The Ferrari Emblem

14 Jul 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on The Ferrari Emblem

The story of the prancing horse is simple and fascinating. The horse was

painted on the fuselage of the fighter plane flown by Francesco Baracca, a heroic Italian pilot who died on Mount Montello: the Italian ace of aces of the First World War.

In 1923, when I won the first Savio circuit, which was run in Ravenna, I met Count Enrico Baracca, the pilot’s father, and subsequently his mother, Countess Paolina.

One day she said to me, Ferrari, why don’t you put my son’s prancing horse on your cars; it would bring you luck. I still have Baracca’s photograph with the dedication by his parents, in which they entrusted the emblem to me. The horse was black and has remained so; I added the canary yellow background because it is the colour of Modena.

Enzo Ferrari

The Ferrari Stables emblem appeared for the first time in 1929 on all company publications, signage and official papers,

but not on the cars, which belonged to Alfa Romeo and wore the Alfa colours, a green cloverleaf in a white triangle.

The shield made its debut on the cars on July 9 and 10, 1932, at the Spa 24 Hours. There could not have been a more auspicious occasion: the race was won by the car driven by Taruffi and D’Ippolito, ahead of Siena and Brivio.

After that victory, the shield adorned all the official Ferrari Stables cars in the Thirties, right up to the moment the

stables became the official Alfa Corse department, directed by Enzo Ferrari, but run by the company.

The first Ferrari to sport the trademark on its bonnet was a 125 driven by Franco Cortese on May 11, 1947, the

Maranello company’s racing debut, on the Piacenza circuit. Designed by the Ferrari Technical department and produced

by the Castelli e Gerosa company of Milan and Cristiglio of Bologna, it remained unchanged until 1950.

In 1952, Enzo Ferrari decided to bring back the racing badge of the old Ferrari Stables, modernised and stylised, to

distinguish the official cars from those of the many customers who tried their hands at racing their own cars.

It made its debut on March 16 on the cars competing in the Siracusa Grand Prix, the 500 F2’s driven by Ascari,

Taruffi, Farina and Villoresi. This was another triumph, with Ascari, Taruffi and Farina taking the first three places in

that order. That same year, Ascari won the Drivers World Championship, the first of Ferrari’s 25 championship titles,

in a 500 F2.

Since then the symbol has been scrupulously applied, with occasional exceptions, in its conventional form which has never changed, on all Ferrari cars of any category entered in races by the competitor Ferrari.

The horse first appeared on the radiator grille in 1959. Produced by the Turin company Cerrato for the cars with body by Pininfarina, and etched by Incerti for Scaglietti cars, it was cut out of 3 mm thick sheets of brass pantographed and chrome-plated. It remained the same until 1962, and there was also a special version, serrated and bored by hand, that was used on a few exclusive cars and on cars destined for exhibitions and fairs. Between 1962 and 1963 the horse was

produced in relief but it was not a success, and was only used for a year, being judged stylistically and proportionally

unsuitable. A subsequent version was developed, with a flat horse pantographed on aluminium and then mirror polished;

it was introduced in 1964, adopted until the BB model, and then recovered in 1984 for the Mondial, 328 GTB and GTS,

while an identical, anodised version in black adorned the first Testarossa and 348.


A new relief version of the horse was proposed in 1963, but this too met with little enthusiasm. It was considered

superfluous because the flat version was now applied regularly on the radiator grille. However, its development went

ahead, so that it could be used if necessary on the rear of the car, as it was on the Mondial in 1988-89. And that was

how the ornamental horse, destined to become an extremely familiar sight, came to be created, almost unwanted.

It was to remain substantially the same for over 30 years, adorning the back of nearly all Ferrari models, with only small variations to the colour and size. In 1982 it also appeared on the front of the cars, replacing the flat pantographed version.

Since 1992 it has featured on the entire Ferrari range, with well- defined forms for use on the front and rear.

From 1953 to 1961 a trademark combining the initials of the Ferrari and Farina names in the naval alphabet,

was used on cars designed by Pininfarina. The red rhomboid against a white background which indicated the

letter F, was replaced by the letter P (white rectangle in blue field) when the designer changed his surname to

Pininfarina. This trademark was generally abandoned in 1964, except for 2+2 models; and currently appears on

the front tunnel of the 456 GT.

Today’s Ferrari trademark – Baracca’s black horse against a canary yellow background – in the versions used for industrial production and technical and racing activities, are all registered, and are used on every graphical production of the

company, for projects and drawings, Ferraridea promotional items, badges and decals, service and maintenance

signage, official documents and for recognised Ferrari Clubs.

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