What is it about supercars that draws us to them like moths to a flame? When we were kids, we stared at posters or flipped through magazine spreads of the latest models. No, not those kinds of models but the ones with names like Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit, Nissan GT-R and Ferrari Testarossa. If you were into these rare and high-priced beauties you learned what each manufacturer’s trademark design features were. You could pick a certain company’s V10 or V12 engine out of a lineup based solely on sound and you knew the strengths and weaknesses of all the top brands. Whatever your ties to the world of the supercar, it is almost certainly a mixture of nostalgia, exclusivity, power, speed and beauty that keeps pulling us back in for more.
In the world of motorsport there are few makers or names more widely known than that of Ferrari. The Italian supercar company has been producing performance cars for nearly 60 years. While many associate Scuderia Ferrari with today’s Formula One competition, the racing garage has been around since the 1920s, developing its reputation years before the first Ferrari vehicle exited the factory. The company’s founder, Enzo Ferrari, initially based his fledging team in Modena Italy before relocating down the road to Maranello where it remains to this day. Today, as it always has, Ferrari remains a symbol of competition, status and speed. It’s nearly impossible not to take notice of one as it speeds by on the streets. If you don’t actually see it, then the Ferrari’s engine usually announces its presence to all who are within earshot. Despite the popularity of the brand, there are some interesting facts about this legendary maker which are unknown to all but the most involved enthusiasts.
15. A Big Thanks to Alfa Romeo
In 1929, Enzo Ferrari established Scuderia Ferrari, a racing team which used predominantly Alfa Romeo cars. In 1933, Alfa Romeo experienced a financial crunch and pulled its own racing team from competition, handing the duties over to Enzo and his racing garage. In 1938, the company decided to resume racing with its own team Alfa Corse and absorbed Enzo’s Scuderia Ferrari. This didn’t go over well and Enzo parted ways with the company in 1939 to start building his own cars. It turned out to be a great move. After the Second World War, he raided Alfa Romeo and hired several of his former co-workers to restart Scuderia Ferrari.
14. The Prancing Horse
In the world of supercars you have to have a good logo. Ok, you don’t really have to have a good logo, but having one can help you stand out from the pack. In Ferrari’s case, the company uses the distinctive black prancing horse on a yellow background. The logo has appeared on various automobiles since the 1932 Spa 24 hours race but where did it come from? Enzo Ferrari was originally presented the logo by the parents of First World War fighter pilot Francesco Baracca. Baracca flew until his death in 1918 and had the logo painted on the side of his plane. While there are a variety of theories about where Baracca came up with the prancing horse design, Enzo gratefully accepted the image and applied the famous yellow background as a nod to his birthplace, Modena Italy.
13. Why Ferraris Are Red
Have you ever noticed that certain car manufacturers have an iconic or traditional color they are associated with? Jaguar has green, Mercedes has silver and Ferrari has red. There is a reason for all of this. Back in the early 20th century national racing teams each had a color to set them apart from the rest of the field. The British had green, the French drove in blue and the Germans drove in silver – although there is the story they started out using white. Initially, Italy was represented by the rosso scuderia-clad Alfa Romeos. Over time, as Ferrari rose to prominence, this color became strongly associated with the company. Today, while there are Ferraris made in all sorts of colors, the iconic red remains the dominant choice for most people.