FerrariNew Cars > Ferrari
If any nameplate defines supremacy in top-end sports cars, it has to be Ferrari. On the road and on racecourses worldwide, Ferraris have enjoyed a sterling reputation that dates back to the early postwar years.
Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 near Modena, Italy. By the time he reached his teens, he was driving cars; and by 1919, racing them. In 1920, he signed on as an Alfa Romeo test driver. At the end of the Twenties, he founded the Scuderia Ferrari racing team.
During the 1930s, the "prancing horse" emblem first appeared, later to become the symbol of a long series of Ferrari automobiles. By 1940, just as war was erupting, Ferrari's company was renamed Societa Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari.
After World War II, Enzo Ferrari and Enrico Nardi began to build sports/racing automobiles, in a shop at Maranello. Late in 1946, the first car was announced: a Tipo (Type) 125C with a 1.5-liter V-12 engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo.
Production started at a snail's pace: three cars in 1947, nine in 1948, 30 in 1949. A Type 159 came next, followed by a Tipo 166 Sport, both with larger engines. The Tipo 166 Inter ranks as the first roadgoing Ferrari. Ferrari captured eight victories at the Mille Miglia course, beginning in 1948. Later models used the "MM" designation to commemorate those wins.
Ferrari turned to large engines in 1951 with the Type 340 America, containing a 4.1-liter V-12. Modified versions raced in the U.S. as the 340 Mexico and 340 MM. Ferrari's 250 Europa debuted at the 1953 Paris Salon, with a V-12 designed by Aurelio Lampredi. That was followed by a 250 GT Europa. In 1956, the 410 Superamerica emerged.
Launching a "California" convertible for 1959 acknowledged the growing importance of the U.S. market. Ferrari's first tiny back seat arrived in 1960 with the 250 GT 2+2. Later in the Sixties came a 330 GT and a 365 GT 2+2. A 400 Superamerica arrived early in the Sixties.
Starting in 1963, the mid-engined 250 LM could be obtained, either for competition or street driving. New roadgoing models included the 275 GTB and GTS, fitted with five-speed transaxles.
In 1967, Ferrari unveiled the Dino 206 GT, named for Enzo's deceased son. Dinos held mid-mounted V-6 engines. Last of the Dino models was the 308 GT4 of 1973, with a V-8 replacing the V-6. Ferrari then turned to a different sort of engine: a horizontally-opposed "boxer" (flat) 12-cylinder, initially stuffed into the 365 GT4 BB, which evolved into the 512 BB.
A new 308 with V-8 power arrived in 1975. For a short period, 308 models had fiberglass bodies. Ferrari's Mondial (world) series emerged in the 1980s with a four-cam V-8. Not until 1985 did the famed, dramatically styled Testarossa appear, laden with body strakes.
Ferrari intended to rival Porsche's 959 supercar with an F40 coupe, which arrived in 1987. After managing to get the F40 certified for U.S. sale, only a few hundred went to customers willing to pay half a million dollars.
Late in the 1980s, the 328 evolved into a 348, and the Mondial morphed into a "t" edition. In 1992, a 512 TR edged aside the Terstarossa, also with a flat-12 engine. Ferrari's 1995 lineup include a V8-powered F355 and a new 456 GT 2+2. A front-engine 550 Maranello succeeded the 365 GTB in 1997.
As the new century opened, Ferrari was ready with an F360 Modena coupe, soon followed by a 456 GT. Designed by Pininfarina, a Challenge Stradale appeared at the 2003 New York Show, ready to participate in the Challenge racing series. At Detroit's auto show in January 2004, Ferrari unveiled the 612 Scaglietti, marking the company's 50th anniversary in the U.S. market. Replacing the 456M, the teardrop-shaped 612 coupe held a 540-hp engine and was both bigger and lighter. By mid-decade, Ferrari's lineup also included a 360 Modena coupe and Spyder convertible, plus a 575M Maranello coupe.