Ferrari is an italian car brand, which became famous for its sports cars and its involvement in racing (in more recent times only in formula 1). The company was founded in 1947 by the former racing driver enzo ferrari as an independent brand and today belongs to the fiat group. the company is headquartered in maranello, italy. the annual production amounts to just under 4000 vehicle units (as of 2005).

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the company’s origins go back to the scuderia ferrari racing team, which was run from 1929 to 1938 by enzo ferrari u. A. As a factory team of alfa romeo very successfully drove car races without building cars themselves. The logo that is still used today was already used at this time: a rearing horse, the cavallino rampante.

in 1940, the scuderia was renamed "auto avio costruzioni ferrari" and moved to maranello in 1943, where it is still headquartered today. The factory was destroyed by a bombing raid in 1944 and rebuilt in 1946.

The first "real" ferrari was the one built in 1947 ferrari 125 C sport with a 1.5-liter v12 engine. at that time, ferrari primarily built racing cars for sports car races like the mille miglia, which were also sold to customers to earn money.

This led to the development of road cars that were not suitable for racing. Known for exquisite styling from the house of pininfarina, ferrari cars are and have been the ultimate accessory for the rich and beautiful. Besides pininfarina, scaglietti, bertone and vignale were also commissioned to design ferraris. The construction of high-powered small V8 and V12 engines with memorable sound, high performance and beautiful appearance made and still makes a Ferrari desirable.

but Ferrari was also often in crisis. As early as the 1960s, ford made a takeover offer that was rejected, whereupon the ford GT40 broke ferrari’s previous dominance in sports car racing. The entry of fiat in 1969 provided the funds for an expensive answer to the porsche 917 by building 25 examples of the ferrari 512, but it was not until 1972/73 that the sports cars were victorious again. after that, ferrari stopped this kind of racing, especially since the f1 team was desolate in 1973 and had to sit out some races.

In the u.s., safety, fuel economy and emissions regulations had virtually "neutered" sports cars from the 1970s onward, causing sales to plummet. it was not until the death of founder enzo ferrari in 1988 that there was a boom in demand, especially for classic cars, including the invocation of the ferrari myth. From 1996 onwards, the brand finally regained the upper hand with the F1 cars.

For sporty amateurs, however, ferrari had hardly any suitable cars on offer since the 1960s, in contrast to its main competitor, porsche. It was only recently that racing versions of the V8 models (ferrari 360) were developed to allow customer teams to compete not only in the ferrari one-make cup but also in endurance races. However, a ferrari is seldom seen on publicly accessible race tracks such as the nordschleife and is then usually only moved with caution.

The cavallino rampante

The emblem of the brand is a black horse on a yellow background, with the letters S F for "scuderia ferrari". the horse was originally the symbol of baron francesco baracca, a flying ace of the italian air force in the first world war. Baron baracca was born on 19. shot down on June 1918 after 34 victorious aerial battles, he quickly became a national hero. He had the horse painted on his airplanes because his flying group belonged to a cavalry regiment. the military unit in which enzo ferrari’s brother, dino, fought and fell in the first world war also carried the prancing horse in its flag.

Another unproven theory is that baracca copied the horse from a german pilot who wore the very similar emblem of the city of stuttgart on his plane. the german car manufacturer porsche has also integrated the coat of arms of its stuttgart-zuffenhausen location into its trademark.

1923 enzo ferrari won a car race in ravenna and met the comtesse paolina, baracca’s mother. It was from her that he received the inspiration to use the horse as his emblem. However, the logo was only allowed to be used on the alfa romeos used by scuderia ferrari after the race in spa in 1932.

The yellow background was added by enzo ferrari because it was the color of his hometown of modena, the company’s headquarters at the time. However, it is often said that enzo ferrari used the color because of his fondness for sunflowers.

by the way, the horse does not only stand for ferrari. Fabio taglioni’s company ducati also used it for its motorcycles. Taglioni’s father was a friend of baron baracca and flew in his team, the 91. Flying squadron. After ferrari became famous, the horse disappeared as a logo for ducati and it is believed that the two companies entered into an agreement for its use.

today the horse is a registered trademark for ferrari.

The avanti gas station chain uses an almost identical logo in austria and eastern europe, complete with black and yellow colors.

the swedish guitarist and ferrari fan yngwie malmsteen named the second set of his concerto suite for electric guitar after the ferrari coat of arms cavallino rampante.

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Christina Cherry
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