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Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello and Modena, Italy. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street legal vehicles in 1947 as Ferrari S.p.A.. Throughout its history, the company has been noted for its continued participation in racing, especially in Formula One, where it has largely enjoyed great success, especially during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, late 1990s, and 2000s.
After years of financial struggles, Enzo Ferrari sold the company’s sports car division to the Fiat group in 1969 to ensure continued financial backing. Enzo Ferrari retained control of the racing division until his death in 1988 at the age of 90.
Ferrari also has an internally managed merchandising line that licenses many products bearing the Ferrari brand, including eyewear, pens, pencils, perfume, clothing, high-tech bicycles, cell phones, and even laptop computers. Financial Times named Ferrari number one on its 2007 list of the 100 Best Workplaces in Europe.
History of Ferrari
Enzo Ferrari never intended to produce road cars when he formed Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 as a sponsor for amateur drivers headquartered in Modena. Ferrari prepared and successfully raced various drivers in Alfa Romeo cars until 1938, when he was officially hired by Alfa to head their racing department.
In 1940, Alfa Romeo was absorbed by the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini as part of the Axis Powers’ war effort. Enzo Ferrari’s division was small enough to be unaffected by this. Because he was prohibited by contract from racing for four years, the Scuderia briefly became Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari, which ostensibly produced machine tools and aircraft accessories. Also known as SEFAC (Scuderia Enzo Ferrari Auto Corse), Ferrari did in fact produce one race car, the Tipo 815, in the non-competition period. It was the first actual Ferrari car (it debuted at the 1940 Mille 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 in 1944 and rebuilt in 1946 when the war ended, and included a works for road car production. Until Il Commendatore’s death, this would remain little more than a source of funding for his first love, racing. “Scuderia Ferrari” literally means “Ferrari Stable”, and figuratively translated as “Team Ferrari”. (It is correctly pronounced “skoo deh REE ah”.)
The first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5 L V12 engine; Enzo reluctantly built and sold his automobiles to fund the Scuderia. While his beautiful and fast cars quickly gained a reputation for excellence, Enzo maintained a famous distaste for his customers, most of whom he felt were buying his cars for the prestige and not the performance. Ferrari road cars, noted for styling by design houses like Pininfarina, have long been one of the ultimate accessories for the wealthy. Other design houses that have done work for Ferrari over the years include Scaglietti, Bertone, Touring, Ghia, and Vignale.
In 2005, four universities were granted the opportunity to design the next vehicle line-up for Ferrari in a student competition named ‘Ferrari Concepts of the Myth’. Twenty winners were allowed to show off their concepts in a ¼ scale model and present their work to the board at Ferrari to allow for three winners to have the chance to work in the Ferrari design studio at Maranello.
As of 2007, the Fiat Group owns 85% of Ferrari, Mubadala 5%, and Enzo’s son Piero 10%. Fiat has shelved plans for an IPO because Fiat Auto has now returned to profitability, thus removing pressure from the group.
Enzo Ferrari’s true passion, despite his extensive road car business, was auto racing. His Scuderia started as an independent sponsor for drivers in various cars, but soon became the Alfa Romeo in-house racing team. After Ferrari’s departure from Alfa, he began to design and produce cars of his own . The Ferrari team first appeared on the scene after the end of World War II.
Sports car racing
In 1949, Luigi Chinetti drove a 166M to Ferrari’s first win in motorsports, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ferrari went on to dominate the early years of the World Sportscar Championship which was created in 1953, winning the Manufacturers Championship seven out of its first nine years. When the championship changed formats in 1962, Ferrari earned championships in at least one class until 1966, then again in 1968. Ferrari would win one final championship in 1972 before Enzo decided to leave sports car racing and concentrate Scuderia Ferrari solely on Formula One.
During Ferrari’s seasons of the World Sportscar Championship, they also gained more wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the factory team earning their first in 1954. Another win would come in 1958 before they began a streak of five straight wins from 1960 to 1964. Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) would take Ferrari’s final victory at Le Mans in 1965.
Although Scuderia Ferrari no longer participated in sports cars after 1973, they have occasionally built various successful sports cars for privateers. These include the 512BB/LM in the 1970s, the 333 SP which won the IMSA GT Championship in the 1990s, and currently the F430 GT2 and GT3 which are currently winning championships in their respective classes.
The Scuderia joined the Formula One World Championship in the first year of its existence, 1950. José Froilán González gave the team its first victory at the 1951 British Grand Prix.
Alberto Ascari gave Ferrari its first Drivers Championship a year later. Ferrari is the oldest team left in the championship, not to mention the most successful: the team holds nearly every Formula One record. As of 2007, the team’s records include 15 World Drivers Championship titles (1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007) 15 World Constructors Championship titles (1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007), 201 Grand Prix victories, 4753.27 points, 603 podium finishes, 195 pole positions, 12,489 laps led, and 205 fastest laps in 758 Grands Prix contested.
Notable Ferrari drivers include Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Luigi Chinetti, Alberto Ascari, Wolfgang von Trips, Phil Hill, Olivier Gendebien, Mike Hawthorn, Peter Collins, John Surtees, Lorenzo Bandini, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti, Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Jody Scheckter, Gilles Villeneuve, Didier Pironi, Michele Alboreto, Gerhard Berger, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Jean Alesi, Eddie Irvine, Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Räikkönen, and Felipe Massa.
The Scuderia Ferrari drivers for the 2006 F1 season were Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa. At the end of the 2006 season the team courted controversy by continuing to allow Marlboro to sponsor them after they, along with the other F1 teams, made a promise to end sponsorship deals with tobacco manufacturers. A five year deal worth a reported $500 million was agreed.
The drivers for 2007 are Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen. Räikkönen went on to win the drivers championship, with Massa finishing 4th.
The “Cavallino Rampante”
The famous symbol of the Ferrari race team is a black prancing stallion on a yellow shield, usually with the letters S F (for Scuderia Ferrari), with three stripes of green, white and red (the Italian national colors) at the top. The road cars have a rectangular badge on the hood (see picture above) and this race logo on the side.
On June 17, 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna where he met the 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.
Ferrari has used the cavallino rampante on official company stationery since 1929. Since the Spa 24 Hours race of July 9, 1932, the cavallino rampante has been used on Alfa Romeos raced by Scuderia Ferrari.
A similar black horse on a yellow shield is the Coat of Arms of the German city of Stuttgart. This horse motif comes from the origins of the city’s name: it comes from Stutengarten, an ancient form of the modern German word Gestüt, which translates into English as stud farm and into Italian as scuderia. Stuttgart is the home of Porsche, which also uses the Stuttgart sign in its corporate logo, centred in the emblem of the state of Württemberg.
Fabio Taglioni used the cavallino rampante on his Ducati motorbikes, as Taglioni was born at Lugo di Romagna like Baracca, and his father too was a military pilot during WWI (even if not part of Baracca’s squadron, as is mistakenly reported). As Ferrari’s fame grew, Ducati abandoned the horse- perhaps the result of a private agreement between the two companies.
The cavallino rampante is now a trademark of Ferrari. However, other companies use similar logos: Avanti, an Austrian company operating over 100 filling stations, uses a prancing horse logo which is nearly identical to Ferrari’s.
Many aspects of the cover design of the third Jamiroquai album, Travelling Without Moving, as well as the single Virtual Insanity and some single promos pay homage to the Ferrari logo.
Since the 1920s, Italian race cars of Alfa Romeo, Maserati and later Ferrari and Abarth were (and often still are) painted in “race red” (Rosso Corsa). This was the customary national racing color of Italy, as recommended between the World Wars by the organizations that later would become the FIA. In that scheme, French cars like Bugatti were blue, German like Audi,BMW, and Porsche white (since 1934 also Silver Arrows), British racing green etc.
Curiously, Ferrari won the 1964 World championship with John Surtees by competing the last two races in cars painted white and blue, as these were not entered by the Italian factory themselves, but the US-based NART team. This was done as a protest concerning arguments between Ferrari and the Italian Racing Authorities regarding the homologation of a new mid-engined Ferrari race car.
List of models
Until the early 1980s, Ferrari followed a three-number naming scheme based on engine displacement:
* V6 and V8 models used the total displacement (in decilitres) for the first two digits and the number of cylinders as the third. Thus, the 206 was a 2.0 L V6 powered vehicle, while the 348 used a 3.4 L V8, although, for the F355, the last digit refers to 5 valves per cylinder. Upon introduction of the 360 Modena, the digits for V8 models (which now carried a name as well as a number) refer only to total engine displacement. The numerical indication aspect of this name has carried on to the current V8 model, the F430.
* V12 models used the displacement (in cubic centimetres) of one cylinder. Therefore, the famed 365 Daytona had a 4390 cc V12. However, some newer V12-engined Ferraris, such as the 599, have three-number designations that refer only to total engine displacement.
* Flat 12 (boxer) models used the displacement in litres. Therefore, the 512BB was five litre flat 12 (a Berlinetta Boxer, in this case). However, the original Berlinetta Boxer was the 365 GT4 BB, which was named in a similar manner to the V12 models.
* Some models, such as the 1980 Mondial and the 1984 Testarossa did not follow a three-number naming scheme.
Most Ferraris were also given designations referring to their body style. In general, the following conventions were used:
* M standing for “Modificata,” this suffix placed at the end of a model’s number denotes that it is a modified version of its predecessor and not a complete evolution (see F512M and 575M Maranello).
* GTB models are closed Berlinettas, or coupes.
* GTS in older models, are open Spyders (spelt “y”), or convertibles (see 365 GTS4); however, in more recent models, this suffix is used for targa top models (see Dino 246 GTS, and F355 GTS; the exception being the 348 TS, which is the only targa named differently). The convertible models now use the suffix “Spider” (spelt “i”) (see F355 Spider, and 360 Spider).
This naming system can be confusing, as some entirely different vehicles used the same engine type and body style. Many Ferraris also had other names affixed (like Daytona) to identify them further. Many such names are actually not official factory names. The Daytona name commemorates Ferrari’s triple success in the February 1967 24 Hours of Daytona with the 330P4. Only in the 1973 Daytona 24h, a 365 GTB4 model run by N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team, who raced Ferrari’s in America) scored 2nd—behind a Porsche 911.
The various Dino models were named for Enzo’s son, Dino Ferrari, and are not formally Ferraris, though are to all intents and purposes considered so.
In the mid 1990s, Ferrari added the letter “F” to the beginning of all models (a practice abandoned after the F512M and F355, but adopted again with the F430).