Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ferrari is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and high-performance sports cars formed by Enzo Ferrari in 1929. At first, Scuderia Ferrari sponsored drivers and manufactured racecars; the company went into independent car production in 1946, eventually became Ferrari S.p.A., and is now controlled by the Fiat group. The company is based in Maranello, near Modena, Italy.
See Scuderia Ferrari for further history of the Ferrari racing team.
Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari never intended to produce road cars when he formed Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 as a sponsor for amateur drivers headquartered in Modena. Ferrari prepared and successfully raced various drivers in Alfa Romeo cars until 1938, when he was officially hired by Alfa as head of their racing department.
In 1940, upon learning of the company's plan to absorb his beloved Scuderia and take control of his racing efforts, he quit Alfa. Because he was prohibited by contract from racing for several years, the Scuderia briefly became Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari , which ostensibly produced machine tools and aircraft accessories. Ferrari did in fact produce one racecar, the Tipo 815 , in the non-competition period; it was thus the first actual Ferrari car, 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 in 1944 and rebuilt in 1946 to include a works for road car production.
"Scuderia Ferrari" literally means "Ferrari Stable" in keeping with the prancing horse emblem; the name is figuratively translated as "Team Ferrari."
The first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5-litre V12 engine; Enzo reluctantly built and sold his automobiles to fund the Scuderia. While his beautiful and blazingly fast cars quickly gained a reputation for excellence, Enzo maintained a famous distaste for his customers, most of whom he felt were buying his cars for the prestige and not the performance value.
Ferrari road cars, noted for their exquisite styling by design houses such as Pininfarina, have long been one of the ultimate accessories for the rich and young (or young-at-heart). Other design houses that have done work for Ferrari over the years include Scaglietti, Bertone, Touring, Ghia, and Vignale.
Ferrari cars feature highly-tuned small V8 and V12 engines, often in a mid-engined configuration; until the introduction of fuel injection in the 1980s, they were quite temperamental. Until the mid-1980s they carried a reputation for unreliability and bad engineering, though these were written off by enthusiasts as "character." Ferrari owners have famously and religiously defended the merits of their cars while virulently criticizing other brands.
Main article: Scuderia Ferrari
Enzo Ferrari's true passion, despite his extensive road car business, was always auto racing. His Scuderia started as an independent sponsor for drivers in various cars, but soon became the Alfa Romeo in-house racing team. After Ferrari's departure from Alfa, he began to design and produce cars of his own; the Ferrari team first appeared on the European grand prix scene after the end of World War II.
The Scuderia joined the Formula One World Championship in the first year of its existence, 1950. Jose-Froilan Gonzalez gave the team its first victory at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari gave Ferrari its first World Championship a year later. Ferrari is the oldest team left in the championship, not to mention the most successful: the team holds nearly every Formula One record. As of 2004, the team's records include fourteen World Drivers Championship titles (1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), fourteen World Constructors Championship titles (1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), 179 grand prix victories, 3445 and a half points, 544 podium finishes, 174 pole positions, 11,182 laps led, and 180 fastest laps in 1622 grands prix contested.
Famous drivers include Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Phil Hill, Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Gilles Villeneuve, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.
The "Cavallino Rampante"
The famous symbol of Ferrari is a black prancing horse on yellow background, usually with the letters S F for Scuderia Ferrari.
The horse was originally the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, a legendary "asso" (ace) of the Italian air force during World War I, who painted it on the side of his planes. Baracca died very young on June 19, 1918, shot down after 34 victorious duels and many team victories; he soon became a national hero.
Baracca had wanted the prancing horse on his planes because his squad, the "Battaglione Aviatori", was enrolled in a Cavalry regiment (air forces were at their first years of life and had no separate administration), and also because he himself was reputed to be the best cavaliere of his team.
It has been supposed that the choice of a horse was perhaps partly due to the fact that his noble family was known for having plenty of horses in their estates at Lugo di Romagna . Another theory suggests Baracca copied the rampant horse design from a shot down German pilot having the emblem of the city of Stuttgart on his plane. Interestingly, German sports car manufacturer Porsche, from Stuttgart, borrowed its prancing horse logo from the city's emblem. Furthermore astonishing: Stuttgart is an over the centuries modified version of Stutengarten (an ancient german word for "Gestüt", translated into english as mare garden or stud farm, into italian as "scuderia").
On June 17, 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna, and there he met the Countess Paolina, mother of Baracca. The Countess asked that he use the horse on his cars, suggesting that it would grant him good luck, but the first race at which Alfa would let him use the horse on Scuderia cars was eleven years later, at SPA 24 Hours in 1932. Ferrari won.
Ferrari left the horse black as it had been on Baracca's plane; however, he added a yellow background because it was the symbolic color of his birthplace, Modena.
The prancing horse has not always identified the Ferrari brand only: Fabio Taglioni used it on his Ducati motorbikes. Taglioni's father was in fact a companion of Baracca's and fought with him in the 91st Air Squad, but as Ferrari's fame grew, Ducati abandoned the horse; this may have been the result of a private agreement between the two brands.
The prancing horse is now a trademark of Ferrari.
List of models
Until the mid-1990s, Ferrari followed a three-number naming scheme based on engine displacement:
- V6 and V8 models used the total displacement (in deciliters) for the first two digits and the number of cylinders as the third. Thus, the 206 was a 2.0 L V6-powered vehicle, while the 348 used a 3.4 L V8.
- V12 models used the displacement (in cubic centimeters) for all three digits. Therefore, the famed 365 Daytona had a 4380 cc engine (365 times 12).
Most Ferraris were also given designations referring to their body style. In general, the following conventions were used:
- M standing for "Modificata," this suffix is placed to the end of a model's number designation to denote that it is a modified version of its predecessor and not a complete evolution (see F512M and 575M Maranello).
- GTB models are closed Berlinettas, or coupes
- GTS models, in older models, are convertibles (see 365 GTB4); however, in late models, this suffix is used for targa top models (see 348 GTS, and F355 GTS; exception being the 348 TS, which is the only targa named differently). The convertible models now use the suffix "Spider" (see F355 Spider, and Ferrari 360 Spider).
This naming system can be confusing, as some entirely different vehicles used the same engine type and body style. Many Ferraris also had other names affixed (like Daytona) to identify them further. Many such names are actually not the car's official name given by the factory. The 365 GTB4 model only became known as a Daytona after racing variants run by N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team, who raced Ferrari's in America) won the famous 24 hour race of the same name. As well, the 250 GTO's famous acronym, which means Gran Turismo Omologato, was simply a name the Italian press gave the car which referred to the way Ferrari had, in a sense, avoided the rules and successfully homologated the car for racing purposes (Ferrari had convinced the FIA, somehow, someway, that the 250 GTO was the same car as previous 250's). This was done probably to avoid confusion with the multiple 250 models which were produced before the GTO.
In the mid 1990s, Ferrari added the letter "F" to the beginning of all models (a practice quickly abandoned after the F512M and F355, but recently picked up again with the F430) and used the total engine displacement for all three digits for most cars. So the 360 used a 3.6 L engine. The exception is the V12 cars, most of which have used the number 12 as the last two digits with the displacement represented by the first. For example, 512TR had a 5.0 L V12 engine.
Ferrari's earliest models were pure sports cars, not the exotics we know today.
- 1948-1951 166
- 1952 340 MM Berlinetta/Spider
The Dino was the first mid-engined Ferrari. This layout would go on to be used in most Ferraris of the 1980s and 1990s. V6 and V8 Ferrari models make up well over half of the marque's total production.
- 1968-1975 Dino
- 1968-1973 Dino 206GT
- 1968-1973 Dino 246GT/GTS
- 1975-1989 208/308/328 GTB/GTS
- 1989 348
- 1995-1998 F355
- 1999-2004 Ferrari 360
- 1999-2004 360 Modena/Spider
- 2003-2004 Challenge Stradale
- 2005 F430
2-seat Grand Turismo
Ferrari quickly moved into the Grand Turismo market, and the bulk of the company's sales remain in this area.
- 1952-1967 America
- 1953-1962 250
- 1964 330
- 1966 330 GTC Coupe
- 1966 330 GTS Spider
- 1966 365
- 1966 365 P Speciale Berlinetta
- 1964-1968 275
- 1968-1973 Daytona
- 1996-2001 550 Maranello
- 2002-2004 575M Maranello
- 2006 Ferrari 600 Imola
For a time, Ferrari built 2+2 versions of its mid-engined V8 cars. Although they looked quite different from their 2-seat counterparts, both the GT4 and Mondial were very closely-related to the 308 GTB.
- 1974-1980 208/308 GT4
- 1980 Mondial
The company has also produced front-engined 2+2 cars, culminating in the current 612 Scaglietti.
- 1960 250
- 1960 250 GT 2+2 Coupe
- 1964 330
- 1964 330 GT 2+2 Coupe
- 1968-1973 365 Daytona
- 1976 400/412
- 1992-2003 456/456M
- 2004-2005 612 Scaglietti
Ferrari entered the mid-engined 12-cylinder fray with the flattened Berlinetta Boxer in 1971. The later Testarossa remains one of the most famous Ferraris.
- 1971-1984 512 Berlinetta Boxer
- 1984-1996 Testarossa
The company's loftiest efforts have been in the supercar market.
- 360 GTC
- 360 Challenge
- 575 GTC
- The official Ferrari website (in Italian, English and German)
- The Galleria Ferrari museum website (in Italian and English)
- Official Ferrari Merchandise Ferrari Clothing and Collectables (in Italian and English)
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