Ferrari is an Italian automotive production company specializing originally
in race car production and later producing some of the most amazing
high-performance sports cars known to us today. In 1929 Enzo
Ferrari established sponsorships with professional racecar
drivers, and started manufacturing racecars as well. He formed a company
he called Scuderia Ferrari. After producing a decent ammount
of successful racecars Scuderia Ferrari went into car production
independantly in 1946 and eventually became Ferrari.
Today Ferrari is owned by the son of Enzo, Piero Ferrari
in conjunction with the Fiat company. Their company is located
in Maranello, Italy which is coincidentally right next to Modena, Italy
which many car enthusiests will know to be the model name of one of
their performance cars currently in production.
Scuderia Ferrari equipped it's drivers with Alfa Romeo cars
and successfully raced it's well prepared drivers until 1938 when Enzo
was officially hired by Alfa as the manager of their racing department.
Enzo never had any intention whatsoever in producing street-legal sports
cars but one event led to another and in 1947 Ferrari produced it's
first road car. While working for Alfa, it became apparent to Enzo that
their company planned to steal all his hard work and take control of
Scuderia's racing efforts. So he quit, and since he was still prohibited
by a contract he signed from racing for several years Scuderia became
Auto Avio Costuzioni Ferrari. His "new" company produced
aircraft accessories and machine tools. They also produced a single
racecar, the Tipo 815 becoming the first actual Ferrari car.
This was during WWII and there was no competition so in 1943 the Ferrari
factory packed up and moved to Maranello, where it still remains today.
In 1944 it was bombed and in 1946 it was rebuilt to accomadate the production
of street legal road cars.
In 1947 Ferrari produced it's first road car, the 125 S. It was powered
by a 1.5 litre V-12 engine and the cars quickly gained a reputation
of excellence. Enzo acquired a famous distate for his customers because
he felt that most of them were buying his cars for their beauty and
prestige rather than for their performance.
"Scuderia Ferrari" actually translates to "Ferrari Stable",
hence the horse emblem.
The typical Ferrari has a mid-engine configuration that is a small V-8
or V-12, and until the 1980's upon the introduction of fuel injection
they were actually an arguably unreliable car. Their noted unreliability
had been written off by enthusiasts as "character" and they
never had any trouble selling a vehicle. Todays Ferrari's(F40, F50,
360 Modena, etc.) are not only extremely reliable, but they remain some
of the highest performing exotic sports cars in existance.