We Take A Look Back At The History Of The Prancing Horse

We Take A Look Back At The History Of The Prancing Horse

There are few emblems and names that are so synonymous with a racing pedigree as

There are few emblems and names that are so synonymous with a racing pedigree as Ferrari‘s prancing horse. You don’t even need to like cars to know that they are at the top of the food chain. With a past embedded in rich racing history and a story that could have only been their own, Ferrari has proven to be the foremost marque in the aspirations of many.

With products such as the groundbreaking F40, the futuristic SF90, and everything that came before, between, and after, join us as we look back at the last 75 years of perhaps the most important car brand of them all; here’s a brief history on Ferrari.

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The Origins Of Ferrari

Ferrari 125 S - Front Quarter
Via Ferrari

Our story starts in 1947 when the first Ferrari, the 125 S, left the factory at Via Abertone Inferiore, Maranello, Italy. Though it must be said that Ferraris origins are inextricably linked to its founder’s entire life story. Born in Modena on February 18 of 1898, Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14, 1988, having devoted the majority of his 90 years to his true passion; Motor Racing. He became an Alfa Romeo works driver in 1924, but just five years later set up the Scuderia Ferrari at Viale Trieste in Modena to allow its mostly gentleman driver members to compete.

Enzo Ferrari Driving
Via Ferrari Museum

He was appointed head of Alfa Corse in 1938 but left in 1939 to start up Auto Avio Costruzioni. Enzo went on to build a sports car, powered by a 1500 cc 8-cylinder engine, which he called the 815. 2 were built, and the cars took part in the 1940 Mille Miglia. World War Two abruptly brought all motor racing to an end. In late 1943, Ferrari moved its workshops from Modena to Maranello. And at the end of the war, he set about designing and building what was to become the first Ferrari, the 125 S, a 1500cc 12-cylinder. Franco Cortese drove the car to its first victory in the Rome Grand Prix at the Terme di Caracalla circuit the same month.

Ferrari in The 50’s

Via Commons

The 1950s came with huge changes, so much so that by the end of the decade, the Ferrari name was famous all over the world. The brand celebrated the first in a long string of victories that would result in Scuderia Ferrari becoming the most successful team in Formula 1 history. Ferrari also won its first Mille Miglia in 1948 and its first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949.

In Formula 1, it took its first Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix in 1951 and by 1952 had won the World title with Alberto Ascari who won it again in 1953. There were significant developments too on the production front, as Ferrari began working with Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1951, who had the responsibility of fabricating and assembling its chassis’. All in all, the marque proved so successful with the public that sales more than tripled between 1950 and 1960.

Ferrari In The ’60s-’70s

1977 Ferrari 308 GTB
Via: Ferrari

The industrial side of the business needed a modern and organized company structure, so throughout the sixties, Enzo Ferrari took on a series of changes. In 1960, Ferrari became a Limited Company and 9 years after struck a deal with Fiat to sell it 50% of its shares. In 1973, production began of cars powered by the first rear-mounted V8 engines, which proved hugely commercially successful.

Via Primotipo

Sales grew as the decade went on, helped by the popularity of models such as the legendary 308 in GTB, GT4, and GTS form. The racing division was also getting a move on. The world of sponsorship arrived in Formula 1 in the late 60s, and the logos began to appear on Ferrari race cars at that time too. Ferrari struck a sponsorship deal with Shell, who had already been providing fuel and lubricant for Enzo since his Alfa Corse days. This would prove to be their main sponsor to this day, together with Philip Morris International, who have been on board since 1984. In the second half of the decade, the Scuderia saw big success in F1, winning the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World titles on multiple occasions.

Ferrari In The ’80s -’90s

via it.motor1.com

The 1980s saw what Ferrari themselves say was their most difficult and testing period of time. The decade drew to a close on the sad note of Enzo Ferrari’s passing in 1988. In addition, Fiat increased its stake to 90% with the remaining 10% staying in the hands of Enzo’s son, Piero Ferrari. While the Scuderia managed just two Formula 1 Constructors’ titles (1982 and 1983), Ferrari also produced several history-making cars in the same years: the 288 GTO and the Testarossa in 1984, the F40, Enzo Ferrari’s final car, in 1987, followed by the F50 in 1995. While at the time it was a period of loss, mourning, and uncertainty, the products that emerged from it are regarded as some of the best Ferrari has ever produced.

Ferrari In The 2000’s

via Max F1

The new millennium brought with it an unprecedented amount of racing success. Ferrari won plenty in touring cars, including 3 x 12 Hours of Sebring and one 24 Hours of Daytona. But, it was in F1 that Scuderia really dominated. Between 2000 and 2008 they won a total of 13 World titles: six Drivers’ (5 x Schumacher and one with Räikkönen) and a total of seven Constructors’ championships.

Ferrari Enzo
Via Mecum Auctions

Commercially, these were years that brought the launch of successful models of the likes of the Enzo Ferrari in 2002 and the F430 in 2004. Even more, significantly, came the adoption of a new branding policy. This resulted in the official inauguration of the first Ferrari Store in Maranello in 2002, followed by a string of openings in Italy and abroad that would ultimately result in 30 single-brand retail outlets worldwide, including Saint Petersburg, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, New York, and Miami.

Ferrari Is Today One Of The Largest Brands In The World

Ferrari LaFerrari on display

The latest chapter began with a decade of rapid expansion. Ferrari quickly expanded to accommodate emerging markets, such as the Middle East, China, Japan, and the rest of the Far East, as well as consolidating our position on the US, UK, and German markets, which is where surprisingly Ferrari sell most of their cars.

Ferrari Roma
Via Topgear

Ferrari has also excelled in its offerings. With the development of the incredible La Ferrari that was truly groundbreaking and is expected to be one of the most sought-after cars of all time in the future, but also with models such as the Roma that harp back to Ferraris golden years of GT cars that you could easily endure 1000-mile trips in.

“Aerodynamics Are For People Who Can’t Build Engines” Enzo Famously Said That
Via ferrari.com

Ferrari is celebrating its 75th anniversary, and what an achievement to have survived a war and economic uncertainty and come out even stronger. With Enzo’s ethos and passion for motorsport at the center, they have grown to become the most iconic sports car brand of them all.

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