The History of Ferrari S.p.A.
Updated September 3, 2018
Based in Maranello, Italy is where one of the most successful sports car manufacturers in the world is based. Named after its founder Enzo Ferrari, Ferrari would start production on Ferrari vehicles in 1947 to help finance the company’s love affair with racing. Before the company was founded, in Dover are in would successfully raised in sponsor drivers in Alfa Romeo cars until 1938.
During the fascist takeover of 1941 by Benito Mussolini, Enzo Ferrari would be prohibited from racing and instead would machine aircraft components for the war effort. In 1946 in the Ferrari would have a troublesome time picking up the pieces from his factory as it had been bombed in 1944 by Allied forces. Mr. Ferrari would also lose this top sponsorship for auto racing which would leave him no other option than to start production of street legal Ferrari vehicles in order to fund the company’s racing. In 1947 Ferrari would produce its first non-racing vehicle for consumer sales under the model number 125 Sport. Enzo Ferrari would famously become bitter towards the company’s buyers as he felt they were buying the cars for the prestige that Ferrari Scuderia had built up through racing. Ferrari would then introduce the Ferrari 166 Inter which would be the first grand touring vehicle that offered a coach built body and was derived from the 166 S race car.
Ferrari would introduce its first GT model at the 1949 Paris Motor Show. The cars were still not fully produced under the Ferrari Manufacturing roof but instead were only built as a rolling chassis and sent to a coach builder of the buyer’s choice to be completed. Throughout the 50’s Ferrari would continue to become a dominant force in racing. The Ferrari Scuderia racing division would have a long list of great engineers designing newer components for the vehicles as a result the technology would trickle-down to the production vehicles. In 1953 Ferrari would start exporting vehicles to the United States which would help triple the company’s production level throughout the remainder of the 50’s.
In 1961 a Ferrari racecar nicknamed Dino would be driven by Phil Hill would take the Formula One championship. During the same year Ferrari would see a mass exodus for the company do to long-term tensions between Girolamo Gardini and Laura Ferrari (Enzo’s wife). The tension would cause Girolamo Gardini to form an ultimatum that if Laura Ferrari was to stay Gardini and others were to leave. Enzo Ferrari would side with his wife which would result as an exodus of many talented individuals throughout the company as well as some of the companies top racing customers. This was thought to be a possible end to the Ferrari name. This would catch the attention of Henry Ford II of Ford Motor Company who would try to purchase Ferrari in the mid-60s. The deal would cost Ford several hundreds of thousands of dollars to put everything together and just before the deal was finalized Enzo Ferrari back out. As result this infuriated Henry Ford II and started the project for Ford to try and dominate Enzo’s beloved Ferrari racing teams who at the time were continually the top manufacturer in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1966 Ford would enter its GT-40 into the 24 Hours of Le Mans and finish first, second and third in the race thus starting a trend to knock Ferrari off the podium.
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Ferrari would see continued sales with its Dino 246 and the introduction of the Berlinetta. In 1985 Enzo Ferrari had a long-standing goal to build a vehicle to utilize the latest technology in order to produce a vehicle that could be driven on the race track or the street. This vehicle would be a Super Car and would put Ferrari Manufacturing in a new league. The company started working with materials that were new to the production automotive world and simply seeing almost entirely in Formula One. This vehicle would be the F40 which would utilize carbon fiber and Kevlar produce what would be the fastest production car of its time. In the upcoming years Ferrari start utilizing lighter weight components and materials. Currently Ferrari has four models to choose from including: FF – companies first all-wheel-drive shooting brake grand touring with a V12 California – front engine V-8 entry level grand touring 458 Italia – mid-engine V-8 sets Guinness Book of World Records for power per liter in a normally aspirated engine F12 Berlinetta – front engine V12 grand touring
Today Ferrari production is overseen by its now parent company Fiat S.p.A. who owns a 90% stake with the company. The company produces around 7000 vehicles annually from the staff of around 3000 individuals. Ferrari is continuing to invest in engineering for its vehicles as well as hybrid technology. Ferrari is also still continually entering in racing series all of the world including Grand Prix and many GT series keeping Scuderia Ferrari alive and well.
Categories: Production Cars