The name Ferrari brings to mind powerful vehicles, Italian influences, and the iconic color the brand is known for, rosso corsa. However, Ferrari wasn’t always the powerhouse it is today. The company has a long and colorful history, and to fully examine its origins, we should look back to the birth of its founder, Enzo Ferrari.
Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 in Modena, Italy. At a young age, Enzo witnessed Felice Nazzaro win the 1908 Circuito di Bologna, and instantly became fascinated with the racing world. Although he had big dreams of driving incredible vehicles, Enzo was forced to put those visions on hold as World War I came to a head. During the conflict, Enzo enlisted and served in the Italian Army. Over the course of his service, Enzo became familiar with the celebrated war pilot Frances Baracca. The decorated Italian pilot used the prancing horse symbol on his planes, and the emblem would later become the logo for all of Ferrari’s vehicles.
During the 1920s, Enzo joined Alfa Romeo Automobiles as a racecar driver, and went on to win numerous races while representing the brand. As he worked his way through more competitive racing circles, those around him began to take notice. In five years’ time, he was able to build a prestigious racing team that featured more than 40 drivers; the group was called Scuderia Ferrari and served as a prized division of Alfa Romeo. Shortly after the formation of Scuderia Ferrari, Enzo was made head of Alfa Corse, but he still had a higher calling. In 1939, Enzo left Alfa Corse to form his own company, Auto Avio Costruzioni.
Running a new business slowed down Ferrari’s racing career, as Enzo’s focus shifted to producing vehicles fit for the track, as well as for consumers. Auto Avio Costruzioni produced immaculate 1,500 cm³ 8-cylinder 815 spider vehicles that were novel at the time. Creating top-notch racing level cars was going well, until World War 2 broke out; forcing Auto Avio Costruzioni to move its operations from Modena to Maranello in 1943 after the factory was bombed. During the conflict, Ferrari’s company was ordered to produce vehicles for Mussolini’s fascist government, which vastly slowed down Ferrari production efforts. Once the war ended, Ferrari decided it was time to rebrand the company and realign their vision.
Ferrari S.p.A. was founded in 1947, with Ferrari and his team creating cars fit to race Alfa Romeo’s fleet. In 1949, Ferrari achieved its first major racing victory, with driver Luigi Chinetti taking home first place at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The following year, Ferrari competed at the Formula 1 World Championship, and today, Ferrari is the only team to have consistently competed at the event and boasts numerous championships under their belt. Success kept smiling down upon Ferrari racing vehicles, and in 1951 the team took home first prize at the Grand Prix. Ferrari vehicles continued dominating racing events during the 1950s, and Enzo eventually decided that creating and selling sports cars was the best way to finance his racing endeavors.
During this time, the Ferrari Dino was launched and became one of the brand’s all-time most popular models. Debuted in 1966, the Dino was an early attempt at offering a low-cost sports car that would appeal to the masses. The model was named for Enzo’s son, Dino.
The brand had already developed a cult-like following due to their inclusion in events like the Mille Miglia and Le Mans, and their reputation continued to grow throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. In 1969, Enzo Ferrari sold half of the company to Fiat Group, in an attempt to gain additional capital to meet growing consumer demand. By 1988, shortly after Enzo Ferrari died at the age of 90, Fiat Group owned a total of 90% of the company’s shares.
The company fell under new leadership in 1991 when Luca di Montezemolo took over as chairman. Luca di Montezemolo served as head of the company until 2014, when he was replaced by Sergio Marchionne, who serves as Ferrari’s CEO to this day.
Although Enzo Ferrari has passed, his legacy remains. Ferraris are still regarded as some of the most iconic racing vehicles in the world, but today, they also serve as luxury sports cars. Offering the peak of exclusivity and power, Ferrari vehicles are the perfect way to tour Southern California. Whether you need a car for an afternoon or several weeks, there’s a Ferrari available for you at Falcon Car Rental.
Modern Ferrari models have remained true to their racing roots, with vehicles that are packed with the best engines in the industry and aerodynamic designs best suited for top speeds. There are three Ferrari models available at Falcon Car Rental, the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Ferrari 488 Spider, and the Ferrari California T. Each vehicle promises thrilling performance and optimal aesthetics. Reserve your preferred Ferrari today, or browse the extensive inventory of additional luxury vehicles that Falcon Car Rental offers.