Ferraris are known to be one of the most popular cars in the world. They stand out for their classic red design, speed and overall performance. Ferrari has decades of heritage, traced back to founder Enzo Ferrari, who used to be the director of Alfa Romeo’s racing department, before starting his own company. The manufacturer has become a point of pride for Italy, becoming as iconic as the Venetian canals. There’s a lot of interesting stories surrounding Ferraris, and here are six interesting facts you might not have heard.
1. Ferrari’s logo comes from an Italian fighter plane
Ferrari’s prancing pony logo is distinctive, and it comes from famous Italian pilot, Francesco Baracca. During WW1, he was responsible for leading Italy to victory against Austro-Hungarian air forces. Baracca adopted the Cavallino Rampante rearing horse as his emblem. After Baracca died, his mother presented the symbol to Enzo Ferrari, and it was used as the official logo for Ferrari.
2. The Ferrari factory survived being bombed twice
After Ferrari left Alfa Romeo in 1939, he built a factory in Modena. He moved the factory to Maranello a few years later, but it was at the wrong time. When WW2 started, Ferarri was forced by the Italian fascist system to support the war and retool his machines. This lead to the Allied forces bombing the factory in November 1944 and February 1945.
3. The factory is highly energy efficient
Ferrari has one of the most environmentally stable factories in the world. It has a cogeneration power station that burns natural gas to product electricity and hot water with 79% efficiency. The factory also possesses a large amount of solar panels, making it a very sustainable environment.
4. The Vatican was given an Enzo
The Enzo Ferrari, built in 2002, was an impressive car even by Ferrari standards. It used Formula One technology, like a carbon-fibre body to achieve a new level of acclaim. 400 were made and one of them was donated to the Vatican and Pope John Paul II for charity. It was then sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $1.1 million. The proceeds went towards helping the victims of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.
5. The classic red colour wasn’t the company’s choice
Despite red being the most recognisable colour, Enzo Ferrari didn’t choose it. In the early days of auto racing, red was the colour that the International Automobile Federation gave to all Italian Grand Prix racecars.
6. Ferrari ‘helped’ to create the Lamborghini
Enzo Ferrari had a reputation for being competitive and controversial. A strong example of this was when a tractor maker called Ferruccio Lamborghini drove his car to Ferrari in 1960 to report a problem. Ferrari is quoted as saying “I build sports cars, you build tractors. You should stick to building tractors.” Lamborghini took this as an insult and created his own supercar company.