The Ferrari factory in Maranello Italy

The Ferrari factory in Maranello Italy

Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer based in Maranello. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929, as Scuderia Ferrari, the company sponsored drivers and manufactured race cars before moving into production of street-legal vehicles as Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947. Fiat acquired 50% of Ferrari in 1969 and expanded its stake to 85% in 2008.  In May 2012 the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO became the world’s most expensive car, selling in a private transaction for $38,115,000 to American communications magnate Craig McCaw.  In 2014 Fiat announced its intentions to sell its share in Ferrari, as of the announcement Fiat owned 90% of Ferrari.  Throughout its history, the company has been noted for its continued participation in racing, especially in Formula One, where it has had great success. Ferrari road cars are generally seen as a symbol of speed, luxury and wealth.

Since the 1920s, Italian race cars of Alfa Romeo, Maserati and later Ferrari and Abarth were (and often still are) painted in “race red” (Rosso Corsa). This was the customary national racing color of Italy, as recommended between the World Wars by the organizations that later would become the FIA. It refers to the nationality of the competing team, not that of the car manufacturer or driver. In that scheme, French-entered cars such as Bugatti were blue, German such as Benz and Mercedes white (since 1934 also bare sheet metal silver), and British green such as the mid-1960s Lotus and BRM, for instance.

Ferrari won the 1964 World championship with John Surtees by competing the last two races in North America with cars painted in the US-American race colors white and blue, as these were not entered by the Italian factory themselves, but by the U.S.-based North American Racing Team (NART) team. This was done as a protest concerning arguments between Ferrari and the Italian Racing Authorities regarding the homologation of a new mid-engined Ferrari race car.

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