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Ferrari, the story

More than 15 mythical, sports and luxury cars will recall the fabulous history of the marque boasting the Prancing Horse. The 49 year-old Enzo Ferrari stood over the marque’s cradle. Within a few short years Ferrari was to become a myth. Belgium, after the United States, became the biggest importer, this thanks to the passion of one of Ferrari’s best drivers, Jacques Swaters.

It was in 1947, at Modena, in Italy that the story took off when the first 125 S left the works of the Via Abetone Inferiore. This sports model promptly won a race in Placenza. It was to be the first of a long series of victories. Very soon other sporting models also saw the light of day: the 159 S and the 166 S, Corsa, MM and Sport. The 166 MM Barchetta is the first car produced for the road and marks a turning point in the history of the marque. Some of the most prestigious coachbuilders and designers are brought together to create a number of unique models: Vignale, Ghia, Touring but especially the Pininfarina. This model came to life in 1952 (together with the development of the cabriolet for the Scuderia Georges Filipinetti), and to this day continues to be produced.
The Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder (Pininfarina – Scaglietti) is tipped to be “one of the most beautiful of the Ferrari cars and one of the most awesome convertibles in the history of the automobile”.

The ‘60s are crucial years for the marque. In 1960, not only is the Ferrari 250 GTE the first car of the marque to be produced in series (900 models), but more especially the company becomes a public limited company (SEFAC).

For a period of five years Ford, the American car giant creates difficulties in the racing world. Notwithstanding the success, Ferrari contends with financial difficulties. In 1969, Enzo Ferrari is obliged to sell 50% of his shares to Gianni Agnelli, CEO of the Fiat group. As a result, 1,395 models of the Ferrari Daytona models roll off the line, however due to the unstable political environment this was not the hoped for success story.

Several months after the death of the “Commendatore” in August 1988, the Fiat group becomes the majority shareholder. After five years the marque does not succeed in selling more than 2,289 cars and is given up for dead.

In 2004 Agnelli appoints Luca di Montezemolo (a former assistant of Enzo Ferrari) to head up the company. The latter swiftly ensures a turn around. Notwithstanding the motto to supply handcraft as compared to industrial production changes are brought about in the “Formula Uomo” (Human Formula).

The Prancing Horse

The story remained controversial for a long time. Some even suspected that the story around the horse was kept a mystery in order to continue furthering the legend around Enzo Ferrari. Nonetheless based on documents it was proven that the logo originates from cavalry regiment of Francesco Baracca, an Italian war hero from the First World War and that the logo had been offered to Enzo Ferrari by the war hero’s mother. The “Scudetto” became Ferrari’s logo with the letters S F (for Scuderia Ferrari).