The history of Ferrari is one which is an inspiration to race car and luxury car lovers alike. The company’s hard earned success and status, founded in the innovation and genius of Enzo Ferrari, is maintained by the engineering of the modern Ferrari team and is exercised by the skill of the drivers that handle the prancing horses with both finesse and vigor.
Ferrari History – Timeline
The story of Ferrari begins with the man himself, Enzo Ferrari. His early years filled with trials and tragedy, Enzo Ferrari overcame the obstacles of losing loved ones and surviving the Great War to go on to follow his childhood passion as a race car driver, become a Cavaliere Del Lavoro of the Italian state and establish the world renowned automobile company admired to this day (1).
Uncovering his calling at the age of 10, Enzo Ferrari watched his first at race at the Via Emile in Bologna and so began his infatuation with racing and the vehicles of the sport. During a fairly successful racing career as an official Alfa driver, Enzo Ferrari happened to meet the Count and Countess Baracca, parents to the celebrated First World War pilot Francesco Baracca. Upon their meeting, the Countess suggested that Enzo put her son’s black prancing horse that once marked his airplanes on his cars as it would bring him good luck. He did just that.
Scuderia Ferrari – The Ferrari Race Car Stables
It was this passion he had found at a young age that lead him through the early days of Scuderia Ferrari to fully establishing the company as Ferrari in 1960 and eventually merging it with Fiat in 1969.
The word Scuderia is an Italian word that originates from the middle ages. It’s a term used as reference to the place where in which horses were housed – stables. A term that is most suitable for the foundation that produced the first series of prancing horses that came to make up the origins of the Ferrari fleet.
The Scuderia Ferrari racing team, first formed in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari, built cars and raced them as part of Alfa Romeo in various events, but upon the dismissal of Enzo Ferrari from the racing team due to him disputing the changing of the team name to Alfa Corse in 1938, Enzo went onto produce his own race cars a year later. The first car was produced in 1939 and was named the Tipo 815.
It wouldn’t be until after the 2nd World War that Ferrari pulled together some of his former Alfa colleagues to establish a new Scuderia Ferrari – a name he was now able to utilize once more after the expiration of the ban Alfa had placed on him from using it for 4 years after his dismissal. The team, originally based in Enzo Ferrari’s home city of Modena, moved to Maranello in 1943, after the original factory was bombed during the 2nd World War and has been there ever since.
The first Ferrari road car was built in 1947. It was given the name Ferrari 125 S and went onto to win the 2nd World Championship Monaco Grand Prix in 1951 and was just the begging of success that the new Scuderia Ferrari team would see.
Italian Stallions – A Glimpse into the History of Ferrari Cars through the Ages
Ferrari has produced some of the best cars to grace the roads of civilisation. Here are some of the models that have really come into their own over the course of Ferrari’s progress.
250 GTO Berlinetta – The classic Berlinetta series is one which houses its fair share of renowned Ferrari models, however, the GTO is a class above the rest. Only 39 models of the car were manufactured, one of which holds the title for the most expensive car ever sold at auction for over $38 million. It is also a model that in 1963, won the world title at the FIA GT World Championship series, twice.
250 Testarossa – In 1957 the Testarossa was born. It’s the iconic curvature on the chassis that make this model so easily identifiable, but it’s what’s beneath that counts. The 3.0 litre V12 engine allows the car to reach 0 -60 in six seconds and reach its top speed of 167mph. With the proper racing credentials, the 250 Testarossa model has won Le Mans 3 times (3).
Testa Rossa 1984 – The 80s summed up in 1 vehicle, the 1984 Testarossa was the star car of the popular TV series Miami Vice. The car was ideal for capturing drug barons, reaching 0-60 in just 5.2 seconds with its 4.9 litre Ferrari Colombo flat-12 mid mounted engine. Approximately 10,000 models of this car and its revisions have been produced, making it one of the most common Ferrari models to hit the roads.
F40 – A celebration of Ferrari’s 40th birthday, a model personally approved by Enzo Ferrari and in its day was the fastest and most powerful Ferrari available to mere mortals the roads. The F40 can reach 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds on roads and was the first road legal car to break the 200mph mark and once held the record for the world’s fastest road legal car, with a top speed of 226mph (4).
Enzo Ferrari – A car named after the maker with 400 models being put into construction, 1 of which was donated to the Vatican (5). The 12 cylinder Berlinetta series supercar marked a dawn for Ferrari with a rise of new supercars. Based on F1 technology it was hard for them to miss the mark with this model. Accelerating to a maximum speed of 221 mph, the Enzo Ferrari can reach 0-60 in 3.14 seconds (5).
458 Italia – A stunning addition to the Ferrari family, the 458 Italia is one of the most decorated Ferrari models to have been produced with over 30 international awards in the short period after it’s unveiling in 2009. Hitting 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, with a top speed of 202mph the 458 italia model may not be the fastest Ferrari to be seen on the roads, but it is one of the most stylish, with a range of 20 unique variants of the model being produced named the 458 Italia Speciale series (6).
SA Aperta (2010) – With only 80 of this particular breed of prancing horse being put into manufacturing in 2010, it was a model which was already sold practically before it was made. The car is a convertible variant of the 599 SA Aperta and was collection made in honour of Ferrari designers Sergio Pininfarina and Andrea Pininfarina. It has a top speed of 202 mph and can reach 0-60 in 3.6 seconds (7).
LaFerrari (2013) – A unique hybrid project, the LaFerrari has been claimed by Ferrari to be the fastest road legal car it has ever produced with a top speed of 217mph, the stallion can reach 0-62mph in under 3 seconds (8). Only 499 models of Ferrari prize horse have been produced each costing over $1 million (8).