When a legend can be explained it ceases to be a legend, it then becomes either history or just a forgotten story.
The legend of Ferrari, the man and the cars that bear his name cannot be explained. Even the famous Ferrari symbol of the black prancing horse on a yellow shield is part of the mystery. The prancing horse was originally the squadron symbol of a famous World War 1 fighter ace, Francessco Baracca, he shot down 35 enemy aircraft before being killed in an aerial battle in 1918. Ferrari has said Baracca’s father gave the insignia to Ferrari following him winning a race at Savio in 1923 because of his courage and talent on the race track.
The red, so typical of Ferrari was the colour assigned to Italian cars competing in the Grand Prix races by the International Automobile Federation in the early part of the century. When Ferrari started building cars, his interest was mainly racing cars. If Ferrari had his own way there may never have been a customer Ferrari, let alone one for the road, it was only because of the commercial reality that without the customers he couldn’t afford to go racing. Despite not always being successful Ferrari has never been off the Grand Prix scene, always powered by engines designed in house ad not bought off shelves like many other constructors. Ferrari is one of the best known and most important trademarks in the world, from the earliest races to the latest 200mph supercars, since 1940 Ferrari has always been synonymous with very fast and very beautiful cars.
Over the years few manufactures have been held in such high regard both in the motor industry and on the racetrack. Within the motor racing circles, Ferrari is considered the most glamorous and secretive name around. Behind the romantic mystique of Ferrari lies sheer raw power. Formula one is a bleeding ground for power and Ferrari is the master. Many of the lessons learnt on the racetrack are applied in the factory to make their road cars the ultimate in performance and handling.
To quote Formula One supreme, Bernie Ecclestone; “Ferrari is motor racing. It is the representation of everything motor racing stands for – speed, glamour, style and excitement.”