When it comes to high-end luxury supercars, the name Ferrari stands out as one of the best in the industry. With an extremely rich and vibrant history that began in racing, the word Ferrari has become synonymous with elegance, power, and performance. The Ferrari history unofficially began in 1929, but the first Ferrari branded car wasn’t introduced to the auto industry until 1947. With almost 70 years of production, Ferrari remains one of the top automobile names in the entire world.
Here is a brief history of the storied car company with strong roots in racing.
1929– Enzo Ferrari, the man who founded Ferrari, formed Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, Italy after five years of being a driver for Alfa Romeo. Scuderia Ferrari bought, prepared and fielded racing cars for racers because Enzo had no interest in producing road cars. He devoted his entire life to designing and building performance sports cars.
1933- The reputation of Scuderia Ferrari grew quickly and they soon became the technical racing department for Alfa Romeo in 1933. The cars were driven by some of the best and most famous drivers in all of racing. This is when the iconic Prancing Horse Shield first started appearing on the hoods of their cars.
1939- Enzo left Alfa Romeo and started Auto Avio Construzioni a few days later. Auto Avio operated out of the original Scuderia buildings that were used before they moved to Alfa Romeo. Instead of cars, they manufactured machine tools and aircraft parts but in 1940, Enzo created two new sports car models- the Auto Avio Construzioni 815 and Fiat 508C. During the following years, the company mainly produced grinding machines during the war.
1945/46- After the war had ended, Enzo Ferrari commissioned Gioachino Colombo to design a new V12 engine and in December of 1946, the specifications and drawings of a new car were released to the press.
1947- 125 Sport was the very first Ferrari-badged car to hit the open roads and the professional racing circuit. The 125 Sport was powered by a 1.5 L V12 engine that would go on to win the 1951 Grand Prix (driven by Jose Foilan Gonzalez) and the 1952 World Title (driven by Alberto Ascari).
1957- The company changed its name to Auto Construzioni Ferrari.
1960s- Ford Motor Company began producing some very respectable sports cars (GT and Shelby Cobra) that were seen as a threat to the dominant Ferraris. Ford had tried to purchase Ferarri in the mid-1960s but no deal was agreed upon. The Ford GT40 left a very strong mark on the reign of Ferrari when the GT40 Mark IIs finished first, second and third at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
1969- Fiat S.p.A. took a 50% stake in Ferarri in order to provide a substantial increase in available funds for development and production. During this time, Porsche emerged on the scene and immediately challenged Ferrari as the dominant European sports car company in the racing circuit.
1984- The first season of “Miami Vice” aired on NBC is the United States and Detective Sonny Crockett drove a black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 (replica). This truly marked the invasion of Miami Ferrari’s that would soon populate the roads around the city and country.
1988- In the years from 1969 to 1988, Ferrari had enjoyed numerous racing victories and titles throughout Europe and had made a name for itself in the 1970s on the Formula 1 circuit. At the age of 90, Enzo Ferarri died in 1988 and the last new model he had commissioned was the specialist F40. Fiat purchased Enzo’s shares of the company, which increased its stake to 90%.
2002-10- Over these eight years, Fiat sold and bought back a large percentage of stake in the company.
2014- October of 2014, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that they planned to separate from Ferarri, which they owned 90% of.
2016- January 3, 2016, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari announced that the separation of the two companies had been completed and Ferrari began trading on the Mercato Telematico Azionario on January 4, 2016.
Over the past 70 years, Ferrari has cemented itself as one of the top sports car companies ever and its long and storied racing legacy will forever remain as one of the most impressive.
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