Writing about Ferrari is no easy task, as the company that has been voted the most influential brand in the world is full of superlatives with one of the richest history you can think about.
Of course, everything started with the man himself, Enzo Ferrari, who in 1947, decided to create his own manufacture after having been at the head of his Scuderia, born in 1929. The Scuderia became the official racing team of Alfa Romeo from 1933 to 1939, an era marked by strong technical innovations and resounding racing successes.
The Scuderia already carried two key elements of the Ferrari identity, the prancing horse as a tribute to the emblem of an Italian pilot who died in the WW1 and a workshop based in Modena, Enzo Ferrari’s hometown. The move to Maranello, not far from Modena, only took place in 1943 after the bombing of the company’s workshops.
The first Ferrari in history, the 125S, was actually designed during WW2. Born with reliability problems, the car eventually won the Rome Grand Prix in 1951, marking the beginning of a unique saga admired all over the world.
The Ferrari story is above all one of unparalleled ambition from the very beginning. As soon as he launched his brand, Enzo Ferrari wanted to conquer three championships simultaneously: that of single-seater Grand Prix cars, that of sports cars and finally that of Grand Touring cars! The cars lined up in these championships had in common the architecture of their engine, the small displacement 60° V-twin designed by Gioacchino Colombo in 1946. This very compact unit, which allowed a low block height, was built in light alloy with a very favourable power-to-weight ratio. This block was to become the reference V12 at Ferrari for many years, with numerous victories to its credit.
To achieve such an ambition, Enzo Ferrari understood that he also had to sell his cars, an operation that first consisted in transforming his racing cars into grand touring cars. The latter were not to be placed in every hand, and soon gentlemen drivers were taking some of these civilian cars to the top of prestigious races.
The 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Touring in our collection is one such car. Also equipped with the Colombo V12 with its elegant and thin body made with a layer of aluminium, it is less powerful and faster than the Export versions with only one carburettor instead of three and a longer wheelbase to guarantee more room. Nevertheless, we are in a brutal racing car rather than a refined grand tourer.
It was common at the time for coachbuilders to dress the cars delivered to them as bare chassis and from the beginning Ferrari seduced the greatest: Touring of course who inaugurated with Ferrari the “Barchetta “ concept, Vignale who designed many 166 and 212, Zagato but also Pinin Farina who ended up being the official Ferrari designer, in collaboration with Scaglietti who was in charge of assembling these bodies. The list of masterpieces is long.
The Ferrari 250 series alone is a parade of stylistic masterpieces and victories, all powered by the Colombo V12, which underwent multiple evolutions, until the ultimate myth, the Ferrari 250 GTO, of which 39 were produced.
The 1970s and 1980s were marked by international expansion and the transition from a still almost artisanal era to an industrial one with cars like the Dino 246, such as our very beautiful example in “verde pino” colour and with the Targa bodywork known as GTS.
The 1980s also saw the birth of the first true supercar in 1984, the rare and demonic 288 GTO, which foreshadowed another absolute myth, the F40, the last Ferrari launched during Enzo Ferrari’s lifetime, unveiled in 1994 for the brand’s 40th anniversary. The F40 was immediately praised for its exuberant styling, radical racing atmosphere, ground breaking technological innovations and breath taking performance. We were very proud to have a Ferrari F40 in our collection, a form of achievement between the 212 born five years after Ferrari’s debut and the one that pays tribute to history.
Ferrari is no longer a car manufacturer; it is a myth, a cult for all Tifosi. Such success is well deserved as it celebrates 40 years of success in all fields: racing, engineering, design industrial, financial…
We will unveil other cars of our collection that wear the prancing horse badge pretty soon.