Culture > Diversion

The Ferrari book that is more expensive than your car

Well, unless you own one with the Prancing Horse emblem

We suspect buyers won’t really read the book. PHOTO BY FRANK SCHUENGEL

Do you need to find a present for someone who has it all? Or maybe you’re after a conversation piece to impress your guests at the next dinner party in your home? A new book produced by famous publisher Taschen in cooperation with Ferrari would fit the bill perfectly on either occasion, although just calling this a book is actually a bit of an insult. Il Fascino Ferrari: A Monument to Italy’s Driving Force is a stunning work of art and may well represent the most comprehensive publication ever to cover the brand’s long and distinguished history.

The Art Edition is a jaw-dropping work of art. PHOTOS BY FRANK SCHUENGEL

The amazing Ferrari collectible you see pictured here is strictly limited, with a total of 1,947 pieces having been made—a number that corresponds to the year when the first car to wear the Cavallino Rampante badge was completed. This meager sum was then split into two editions, both of which contain a giant, leather-bound, hand-stitched, 514-page tome resting in an aluminum display case that is modeled after a Ferrari engine and which has been painted in the same tone of red as the real deal.

If there are rich people crazy enough to pay the price of a small SUV for this, why not? PHOTOS BY FRANK SCHUENGEL

The difference between the two versions lies in what’s included in the package. The first 1,697 copies, called the Collector’s Edition, come with the cast aluminum case and have all been signed by Piero Ferrari, the second and only living son of company founder Enzo. The remaining 250 books are sold as the Art Edition and come with a sculptural bookstand resembling the exhaust system of a 12-cylinder engine—designed by Marc Newson (the man who also drew up the case itself and is otherwise famous for designing such popular products as the Apple Watch).

Apparently, these signatures are worth a fortune. PHOTO BY FRANK SCHUENGEL

The Art Edition also features three signatures on the first pages. Next to Piero Ferrari, John Elkann and the late Sergio Marchionne have also signed the rare copies, with the job titles still listed as they had been at the time and obviously before the demise of Marchionne. This makes the edition even more special in an almost tragic way. The whole piece is incredibly heavy and well-made as we discovered when we took a closer look at it at the company’s London store. Whoever is lucky enough to call it his or her own can look forward to a fantastic collection of material that was painstakingly collated by Italian journalist Pino Allievi.

Both iconic and unpublished images are here. PHOTOS BY FRANK SCHUENGEL

Besides hundreds of previously unseen photographs and drawings, the book also includes stuff from the Ferrari archives, private collections and famous Ferrari drivers. Allievi—who had worked with Enzo himself and written il Commendatore’s last book, Ferrari Racconta—must have spent an enormous amount of time to create this masterpiece.

If you now fancy buying one, then the good news is that this work is quite new and still available. The bad news is the price. The Collector’s Edition will set you back £4,500 (P314,000), while the Art Edition costs a staggering £22,500 (P1.57 million). Both versions can be shipped globally, and you can reserve yours from the store where we saw it. Just phone Cathy Tabbakh at +44 20 7495 1769.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.