posted on May 11th, 2017

An iconic milestone for an iconic brand

All over the world, the word Ferrari or a glimpse of their famous prancing horse logo are synonymous with a striking red supercar. Over seven decades, Ferrari has produced hit after hit and most of them qualify for bedroom wall posters. Purists, however, would argue that Ferrari is a racing team that sells supercars to make ends meet.

It all started on this very day, 70 years ago, when Ferrari made its first public appearance and racing debut at the Piacenza Circuit with Franco Cortese at the wheel. The brand new 125 S was leading the race, when a fuel pump issue caused a retirement and was deemed a “promising failure” by founder Enzo Ferrari. Promising indeed.

From its earliest days, Ferrari took a unique approach and has been involved in the pinnacles of motorsport as if its existence depended on it. This obsession on the race track has captured the hearts of enthusiasts and has evolved into a legacy, few global brands — let alone car companies — can claim. As if they needed to proclaim this to the world, Ferrari seized the opportunity by selecting the ticker symbol RACE when listing themselves on the NYSE a few years ago.

Image credit: F1-fansite

Ferrari is the only brand to have participated in every single season of the F1 World Championship, since its inception in 1950. Put another way, Formula 1 is incomplete without Ferrari and the sport accepts this by rewarding Ferrari an exclusive $100 million bonus every year just to show up. Unfortunately for their competitors though, Ferrari never just shows up. They won an unprecedented six championships in a row between 1999 and 2004, thanks to the legendary driver Michael Schumacher. In fact, Ferrari’s dominance was so evident that Formula 1 was forced to change the rules to make it less predictable.

Ferrari lets most of their track technology trickle down into the road cars. The F40, F50, Enzo, and the LaFerrari are some highlights over the last few decades. Each one of them is a masterpiece in its own right, available for purchase by invitation only, and is often sold out before even leaving the factory. Each of them is rare enough to be consigned to the history books as collector cars, fetching astronomical prices at auctions worldwide. But even with road cars, Ferrari did something few had done before. By producing scarlet red works of art with an obsessive attention to details, Ferrari managed to seduce young enthusiasts into a revered brand loyalty.

Imagine asking the CEO of any major car company how many limbs they’d be willing to sacrifice to be the most successful brand in Formula 1 or one of the top three most successful brands in 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their answer may surprise you. Ferrari has earned both those honors. And they hold the record for the most expensive car ever sold at $38.5 million. Let that sink in.

How does one explain this mystique around Ferrari? Technology. Art. History. Yes, all of that.

Buon compleanno Scuderia Ferrari!! FORZA FERRARI!! We love you.

Pushkar is Turo's Chief Auto Enthusiast and a bonafide, lifelong car guy. He loves a classic Porsche, an Audi R8, but his heart belongs to the Lamborghini Murciélago.