The story of Ferrari – Part I

By BankBazaar.com | April 7, 2011

“Patience, my dear friend. The story of the man is the story of the brand. It was, as you pointed out, in the year 1929 that the Scuderia Ferrari, which literally means the Ferrari stable, was founded in Modena. Its main purpose was allowing owner drivers to race. Of course, under Ferrari, it could not stop at just that and went on to become the technical racing outpost of Alfa. In fact in 1933, it took over as the racing department of Alfa.”

The Prancing Horse & The Racing Red

Seventeen year old Rahul was busy at his computer surfing the net for details about the latest Ferrari release, the 458 Italia. His room was filled with automobile memorabilia, posters, models and the like with a Ferrari 250 GTO taking pride of place at the centre of the display. He talked to himself as he surfed

“Man, what a car. Seriously, this car is totally iced.”

“I agree with you.” Rahul’s head snapped up as he looked around his room for the source of the unidentified sound.

“Up here. On your shelf”. Rahul looked up and it was all he could do to stop his jaw from falling open to his toes. There was a tiny horse on his shelf and it seemed to be speaking to him! Rahul shook his head, rubbed his eyes, told himself that he was spending too much time surfing and not enough time sleeping, and then slowly opened his eyes. The horse was still there.

“Oh my God! You are a tiny horse and you are talking”

“I am not any horse. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Cavallino Rampante or Prancing Horse. You should know me. I have been Ferrari’s logo for the past, oh, so many years. As to me being a talking horse, yes it’s true. Now get over it. I am here because I consider you to be a true fan and therefore feel that you must know something about the history of this brand.”

Rahul could only gape.

“Now you can close your mouth, doesn’t suit you!.”

“You speak funny”

“If by that, you mean that my English has an accent, well then here is news for you, Hello, I am Italian and well, I am a horse, my vocal cords aren’t exactly meant for talking now, are they?”

“No, I guess not.”

“Now, if you have finished with the disbelief and the rude remarks, can we please move on to the subject at hand?”

“Yeah, sure, great, whatever.”

“Hmm, your enthusiasm is overwhelming. The reason I am here is because too few of your generation care about anything other than the latest car and its specifications. You youngsters, you know nothing and yet believe that you know everything. To truly understand a car, you have to know its history. So, I am here to tell you the story of Ferrari.”

“First of all, who is being rude now? Secondly, I know some stuff about Ferrari. I know that Ferrari began in the year 1929 and that it was started by Enzo Ferrari”

“Hmmm. I am not saying you are wrong. It’s just that I have been a bit more intimately associated with the brand and hence know details which you couldn’t possibly be expected to know.” The horse sounds apologetic, Rahul thought!

“I would say that the true beginning of Ferrari was in the year 1908, when a young boy of ten named Enzo Anselmo Ferrari was taken by his father to see a car race in Bologna. Young Enzo was completely enthralled and I have always felt that Scuderia Ferrari was born in his mind that day.”

“Hey, that’s cool. Knowing what you wanna do, even as a kid, that’s awesome. I mean I am 17 and I still don’t know what I want.”

“Funny. I have always felt that you know exactly what you want to do but that is a topic for another day. Moving on, did you know that Enzo tried to get a job with FIAT in 1918 and was turned down?”

“OMG. What, were they dumb? I mean like, seriously, how could they not know?”

The horse smiled before continuing, “In 1919, he managed to get a job as a test driver in a company in Milan. His racing saw mixed fortunes and in the year 1920, he finished second in a race called Targa Floria, driving an Alfa Romeo car. Thus began his 20 year association with Alfa that was to see him doing everything from test driving to dealing before being finally appointed Head of Alfa Corse, the racing division of Alfa.”

“Ok, right. Now tell me about Ferrari, the brand.”

“Patience, my dear friend. The story of the man is the story of the brand. It was, as you pointed out, in the year 1929 that the Scuderia Ferrari, which literally means the Ferrari stable, was founded in Modena. Its main purpose was allowing owner drivers to race. Of course, under Ferrari, it could not stop at just that and went on to become the technical racing outpost of Alfa. In fact in 1933, it took over as the racing department of Alfa.”

“The Scuderia was wound up at the end of 1937 and in the beginning of 1938, Enzo took up his new position as the head of the racing department at Alfa. However, that was not to last long as he left Alfa the following year.”

“But why? Seems like he had a good job.”

“Yes, seems that way. However speculation is that Ferrari found out about plans by Alfa to take over his beloved Scuderia. Perhaps, this was what motivated him to leave Alfa? One can only guess. But this much is fact; Enzo did leave Alfa in 1939 under the condition that he would not use the name Ferrari in association with races or racing cars for a period of four years. From this moment on, one could say it become an obsession with Enzo to defeat Alfa in one of his own cars. And it is really this year that saw the birth of the Ferrari that we see today and I think that is enough history for you today.”

“What? No! You are just getting to the best part!”

“Well yes, but its morning and I can hear your mom coming this way to wake you up. Don’t worry, I will see you tonight. Good day.”

As Rahul watched in fascinated silence, the horse went back to being an emblem in his 250 GTO. He couldn’t wait for it be night. ( Continued at The Story of Ferrari – Part 2 )

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One thought on “The story of Ferrari – Part I

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