Ferrari is one of the best known and best-loved car brands in the world. It has a long and fascinating history and is today, the dream car for many people around the world.
Here are some interesting facts about the company and their amazing products.
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How was Ferrari created?
Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939 out of Alfa Romeo's race division Auto Avio Costruzioni. Their first car was built in 1940 but this was not, technically speaking, a Ferrari.
This is because he was contractually obliged by Alfa Romeo to not produce cars under his own name for at least 4 years. Their factory moved to Maranello in 1943 but it was bombed by the allies during WW2.
It was rebuilt and is still the main site of Ferrari production to this day. The company became what we know as Ferrari today in 1947 when their cars began to sport their famous horse logo.
When was the first Ferrari built?
The first-ever Ferrari, though not technically speaking called a Ferrari, as the Auto Avio Costruzionia 815. This was a two-seater Barchetta that had a 1.5-liter engine under the hood.
The "Tipo 815" was built in 1940 and only two were ever built. Both of these raced at the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix but both failed to finish due to engine problems.
One of them was later scrapped, but the other surviving car is currently in a car collection in Italy.
Ferrari was unable to call it a Ferrari as he was still under contract with Alfa Romeo at the time. Although he had left the company the terms and conditions of his release prevented him from building a car under his own name for a time.
For this reason, he had to think of an alternative name.
13 interesting facts about Ferrari cars
Here are some interesting facts about the company and their amazing cars. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. Ferrari's famous badge was a war veteran's coat of arms
The now-famous Ferrari badge has a long and glorious past. Its iconic black horse rearing up on its back legs was once the family crest of a WW1 war hero.
This hero was Francesco Baracca who was a World War One pilot who was sadly killed in battle. Baracca used to paint the symbol of a horse on the sides of the planes he flew.
After his death, Baracca’s mother allowed Ferrari to use the symbol of the horse on the badges of his cars.
2. Cars are not the only income stream for the brand
Ferrari is obviously best-known for their amazing series of cars. But these are not the only lucrative income stream for the company.
Ferrari, like many other brands, also make a pretty penny from selling a wide variety of merchandise. From toys to clothing and accessories, the Ferrari brand is so much more than just vehicles.
To date, there are no less than 30 Ferrari boutique stores around the globe. About 2 are under direct ownership by Ferrari with others operating as licensed franchises.
3. Not all Ferrari's are red
One of the first things that spring to mind when you hear the name Ferrari is the color red.
Officially called "racing red", this is the color chosen by the Ferrari racing team and is regularly the color of choice whenever the cars appear in movies.
In fact, this was the official color that the International Automobile Federation (FIA) assigned to all Italian Grand Prix race cars in the early years of auto racing.
However, Ferrari's come in a variety of colors of black, white, green and silver. But most people often opt for the famous red paint job.
4. Ferrari was almost bought out by Ford
Ferrari is a hugely successful brand and for this reason, many competitors have tried their luck to buy them out. One such company was the Ford Motor Company who made an offer to Enzo Ferrari of around $18 million in 1963.
After a lengthy negotiation, Enzo finally rejected the offer.
Today Ferrari is part-owned by Fiat who owns a 90% stake.
They are in turn an asset of the holding company Exor who own various other brands including Juventus, Fiat Chrysler, and CNH Industrial.
5. Michael Schumacher was once the highest-paid sportsman of all time when racing with Ferrari
When Michael Schumacher raced for Ferrari he was the highest-paid sportsman of all time. He had a very long and successful racing career and Ferrari paid him accordingly for his talents.
This was money well spent. The combination of Ferrari cars and Schumacher's unparalleled skill enabled the team to win seven Formula One World Championships.
6. Enzo Ferrari was not a keen traveler
Enzo Ferrari, despite his skills at building vehicles, was not very keen on travel. He rarely, if ever, left his home and office in Modena and Maranello.
In fact, he was famously claustrophobic and hated to travel in aircraft and elevators.
7. The Ferrari F40 was the last one to be personally approved by Enzo
The iconic and loved Ferrari F40 was the last Ferrari to receive Enzo Ferrari's personal approval. This mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car was produced between the late 1980s to early 1990s.
The F40 was the successor to the 288 GTO and was designed and built to celebrate Ferrari's 40th Anniversary. Only 400 were ever produced and each unit sold for around $400,000.
8. Enzo Ferrari was a war veteran too but was almost killed by the flu
The great Enzo Ferrari was not just a visionary car designer and builder but also earned his stripes during the horrors of WW1. During the war, he fought under the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment of the Italian Army.
As we know he survived the war but was almost killed by the horrific flu outbreak that ravaged Europe after the war. This epidemic did, sadly, managed to kill his brother and father.
9. Today you can customize many elements of your brand new Ferrari
Ferrari has a Tailor-Made program that allows buyers to personalize many elements of their new car. Provided by their Maranello factory, buyers can choose from livery colors, various interior trims, finishes, and other accessories.
10. Abu Dhabi has a Ferrari theme park
In 2010, Ferrari opened its very first theme park in Abu Dhabi. It is touted as the world's largest indoor theme park and comes complete with thrill rides including an F1 inspired roller coaster.
11. Each letter in a Ferrari's name symbolizes its body style
Each of the letters used in Ferrari's name symbolizes the cars body style. For example, the letter "M" stands for "Modifacata".
"GTB is an acronym for Gran Turismo Berlinetta and it used on models such as coupes or closed Berlinettas." - moneyinc.com.
12. Ferrari is one of the world's best-known brands
Branding is an essential element of any successful business. Ferrari, it appears, has been a master of this practice and is one of the best-known brands in the world.
They are often ranked alongside Disney, Hollywood and Coca Cola for their brand recognition.
13. There was a time Ferrari tried to limit production
Under the advice of chairman Luca di Cordero Montezemolo, Ferrari attempted to limit production to prevent market dilution of their products.
He argued that "The exclusivity of Ferrari is fundamental for the value of our products. We made the decision to make fewer cars because otherwise, we risk injecting too many cars on the market.”
But this didn't last long. He was ousted and replaced by Sergio Marchionne in 2014 who took the opposite approach.
He soon ramped up production to 7,200 units a year with plans to eventually boost output to 10,000 a year.