Mention “Ferrari” and images of hot cars and Formula 1 will immediately come to mind. Ferrari, one of the most successful sports car manufacturers in the world, has enjoyed tremendous success over the years. But before it became a household name in the motoring industry, it had to pass dirt roads speckled with obstacles along the way. Here’s a short look at Ferrari’s race to success…
- After the World War II, the first Ferrari car was unveiled: the V12. Though its fuel pump broke in its first race with Franco Cortese behind the wheel, it made a remarkable comeback in a race two weeks after, coveting Ferrari’s first win. More racing cars were dished out by Ferrari, including Touring Barchetta and Spider Corsa. Winning the race became a requirement then for Ferrari cars.
- Ferrari’s 166 Barchetta driven by Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon won the most important race in 1949, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, catapulting Ferrari into even greater fame.
- 1950s: Enzo Ferrari, the man behind the company’s success, aspired to beat Ferrari’s greatest rival, Alfa Romeo, and successfully did so with “a naturally-aspirated 4.5L V12.” Ferrari cars for public roads were produced.
- 1960s: More victory for Ferrari at Le Mans, and production of more cutting-edge cars including 250 GTO, Ferrari 365, and Daytona. “Dramatic show cars” were born, with concept cars 365 P and Dino Competizione. Ferrari attempted to compete at the Cam-An series but failed twice, losing to its rival Porsche 908 in the second race.
- 1970s: More production cars followed, but Ferrari was faced with a new challenge: a requirement of 90% reduction in emissions. Thus, Dino 246 GT and GTS (convertible) were made. 400 GT came out in 1976—the first automatic Ferrari car. 512 S-Based Modulo was launched, wowing the world with its “extra-terrestrial” look.
- 1980s: Several changes were made to the Ferrari cars, which resulted in the birth of Ferrari icons: 288 GTO and F40. Pinin had its debut as Ferrari’s first four-door sedan, while TestaRossa became a Ferrari favourite and bestseller. Enzo Ferrari died, leaving people wondering what lay ahead for Ferrari in the 1990s.
- 1990s: The golden decade; The Montezemolo Era. Luca Di Montezemolo revived the company in 1991, making changes to the TestaRossa. 348 Spider was introduced in 1993, and was replaced with the “first real ‘Montezemolo’ car,” F355 Berlinetta. The amazing F50 marked Ferrari’s anniversary, showcasing raucous Formula 1 technology and 525 horsepower.
- 2000s: Ferrari skyrocketed to more fame with Michael Schumacher dominating F1 races. Although he resigned in 2006, Ferrari continues to enjoy its kingship in the motoring industry today with its unrivalled cars, including Ferrari Enzo; F430, “one of the most all-around best Ferraris available”; and 599 GTB Fiorano.