Facts About the Ferrari Carsby Nellie Day
Ferraris have long been considered one of the world's fastest and most prestigious line of cars. Today, they are powerful symbols of wealth and affluence, though the main purpose Enzo Ferrari had when designing the cars was speed - the kind of speed race car drivers and racing enthusiast would need. Though this purpose often can take a back seat to the Ferrari's status symbol, many auto enthusiasts haven't forgotten what's made this exotic car special.
The first Ferrari car, the Tipo 815, was created by Enzo Ferrari in 1940. Ferrari created the car after he left Alfa Romeo, an Italian car company that he first raced for and later designed for. Because Ferrari left the company while he was still under contract, he was not allowed to call the car a Ferrari.
The most popular Ferraris on the market have always been the two-seated Gran Turismos. The company began producing this type of car in 1949 with the 166 Inter. Its last model, the 599 GTB Fiorano, was released in 2007.
The Ferrari symbol is a black horse on its hind legs with the initials "S.F." on beneath it. The black horse pays tribute to Francesco Baracca, a World War I fighter pilot for the Italian Air Force who died in combat and used to paint a horse on the side of his plane. When Ferrari met Baracca's mother, Countess Paolina, she asked him to use a similar horse on his cars. The "S.F." stands for "Scuderia Ferrari," which roughly translates into "Ferrari Racing Stables."
The world's fastest Ferrari, the F60, was debuted in April 2002. It succeeded the F50 and was composed of carbon fiber, with a mid-engine V-12 and the ability to go from zero to 100 in 3.2 seconds.
The Ferrari has been featured in many films and television shows. The Ferrari 250 GT California was seen in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," the Ferrari 512 was in the 1971 film "Le Mans" with Steve McQueen, the Ferrari "Mondial" was in Weird Science, the Ferrari Daytona appeared in "Miami Vice" and a replica of the Ferrari F430 was used in the Pixar movie "Cars."
Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.