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Ferrari, the ultimate racing symbol

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/18/2006 | Auto and Trucks

Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 as a company to sponsor race car drivers. This passion later translated into the manufacture of sports cars and the first Ferrari rolled out in 1946. After that, there has been no stopping Ferrari, whose cars have raced on every racing circuit across the world.

This is no surprise because Enzo Ferrari was always passionate about racing. He brought the Ferrari team to the European Grand Prix after the World War II. In 1952, Ferrari got its first victory when Jose Froilan Gonzalez won the British Grand Prix.

Today, Ferrari is the oldest and the most successful team in the competition. It has a tremendous success rate in Formula 1 races and holds almost all the world records. The teams domination can be seen from the following figures: 14 World Drivers Championship titles, 14 World Constructors Championship titles, 179 grand prix victories, 544 podium finishes, 174 pole positions, 11,182 laps led, and 180 fastest laps in 1622 grand prix races. Ferraris famous drivers include some big names such as Tazio Nuvolari, Alberto Ascari, Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.

Everything is unique about Ferrari cars. The Ferrari logo with the prancing horse is one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. It also has the letters S F that stand for Scuderia Ferrari, the company that Ferrari formed in 1929, and three stripes in green, white and red that stand for the Italian flag.

The logo idea, according to car enthusiasts, was provided by Ferraris good friend Countess Paolina. She is said to have suggested to Ferrari to use the prancing horse that her pilot son had painted on the sides of his planes during World War I. The Countess evidently felt that the horse would bring luck to Ferraris cars. Ferrari obliged, and made the horse the companys logo with a few modifications.

Even the color red used by Ferrari in his cars has a history. The color initially was the color that other Italian companies like Alfa Romeo or Maserati used on the race circuit. Ferrari also adopted this color since it was identified with Italys racing teams.  But he made some variations in the shade so that the Ferrari red became unique and came to be identified with all Ferrari cars.

Ferrari was fiercely proud of the cars that his company produced. He wanted them to be different, and hired some of the best design houses in Europe to make them. Some of the famous design houses that styled the Ferraris were Pininfarina, Scaglietti, Bertone, Touring, Ghia, and Vignale.

The road cars produced by Ferrari have been equally successful. The 125-S was the first road car from Ferrari. This 1.5 liter, V-12 engine car caught the fancy of car enthusiasts across Europe for its style, performance and speed.

The V6, V8 and V12 are some of the most popular and powerful Ferraris. Ferrari also has the GTS models which are convertibles.

A Ferrari always deserves a special place in every car lovers heart. It may be because of its style, performance, speed or prestige value. Whatever it is, Enzo Ferrari has made a monumental contribution to the automobile world by giving the Ferrari.