Ferrari Brand History: Here’s How the ‘Epitome of Supercars’ Came into Existence

Ferrari Brand History

In our series of looking back into histories of some of the most successful brand names in the automobile industry who are still leading the charge, next in line is Ferrari. No one needs an introduction to Ferrari’s sports cars for which they are rightfully famed across the globe. Let’s go back in time and see how Ferrari came to be what it is today.

History of Evolution of Ferrari

Ferrari was launched in 1947 although the actual inception of the company began with Enzo Ferrari, the founder who was born in 1898 in Italy. He was initially a race car driver and then began Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 with headquarters in Modena. The Scuderia Ferrari remains Ferrari’s official race division to date.

Enzo raced for the last time in the Circuito Tre Province in 1929 where he finished second. Post the end of his racing career, Enzo continued building cars for Alfa till 1939. He left his position as the Head of Alfa Corse and started Auto Avio Costruzioni in the September of 1939.  And

With the new company, Enzo launched his first car, the 815, a spider powered by a 1500 cc 8-cylinder engine. With World War II, motor car racing was paused temporarily.

The company was not renamed Auto Costruzioni Ferrari until 1957. Their first car to be launched named Ferrari is the 125 S. Their fame grew with the successes in Formula 1. In 1960, Enzo made Ferrari a Limited Company, following which Fiat bought 50% shares of Ferrari in 1969.

In 1973, Ferrari started manufacturing cars with rear-mounted V8 engines for the first time. They proved to be a huge commercial success after which more models like the 308 GTB, the 308 GT4 and the GTS gained more popularity. The racing division wasn’t being idle either. They won the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World titles multiple times.

The 80s and 90s were probably the lowest times in Ferrari’s timeline. Enzo Ferrari passed away in 1988. Fiat bought more shares owning up to 90% and the rest with Pierre Ferrari, Enzo’s son. They won two Formula 1 Constructors’ titles in 1982 and 1983. They also introduced more popular models like the 288 GTO and the Testarossa in 1984, the F40 in 1987, F50 in 1995.

The next new decade, however, brought back Ferrari to the top. They had wins in three 12 Hours of Sebring and one 24 Hours of Daytona. In the 8 years between 2000 and 2008, Scuderia bagged a total of 13 World Titles that included 6 Drivers’ and 7 Constructors’ titles. In 2002, the first Ferrari Store in Maranello was opened followed by 30 retail stores all over the world.

From 2010, Ferrari began aggressively expanding and marking their place in the global markets. This included the Middle East, China, Japan, the rest of the Far East, US, UK and German markets.

In 2015, FCA sold 10% of its shares to the public. In the October of the same year, Ferrari brought an IPO and was publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2016, Ferrari became an independent company.


The black prancing stallion on a yellow background was inspired by Count Francesco Baracca, a war hero and an Italian air force pilot in World War I. He had a red horse painted on the side of his plane which was changed to black for use on Ferrari’s cars.

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