The new special edition LaFerrari Aperta is the ultimate Ferrari

Everyone remembers their first Ferrari. Maybe you were a child, holding your mother or father's hand and they pointed it out on the street. Maybe it pulled into a car park next to you as you dined al fresco in Venice. Maybe it was simply on the silver screen.

You remember the unmistakable curves, the thrum of the engine, the striking rosso corsa ('racing red') colour and the iconic Cavallino Rampante, or 'Prancing Horse', badge.

Herbert Appleroth, Ferrari Australasia CEO, is almost giddy when talking about his first Ferrari. Indeed, his eyes glaze over a little as he journeys back to his days collecting car magazines as a young boy.

Realising the dream

"My passion for Ferrari started as a kid, with my walls covered with posters of cars, from the F40," said Appleroth. "I'd seen Ferraris growing up, but it wasn't until I heard my first Ferrari being driven in angst for the first time – I was with my father, playing golf on the Northern beaches of Sydney – and I heard a 308 being blasted up the road. I said to my father, 'Dad, one day I'm going to own a Ferrari.' And he said, 'You know what, if you work hard enough, probably you will.'"

"I worked extremely hard in the industry and did everything I could to purchase my first Ferrari, which I did when I was 25. I didn't own a house, but I owned a Ferrari. Now, that dream is quite obviously my occupation; I'm living the boyhood dream."

You're probably wondering if Appleroth had to live in his car as well? He did.

"It was quite tight," he adds, with a wry smile. "I hurt my hip a little bit and my back was a little out of place; it was hard to shower, but yeah, I had a Ferrari."

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, as the saying goes.

Felice anniversario!

Appleroth is in Melbourne as part of a week-long celebration for the sports car manufacturer's 70th Anniversary. For one luxurious, and loud, week, Melbournians will thrill to the sights and sounds of scores of classic, iconic and new Ferrari vehicles, literally being paraded through the streets.

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The festivities will culminate on Sunday 15th October, as fans from all over descend on Lygon Street to party with 70 Ferrari cars – close to $100 million worth - from throughout history.

When celebrating a birthday, it's only appropriate to be surrounded by friends, so it's fitting that we're speaking at Motorclassica; an annual classic motor show, held at the Royal Exhibition Buildings, in Carlton - an area of Melbourne steeped in Italian heritage. Nestled around us is a collection of rare cars, many bearing the Cavallino Rampante.

Un nuovo arrivo

Appleroth is also here to welcome a new member of the family to the world: the special edition Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta. Only 210 Aperta models will roll off the assembly line at Ferrari's home, in Maranello, Northern Italy - each one the summation of the company's experience.

"Every new Ferrari is special," said Appleroth. "It's not so much about looking back; it's about looking to the future."

"Every new model is about taking the knowledge we have from Formula 1, and there's no better replication than this [the Aperta]: the hybrid technology we've learned from F1; the kinetic energy return systems; DRS [drag reduction system]; retractable spoiler; airflow and dynamics… these are all things we learned from Formula 1."

The power and the performance

The Ferrari LaFerrari also marks a new path of design for Ferrari, with the direction of the vehicle falling to a well-known Italian architect and car designer.

"Up until only a few years ago, all our cars were designed externally, mainly by Pininfarina," said Appleroth. "Then about six years ago we hired Flavio Manzoni. For the first time in our history, design is actually done in-house, with Manzoni leading the team."

Manzoni's CV reads as a car designer's dream list of jobs. Over 25 years, the award-winning designer led the innovative design of various iconic automobiles for Lancia, SEAT, Volkswagen and Fiat; before finding a home at Ferrari, in 2010. His influence on the new direction of the brand is instantly apparent.

The Ferrari LaFerrari is a sports car that emanates power and performance. Looking equally at home on a Formula 1 track as it does an urban street, functional elements dissolve into the brand's familiar curved lines, offering the eye quite the journey.

The sound of the engine? To die for.

Il futuro

With automotive technology advancing so rapidly, and electric vehicles loaming larger on the horizon, you'd be forgiven for wondering where sports car manufacturers like Ferrari will end up.

For Appleroth, the one element that will ensure Ferrari is still making cars in another 70 years is simple: "a commitment and focus on building the very best automobiles in the world."

"We're very luck that we have the best engineers, who are focused on building the very best product. Every new Ferrari sets a new benchmark for the industry. As [Ferrari founder] Enzo Ferrari was famously asked, "What's your favourite Ferrari?' He answered, 'The next one.'"

Take a look through the gallery above to drool over our favourite Ferrari vehicles from the last 70 years.