The Ferrari story officially begins in 1947 when the first car built under the Ferrari marque, the 125 S, drove through the historic factory gates on Via Abetone Inferiore in Maranello. That said, Ferrari's origins are inextricably linked to its founder's entire life story.
Born in Modena on February 18 1898, Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14 1988, having devoted his entire life to motor racing. He became an Alfa Romeo works driver in 1924 but just five years later set up the Scuderia Ferrari at Viale Trieste in Modena to allow its mostly gentleman driver members compete. In 1938, Ferrari was appointed head of Alfa Corse. However, he left in 1939 to start up Auto Avio Costruzioni in the Scuderia's old headquarters. His new company founded, Enzo Ferrari built a sports car, a spider powered by a 1500 cc 8-cylinder engine. He called it the 815 and two were built. The car also took part in the 1940 Mille Miglia. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War Two brought all motor racing to an abrupt end. In late 1943, Ferrari moved Auto Avio Costruzioni's workshops from Modena to Maranello. At the end of the War, he set about designing and building what was to become the first Ferrari, the 125 S, a 1500cc 12-cylinder. Franco Cortese drove the car in its maiden race at the Piacenza Circuit on May 11 1947 and again to its first victory in the Rome Grand Prix at the Terme di Caracalla circuit on the 25th of the same month.
The 1950s brought major changes and by the end of the decade, the Ferrari name was famous all over the world. From a sporting perspective, the marque celebrated the first in a whole string of victories that would result in the Scuderia Ferrari becoming the most successful team in Formula 1 history. In endurance racing, Ferrari won its first Mille Miglia in 1948 and its first 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949. In Formula 1, it took its first Formula 1 World Championship grand prix in 1951 and by 1952 had won the World title with Alberto Ascari, a feat it repeated in 1953. There were significant developments too on the production front as Ferrari began working with the historic Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1951, commissioning it to fabricate and assemble its chassis'. All in all, the marque proved so successful with the public that sales more than tripled between 1950 and 1960.
Conscious of the fact that developing the industrial side of the business would require a modern, well-articulated company structure, Enzo Ferrari implemented a series of changes. In 1960, Ferrari became a Limited Company and in 1969 reached an agreement with Fiat to sell it 50% of its shares. In 1970, production began of cars powered by the first rear-mounted V8 engines which proved hugely commercially successful. Sales continued to grow throughout that decade, driven by the popularity of models such as the 308 GTB, the 308 GT4 and the GTS.
The racing division was not exactly standing idly by either. Sponsorship arrived in Formula 1 in the late 1960s and the logos began to appear on the Ferrari single-seaters at that time too. In fact, in 1968, the Prancing Horse struck a sponsorship deal with Shell which remains our main sponsor to this day together with Philip Morris International which has flanked us since 1984.
In the second half of the decade, the Scuderia enjoyed massive success in F1, winning the Drivers' and Constructors' World titles on several occasions.
The decade drew to a close on the sad note of Enzo Ferrari's passing in 1988. In addition Fiat increased its stake to 90% with the remaining 10% staying in the hands of Enzo's son, Piero Ferrari.
While the Scuderia managed just two Formula 1 Constructors' titles (1982 and 1983), Ferrari also produced several history-making cars in the same years: the 288 GTO and the Testarossa in 1984, the F40, Enzo Ferrari's final car, in 1987, followed by the F50 in 1995.
The new millennium ushered in a period of spectacular sporting success. Ferrari clocked up a series of impressive victories on American soil, including three 12 Hours of Sebring and one 24 Hours of Daytona. However, it was in F1 that Maranello really dominated the action. Between 2000 and 2008, in fact, the Scuderia won a total of 13 World titles: six Drivers' (five with Schumacher and one with Räikkönen) and seven Constructors'.
From a commercial point of view these were years that brought the launch of successful models of the likes of the Enzo Ferrari in 2002 and the F430 in 2004. Even more significantly, however, they saw the adoption of a new branding policy. This resulted in the official inauguration of the first Ferrari Store in Maranello in 2002, followed by a string of openings in Italy and abroad that would ultimately result in 30 single-brand retail outlets worldwide, including Saint Petersburg, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, New York and Miami.
The third millennium began with a decade of expansion.
Ferrari boosted his presence on emerging markets, such as the Middle East, China, Japan and the rest of the Far East, as well as consolidating our position on the US, UK and German markets. We also worked in the same direction in terms of our range by adding models that delivered a superior standard of comfort and driveability whilst retaining the signature Ferrari performance.
In 2015 FCA put up 10% of its shares in Ferrari up for sale in an initial public offering and on October 21, 2015 was publically listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:RACE).