1989 Pininfarina Ferrari Mythos Concept
1989 Pininfarina Ferrari Mythos ConceptEnlarge Photo
It was just over twenty years ago, 1989 to be exact, when my life as a seven-year-old boy changed forever. I was in the midst of worshiping the cheese wedge Lamborghini Countach—of which I had a CHP-liveried version, complete with busty lady cop, hanging proudly on my wall. I was also venturing into my first foray of open-air ‘motoring.’ I’d cruise our neighborhood on my DINO GT bmx bike with a My First Sony radio/cassette player jamming New Kids on the Block’s Cover Girl from its snap, crackle, pop paper cone speaker. Don’t judge. I was very young and very impressionable.
Thankfully, my impressionable nature didn’t get the absolute best of me. In my spare time, I had been drawing future Ferraris, mostly because I couldn’t grasp the beauty of the current 412, 328, or the hideously repulsive Mondial. It didn’t truly matter that I couldn’t find shelter in most of the lineup—I had deep admiration for the jaw-dropping, heavily side-straked Testarossa and its nut-buster of an older brother—the F40. Although, at the time, I had no idea why I should love either of these Italian thoroughbreds, they managed to affect me in ways very few other cars could at the time. That was, until I received my monthly collection of magazines in the mail late in the year. My heart was aflutter. I couldn’t sleep. I thought about her all the time. No, it wasn’t a swim suit-clad Kathy Ireland. My new love affair was Pininfarina designed. My new love affair was Ferrari sanctioned. My new love affair was red, sexy, and topless. Seriously, it wasn’t the lovely Ms. Ireland. My new love affair was the Pininfarina Ferrari Mythos Concept.
Spread upon those cheaply printed pages was the most awe-inspiring, future forward exotic I had ever laid my eyes on. Its design appreciatively devoid of any superfluous strakes, ginormously un-integrated wings, and general cheese dickery that was so prevalent throughout most of the Eighties.
The Mythos’ body was divided into two distinct sections—front and rear—both of which stretched to meet one another in a linked fashion at the side intakes. Those enormous intakes fed a 390 horsepower, 4.9-liter Tipo F113B flat-12 borrowed from the Testarossa on which the Mythos was based. Unlike the “red-head” it shared its chassis and running gear with, the Mythos sat nearly five-inches wider, was six-inches shorter in length, and three-inches lower in overall height. It was a truly compact supercar.The lack of height was due to the roadster-style design—it had no pop-up tent roof nor were side windows provided—something Pininfarina justified by commenting that “true race cars have no roofs.” In more ways than one, the Mythos was a race car. From its Formula One double “S” section plan view, to its automatically deployed front and rear spoilers. Its Group C racer-like profile and its spartan interior. The Mythos was made for two things: going fast and looking incredibly sexy while doing so.
The last statement was a particular favorite of mine and was shared by a man whos love of cars exceeded not only yours truly, but likely every other speed freaked gear head of my lifetime. This man and his money were very powerful. So powerful in fact, that upon witnessing the Mythos for the first time, he had Pininfarina build two, fully-operational Mythos’ for his personal collection.
This man—who is he you ask? He’s the original Jim Glickenhaus and has a bigger garage than Leno. It’s the goddamn Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah; owner of over 224 other, regular production Ferraris, plus a multitude of other high-end exotic, luxury, and one-off vehicles. Did the Sultan ever truly drive them? And why did he need two? If you’re reading Mr. Bolkiah, I wouldn’t mind taking one of those off your hands. After all, the Mythos was my first ever true, true love. And you’ve got to respect true love, no matter what the context.