Ferrari – the most famous supercar brand in the world today is always the top name when it comes to sports cars with attractive designs and outstanding performance. Ferrari’s history is associated with racing and a series of successes in Formula 1 make this car company the pride of Italians.

The origins of the Ferrari car company began with founder Enzo Ferrari, after a long time participating in sports car racing events under the Alfa Romeo racing team, gradually withdrew and turned to business management. In 1929, he founded a group of racing drivers called Scuderia Ferrari, mainly using Alfa Romeo 8C cars and based in Modena. In Italian, “scuderia” means “racing stable” and can therefore also be understood as “racing team”. At this time, Scuderia Ferrari’s members include both professional and amateur racers and compete with more passion than money.

Young photo of Enzo Ferrari

The early stages of Enzo Ferrari’s career were associated with Alfa Romeo

However, the Scuderia Ferrari team achieved many impressive achievements in races, gradually became famous and was publicly and enthusiastically supported by Alfa Romeo. By 1933, due to financial difficulties, Alfa Romeo decided to eliminate the existing racing team and replaced Scuderia Ferrari as the official racing team representing the company, using the famous Alfa Romeo P3 cars. contemporary crowd as well as being added to the lineup of some of the toughest riders. The Prancing Horse logo also appeared from this period, arranged on racing car engine covers.

A Scuderia Ferrari driver competing in an Alfa Romeo 8C

Scuderia Ferrari headquarters in Modena in the 1930s

In 1935, Enzo Ferrari’s workshop was mainly responsible for designing and assembling the Alfa Romeo Bimotore car, thereby laying the first foundation on the path to becoming a car manufacturer in the future. In 1937, another Alfa Romeo model, the Alfetta 158, was also assembled in Modena under Enzo’s supervision.

In 1938, Alfa Romeo re-established their own sports car racing team called Alfa Corse, headquartered in Milan and brought Enzo Ferrari to the position of team manager, while disbanding the Scuderia Ferrari group. In 1939, Enzo Ferrari officially left Alfa Romeo, returned to Modena and established a new company called Auto Avio Costruzioni, specializing in manufacturing machinery, equipment and components for aircraft. In 1940, Ferrari’s company successfully produced the first car called Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, a racing car based on the Fiat 508C platform.

Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 – the first car designed by Enzo Ferrari himself

Then, due to the impact of World War II, the company’s factory was heavily damaged and did not resume operations until after 1945, after moving to Maranello in 1943. During the “temporary break” period In this year, Enzo Ferrari intended to create a completely new car, using a V12 engine.

At the end of 1946, Enzo Ferrari officially announced technical drawings and detailed specifications of the first racing car project bearing the Ferrari brand. The car was completed in 1947, named 125 S and powered by a 1.5L V12 engine. Ferrari’s company produced two cars and entered them into the first official race in Piacenza in May 1947.

Ferrari 125 S in a race​

In 1950, in the first time the Formula 1 (F1) World Racing Championship was held, Ferrari decided to let its racing team participate starting from the second race in Monaco. The Ferrari team won the first F1 Grand Prix championship in 1951, then in 1952 the first driver to win the world championship was Alberto Ascari.

In 1957, Ferrari’s company changed its name to Auto Costruzioni Ferrari. That same year, a spin-off product line called Dino was born, named after founder Enzo’s son. Unlike Ferrari brand cars that use V12 engines, Dino cars are equipped with V6 engines, have a smaller design and are cheaper, somewhat more accessible to newcomers. The Dino line remained until 1976, when it was merged back into the Ferrari portfolio.

Enzo Ferrari (second from right) with his son Dino (far left) and his colleagues are researching the engine.

This was also the period when Enzo faced many losses. Champion Alberto Ascari, also a close friend of Enzo, left Ferrari because of money conflicts in 1954 and died in 1955 during a test session at Monza. The son Dino passed away in 1956 due to illness when he was only 24 years old. The deaths of a series of Ferrari F1 drivers also seriously affected the company’s operations, such as the 1957 Mille Miglia disaster that killed driver Alfonso de Portago, his assistant driver, and 9 spectators; Then in 1958 came the accidents of Luigi Musso at Reims and Peter Collins at the Nurburgring.

Incidents related to racing safety have caused Ferrari to be criticized for placing too much emphasis on performance and not caring about the racers. Mr. Enzo was even accused of murder, facing a wave of fierce protests and unprecedented legal pressure, in stark contrast to his previous successful times.

Alfonso de Portago (black shirt) and Peter Collins (far right) are both talented but unfortunate drivers of the Ferrari racing team.

Disoriented, Enzo gradually retreated backstage and let his wife Laura take over most of the company’s operations. Laura herself was previously known for having a strong personality, as demanding, perfectionist and uncompromising as her husband, and the pain of losing her child made her even more mentally unstable. Unreasonable anger was constantly vented on Ferrari’s staff, the working environment became more and more stuffy and sales dropped dramatically.

Faced with the dire situation, key members of Ferrari’s board of directors such as chief engineer Carlo Chiti, sports car director Giotto Bizzarini, sales director Girolamo Gardini or Scuderia Ferrari director Romolo Tavoni… all sent messages. A letter of protest to Enzo, demanding that Laura be removed from her leadership position. A meeting was held and after only 45 minutes, Enzo decided to fire everyone, even though they were the most important employees and could be considered the “soul” of the company.

Enzo Ferrari and his wife Laura

Ferrari factory in the 1960s​

This event, which took place in 1961, was later dubbed “The Great Walkout” and seemed to be the end of Ferrari. At that time, rivals Jaguar, Lotus or Shelby were getting stronger day by day, and the 250 GTO car project, which had high expectations, was interrupted because of the absence of Tavoni and a team of familiar engineers.

Luckily, other talents appeared in time. Young engineers Mauro Forghieri and Sergio Scaglietti contributed to completing the 250 GTO, helping the car achieve unimaginable success in countless races in 1962. Both Forghieri and Scaglietti have since become Ferrari’s new pillars. creating the foundation for the birth of the P-Series line based on the mid-engine Dino and many other impressive cars.

The 250 GTO became the most famous car in Ferrari history

The years 1963 – 1967 saw Ford emerge to compete directly with Ferrari and even surpass it with the Ford GT40 winning an absolute victory at the 24-hour Le Mans tournament in 1966. Before that, the American car company also tried bought Ferrari but in the end this deal went nowhere. This event was made into the movie Ford v Ferrari (2019) by Hollywood.

A scene from the movie Ford v Ferrari, the movie is considered to be quite close to reality

After being completely absent from sports car racing in 1968 to protest the FIA’s unreasonable new regulations, the Scuderia Ferrari racing team returned in 1969 and immediately faced the powerful Porsches. Extremely impressive performance, from the 908 with a 3-liter engine to the 917 with a 5-liter engine. 1969 also marked the time when Fiat acquired 50% of Ferrari’s shares and became the main shareholder, thereby significantly increasing capital for the production, research and development of new cars.

In 1973, after gradually losing its dominance in sports car racing, Ferrari decided to cut it all off and focus only on Formula 1. No longer having to spread out too much, Ferrari became a force on the racetrack. F1 for more than a decade, with 3 world championships by Niki Lauda (1975, 1977) and Jody Scheckter (1979). However, this period also had low notes when racing driver Gilles Villeneuve died in Belgium and Didier Pironi almost lost his life in Germany, both in 1982.

Famous racer Niki Lauda and Ferrari reached glory

In 1988, founder Enzo Ferrari passed away at the age of 90, all 40% of his company’s shares were bought by Fiat, and the company’s long-time director, Luca di Montezemolo, took over as Chairman. in 1991. The company’s board of directors continued to invest in Formula 1 racing, bringing in Jean Todt as sports director in 1993 and recruiting driver Michael Schumacher in 1996. Since then, Schumacher has helped Ferrari dominate. F1 race track for a long time.

The most successful period in Ferrari’s modern era in F1 racing is associated with Michael Schumacher

In 2015, Ferrari IPO’d on the New York Stock Exchange with a value of nearly 10 billion USD. Two years later, the company’s value doubled, to $21 billion. Now Ferrari is one of the most valuable and popular car brands in the world, as their Prancing Horse symbol represents glamor, money and the high life.

In 2022, Ferrari celebrates 75 years of operation with a leading position in the world of sports cars and supercars. The future of this brand still holds many interesting things when they will soon launch the first high-clearance car called Purosangue, promising to continue to shock the world.​

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