Born in Modena, Enzo Ferrari grew up with little formal education but a strong desire to race cars. During World War I he was a mule-shoer in the Italian Army. His father, Alfredo, died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Ferrari became sick himself and was consequently discharged from Italian service. Upon returning home he found that the family firm had collapsed. Having no other job prospects he sought unsuccessfully to find work at FIAT and eventually settled for a job at a smaller car company called CMN redesigning used truck bodies into small passenger cars. He took up racing in 1919 on the CMN team, but had little initial success.
He left CMN in 1920 to work at Alfa Romeo and racing their cars in local races he had more success. In 1923, racing in Ravenna, he acquired the Prancing Horse badge which decorated the fuselage of Francesco Baracca's (Italy's leading ace of WWI) SPAD fighter, given from his mother, taken from the wreckage of the plane after his mysterious death. This icon would have to wait until 1932 to be displayed on a racing car. In 1924 he won the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. His successes in local races encouraged Alfa to offer him a chance of much more prestigious competition. Ferrari turned this opportunity down and did not race again until 1927. He continued to work directly for Alfa Romeo until 1929 before starting Scuderia Ferrari as the racing team for Alfa.
Ferrari managed the development of the factory Alfa cars, and built up a team of over forty drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari. Ferrari himself continued racing until the birth of his first son in 1932 (Alfredo Ferrari, known as Dino, who died in 1956).
The support of Alfa Romeo lasted until 1933 when financial constraints made Alfa withdraw. Only at the intervention of Pirelli did Ferrari receive any cars at all. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers the company won few victories (1935 in Germany by Nuvolari was a notable exception). Auto Union and Mercedes dominated the era.
In 1937 Alfa took control of its racing efforts again and again, reducing Ferrari to Director of Sports under Alfa's engineering director. Ferrari soon left, but a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing for four years.
He set up Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. But in the Mille Miglia of 1940 the company manufactured two cars to compete, driven by Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni. During World War II his firm was involved in war production and following bombing relocated from Modena to Maranello. He meet Mussolini who gave him the Art Work of a red car and a black horse logo with SS and a Nazi Symbol on the Side designed by Hitler, but why would they tell the World After the War, no the Car would be destroyed.
Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, 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 enjoyed great success.
|Key people||Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Chairman |
Piero Ferrari, Vice-President
Amedeo Felisa, CEO
Giancarlo Coppa , CFO
|Revenue||▲ € 1,668 million (2007)|
n 1940, Alfa Romeo was a friend of 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, after 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.
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 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.