History of Ferrari

On February the 18th 1898 Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena. After being forced to leave school after the death of his father, he went on to work in the Modeno Fire Brigades workshop as a turning instructor. After serving his country in World War I, in 1918 he started to work as a test driver in Turin. He soon moved to Milan to work for CMN (Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali) as a racing driver and a test driver.

In 1919 he made his racing debut in the Parma – Berceto race, later that year he also entered the Taraga Florio race. 1920 saw Enzo move to the racing team Alfa Romeo, at this team he formed a strong relationship which lasted over 20 years, his career progressed from a test driver to a race driver to a sales assistant and he eventually he was to be the Director of the Alfa Racing Division until 1939.

In 1923 while racing at the Circuit of Sivocci at Ravenna he was approached by Count Enrico and Countess Paolina Baracca, the parents of the heroic Italian pilot Francesco Baracca. Francesco was known as the Italian ace of aces. He died on Mount Montello during the war. His parents gave Ferrari their son’s squadron badge, which was the famous prancing horse on a yellow shield.

Although Enzo Ferrari was connected with Alfa Romeo for many years, he built only a few sports cars bearing his name and his famous prancing horse badge. In 1929 Enzo formed the Scuderia Ferrari with the aim of organizing racing for members. The Scuderia Ferrari team competed in 22 events and scored 8 victories and several good placings.

In 1940 Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo and started a new company Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari. During World War II the Ferrari workshop moved from Modena to Maranello. The workshop became a victim of the war in 1944 – it was leveled by bombs. A year after the war in 1946 the shop was rebuilt and work began on the first ever Ferrari motorcar, the 125 Sport. This car started a grand tradition of winning for Ferrari. Since it’s first race in 1947, Ferrari’s have had over 5,000 successes on race tracks around the globe. In 1960 the business was turned into a joint stock company in which Fiat became a 50-50 partner in 1969.

Enzo Ferrari died in Modena on August 14 1988. After the death of Enzo Ferrari, Scuderia Ferrari struggled to come to terms with the loss of its founder. The team was dragged down with internal politics marring the performances on the track. Despite a good run with Mansell and Prost the team soon became un-competitive. The turning point for Ferrari was the signing of the current world champion Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn in 1996, since then the team has re-found it’s racing history and are now back at the front of the grid.

The Ferrari Emblem – “The story of the prancing horse is simple and fascinating. The horse was painted on the fuselage of the fighter plane flown by Francesco Baracca, a heroic Italian pilot who died on Mount Montello: the Italian ace of aces of the First World War. In 1923, when I won the first Savio circuit, which was run in Ravenna, I met Count Enrico Baracca, the pilot’s father, and subsequently his mother, Countess Paolina. One day she said to me, “Ferrari, why don’t you put my son’s prancing horse on your cars; it would bring you luck.” I still have Baracca’s photograph with the dedication by his parents, in which they entrusted the emblem to me. The horse was black and has remained so; I added the canary yellow background because it is the colour of Modena.” ~ Enzo Ferrari