Ferrari Cars: The Story
The Ferrari Automobile Company is a manufacturing company based in Maranello, Italy. The company was founded in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari, and was originally known as Scuderia Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari first manufactured race cars, but eventually began producing street-legal cars starting in 1947. Ferrari S.p.A. is currently one of the most successful sports car manufacturers in the world.
The first road car by Ferrari was the 125 Sport. Throughout the 1950s, Enzo Ferrari’s fast cars developed a reputation for excellence. Enzo Ferrari felt that many of his customers bought his vehicles for prestige instead of performance, causing him to develop quite a distaste for Ferrari customers.
In November 1961, long-time Ferrari sales manager Girolamo Gardini was let go from the company due to an on-going argument with Enzo Ferrari. Unfortunately, other workers that supported Gardini also left the company at that time. This walkout dealt a big blow to the Ferrari Company during what was already a difficult time. The defectors even formed a new company to compete with Ferrari.
Shortly after this crisis, an new engineer and an experienced racing body man joined the Ferrari Company and finished the GTO, the development of which had been in progress at the time of the split. The GTO went to Sebring and placed first in class. It became one of the most famous sports car ever built.
In the early to mid 1960’s, US rivals such as Ford ended the reign of Ferrari by defeating them in multiple races. In 1968, the FIA banned vehicle prototypes over 3000cc, which affected the Ferrari 330P. Ferrari boycotted sports car racing in protest. In 1969, Fiat took a 50% stake in the Ferrari Company. Fiat quickly began influencing the development, production, and marketing of Ferrari’s road cars. Also in 1969, the Porsche Company entered the arena of larger sports vehicles and became a formidable adversary for the Ferrari Company. In 1970, Porsche won all but one of the important races.
Ferrari company founder Enzo Ferrari passed away in 1988, and the Ferrari brand quickly became a legend. The value of all Ferrari vehicles, both used and new, rose dramatically. In 2002, Enzo, the fastest model to date, was introduced by Ferrari in honor of its founder. The cost of each Enzo model was $1.8 million. In 2009, a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was sold for a record setting $12.1 million.
As of 2008, Fiat Group owns an 85% stake in the Ferrari Company. The remainder is owned by the Mubadala Development Company and Piero Ferrari, second son of founder Enzo Ferrari. The 2011 Ferrari models include the FF, Ferrari 599 GTB, 599 GTO, 458 Italia, and Ferrari California. The FF is the fastest four-seater vehicle in the world. The Ferrari 599 GTB is the highest performing 12-cylinder berlinetta ever produced by Ferrari. The Ferrari 458 Italia is the latest version of the mid-rear engined berlinetta, and the Ferrari California is a convertible with a retractable hard-top. A new Ferrari will usually have a six-figure price tag.
Ferrari also currently offers the special series model SA Aperta. Only 80 models of this type will be built in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina, an Italian car design firm in Cambiano, Italy that has been employed by the Ferrari Company for the design of many of their more notable vehicles.