Some Ferrari History
Born Out Of Necessity
The Ferrari brand was born out of necessity and an interesting series of events. Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 into carpentry and fabrication. 1920 started his automotive legacy by joining forces with Alfa Romeo, an automobile company with a racing pedigree. From there, he raced and represented the Milan company and became a manager, focusing his talents on roadworthy Alfa Romeo cars and building a racing team for Alfa Romeo called Scuderia Ferrari.
“Stable Ferrari” or “Team Ferrari” as the Italian translation, Enzo Ferrari focused on created race-worthy cars on top of providing guidance in factory Alfa Romeo cars, having much influence with the Italian automaker.
The Page Turner
Relations started to change around the 1930’s when Alfa Romeo cut ties with Scuderia Ferrari team and Ferrari struggled to gain traction against the German racing teams. He dissolved the racing team and joined Alfa Romeo again and the partnership soured in 1939 with a disagreement with management and cut ties with Alfa Romeo for good.
He founded a part supplying company as contract clauses forbade him to design cars or race them, but he was hell-bent on competing against his former bosses and founded Ferrari, that we all know and love, in 1947.
Under the Ferrari badge, their first production car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5 L V12 engine. In order to continue racing, Enzo Ferrari needed to sell road cars to fund his passion so he kept going. He also resurrected his racing marque, Scuderia Ferrari, to differentiate road cars to the racing-spec cars.
Racing Is In The Bloodline
From there, Ferrari partnered with the best coachbuilders such Pininfarina, Zagato and Bertone, creating gorgeous automobiles such as the Ferrari 250. From there, the models evolved and grew, spinning into the current lineup that we know today.
Ferrari’s lineage continued into the racing circuit, having a dominant performance in Formula 1. The Ferrari Formula 1 racing team has been a part of many world championships and has been represented by the best racing drivers in the sport: Niki Lauda, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel to name a few.
The Prancing Horse Lives On
Ferrari’s signature emblem is the prancing horse and there’s quite an interesting history to that,
On 17 June 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna where he met Countess Paolina, mother of Count Francesco Baracca, an ace of the Italian air force and national hero of World War I, who used to paint a horse on the side of his planes. The Countess asked Enzo to use this horse on his cars, suggesting that it would bring him good luck. The original “prancing horse” on Baracca’s airplane was painted in red on a white cloud-like shape, but Ferrari chose to have the horse in black (as it had been painted as a sign of grief on Baracca’s squadron planes after the pilot was killed in action) and he added a canary yellow background as this is the color of the city of Modena, his birthplace. The Ferrari horse was, from the very beginning, markedly different from the Baracca horse in most details, the most noticeable being the tail that in the original Baracca version was pointing downward.
Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnered with the Ferrari brand to ensure that Enzo’s vision for being the best racing brand anyone has ever seen lives on.
Read more in our In Depth Ferrari History