main attraction, however, was a brand new red Ferrari Enzo. This was a US-Version with black seats and had been loaned to the show by a private collector. Many of the Swiss club members hadn’t seen the new Enzo yet and with only a few days before the opening of the Geneva motor show and its official Swiss presentation there it was a good chance to have an early look at Maranello’s latest supercar.
Most of the Ferraris in the spectator and member car park were relatively new models. One of these was a virtually brand new 575 M Maranello F1 whose happy new owner had taken delivery just the day before the annual general meeting. Oldest Ferrari seen in the parking lot was a fanatically restored 250 GT Lusso in metallic silvergrey and with a beautiful red leather interior by Luppi of Modena. Also seen were a rare 348 Challenge and a F355 Challenge.
The new Ferrari Club Switzerland offers a wide range of local and national activities for its members. It all begins in June 2003 with a golf weekend in the Burgdorf and Emmental area and a visit to the famous Kambly biscuit factory. Mid-August a rallye to Flims is planned as is a trip to Maranello in September 2003 with laps at Fiorano as well.
© Marcel Massini 02/03/2003
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