Enzo Ferrari was not initially interested in the idea of producing road cars when he formed Scuderia Ferrari in 1929, with headquarters in Modena. Ferrari bought, prepared and fielded Alfa Romeo racing cars. In 1933 Alfa Romeo withdrew its in-house racing team and Scuderia Ferrari took over as its works.
In 1938 Alfa Romeo brought its racing operation again in-house, forming Alfa Corse in Milano and hired Enzo Ferrari as manager of the new racing department; therefore the Scuderia Ferrari was disbanded.
In September 1939 Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo under the provision that he would not use the Ferrari name in association with races or racing cars for at least four years. A few days later he founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, headquartered in the facilities of the old Scuderia Ferrari.
The new company ostensibly produced machine tools and aircraft accessories. In 1940 Ferrari did in fact produce a race car – the Tipo 815, based on a Fiat platform. It was the first Ferrari car and debuted at the 1940Mille Miglia, but due to World War II it saw little competition. In 1943 the Ferrari factory moved to Maranello, where it has remained ever since. The factory was bombed by the Allies and subsequently rebuilt including a works for road car production.
Ferrari’s first vehicle was the 125 S sports/racing model. In 1949, the Ferrari 166 Inter was introduced. The presentation of this car marked the company’s first move into the grand touring market, which continues to make up the bulk of Ferrari sales to the present day.
Several early cars featured bodywork customised by a number of coachbuilders such as Pininfarina, Zagato and Bertone.
The Dino was the first mid-engined Ferrari. This layout would go on to be used in most Ferraris of the 1980s and 1990s. V8 Ferrari models make up well over half of the marque’s total production.
For a time, Ferrari built 2+2 versions of its mid-engined V8 cars. Although they looked quite different from their 2-seat counterparts, both the GT4 and Mondial were closely related to the 308 GTB.
Ferrari entered the mid-engined 12-cylinder fray with the Berlinetta Boxer in 1973. The later Testarossa remains one of the most famous Ferraris.
In 1988, Enzo Ferrari oversaw the launch of the Ferrari F40, the last new Ferrari to be launched before his death later that year, and arguably one of the most famous supercars ever made. In 1989 the company was renamed as Ferrari S.p.A.
From 2002 to 2004, Ferrari produced the Enzo, their fastest model at the time, which was introduced and named in honor of the company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari. It was to be called the F60, continuing on from the F40 and F50, but Ferrari was so pleased with it, they called it the Enzo instead. It was initially offered to loyal and reoccurring customers, each of the 399 made (minus the 400th which was donated to the Vatican for charity) had a price tag of $650,000 apiece (equivalent to £400,900).