70 Years of the Prancing Horse
70 years have passed since Enzo Ferrari decided to go it alone, and since then the Ferrari name and Prancing Horse emblem have never looked back. Heritage Classic Car Insurance takes a brief look at Ferrari on its 70th Anniversary.
It was the 12th of March 1947 when Enzo Ferrari fired up the first car to bear his name. The Ferrari badged 125 S was prepared and two months later this rolling tubular chassis with its magic ingredient, the 12 cylinder engine was ready to make its racing debut at Piacenza. The new Ferrari was in first place when fuel pump problems meant retirement for its debut outing or as Enzo himself put it ‘a promising failure.’
Round two came just nine days later with the Ferrari 125 S sealing victory at the Rome Grand Prix. This was the first of six victories for the Ferrari 125 S in its first year of racing. This saw the start of Ferrari’s success and a legacy that continues today.
Enzo Ferrari’s intention was to fund his racing team by making road cars and selling them to the public. However new car development and increasingly demanding safety and emission requirements meant that the road car division could no longer financially support Ferrari’s race team. Having produced and marketed cars like the Ferrari 250 and the Dino through the late fifties to the late sixties it was now time for Ferrari to seek some much needed financial backing.
The Seventies saw a new era for Ferrari
1971 enter Fiat who took over the road car division leaving Enzo Ferrari to look after his all important race team. A series of powerful V8’s sailed through the seventies and eighties including iconic models such as the Ferrari 308, 288 GTO not forgetting the flat 12 Testarossa. By the way Ferrari had now adopted the mid engine stance thanks to Lamborghinis Miura.
The Ferrari 328 took over where the 308 left off through the eighties with performance, stability and aerodynamic improvements until 1987. Ferrari now celebrating their 40th Anniversary launched the Ferrari F40. Quicker and lighter than the 288 GTO the F40 carried an extra 78 bhp from its larger twin turbo engine. With a totally stripped out interior it was 60 kg lighter than the GTO model. The F40 was an instant success and sold three times as many as originally intended. The Ferrari F50 arrived in 1995 with a V12 engine derived from a Ferrari F1 car. Never quite as successful as its predecessor the F50 was less of a monster than the F40. Although it was still built like a racing machine but in the guise of a luxury sports car.
70 years of the Prancing Horse and the more modern Ferraris still set the pace of iconic racers with technology advancement very much at the forefront of the cars dynamics. Although V8’s and V12’s are still at the heart of the Ferrari name. Here’s to another 70 years of the Prancing Horse.