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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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January 2008 Issue
 
ARTICLE
 
"Buy Me a Ferrari"
By Robert McLellan
 

I believe that is a line from a song in a movie from the 1950s. It was a small portion of a musical that otherwise I do not remember. I don't recall what the movie was about, who the actors were, or the title. I just remember that one scene in a showroom in New York and the Ferrari on display. The actress sang "Buy Me a Ferrari", or something close to that, to the man she was with. Maybe you saw the movie and remember the title, if so, please fill in the details*. The movie was in color and the Ferrari was red.

In the early 1950s there were two places you might see a Ferrari other than on a race track — Hollywood and New York City. At that time I was fortunate to have family vacations to both places, but it was New York that I remember best. At the age of 10 or so, I was impressed with a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and all the museums, but it was when we passed an auto dealership with a Ferrari in the showroom window that I really got excited. There were several exotic cars there, but the red Ferrari stood out most prominently. I do not know the name of the dealership, but Fergus Motors would be a good guess. I think it could be the same dealership that was used for the movie prop.

It was at that same time that I discovered all those unique cars that were never seen in my small town in Virginia. Where I lived the Chevrolet dealer did not even consider ordering a new Corvette for display to increase sales. I had to rely on "Road & Track", "Motor Trend" and the softbound Fawcett and Trend books for exotic car information and photographs. My trip to New York City brought some of these cars to life.

Now, if I could only find that movie with the Ferrari in it!

 
 

1956 Alfa Romeo

1952-54 Allard

1952 Alvis
     

1954 Armstrong Siddeley

1953 Austin

1954 Austin Healey
     

1953 Citroen

1951 Cunningham

1954 Doretti
     

1950 Humber

1951 Jaguar

1950 Jensen
     

1950 Jowett

1954 Lagonda

1956 Lloyd
     

1957 Maserati

1951 Mercedes-Benz

1954 MG
     

1952 Morgan

1951 Morris

1954 Panhard
     

1955 Porsche

1952 Riley

1949 Rolls-Royce
     

1952 Rover

1951 Singer

1954 Standard
     

1953 Sunbeam

1953 Sunbeam-Talbot

1954 Triumph
     

1955 Volkswagen

1956 Volvo

1950 Wolseley
     
 
Sorry... I Want a Ferrari
Click here to view video
 

*My thanks to Kjell Nelin of the California Institute of Technology for sending a link to the YouTube video clip above. The movie was "Never Steal Anything Small" and starred James Cagney and Shirley Jones. Robert

Dec 21, 2007

 
 
 
 
The Automotive Chronicles, January 2008
 
 
 
 
 
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