11 fast facts you probably didn’t know about Ferrari

24 November 2015 - 02:00 By Thomas Falkiner

From the most expensive car ever sold at auction to competitors' cars that were born out of the desire to one-up the infamous Italian automotive brand, here are some cool facts every die-hard Ferrari fan should know

1. The firm’s famous ‘Prancing Horse’ logo was adapted from an insignia used by Italian World War I fighter ace, Francesco Baracca. Baracca’s mother told Enzo Ferrari to put it on his cars for ‘good luck.’

2. Enzo Ferrari, the company’s charismatic founder, was a blacksmith and mule-shoer for the Italian Army during World War I. He was discharged from service in 1918 after falling victim to the flu pandemic that claimed the lives of both his father and brother.


3. A 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta currently holds the record for the most expensive car ever to be sold at an auction – $38.1million at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Élégance. This record price could well be be surpassed when Juan Manuel Fangio's 1956 Mille Miglia Ferrari 290 MM goes up for auction in New York in December 2015.

4. The 400th and final Ferrari Enzo supercar was built and donated to the Vatican in 2004. The then pope never ever drove it so the vehicle was eventually auctioned off by Sotheby’s for a cool $1.1million.

5. You can win a Ferrari 458 Spider worth over R5.3 million. Yes, that's right, Times Media, in association with the Sunday Times and The Times, is giving away the ultimate Italian sports car. ENTER NOW.

6. Ferrari is a brand synonymous with Formula 1 competing within the sport since its inaugural season in 1950. Scuderia Ferrari lays claim to no less than 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ Championships. Their most unsuccessful season was in in 1980 when the team managed to scrape together just eight points.

7. Ford was on route to purchase Ferrari in 1963 but then negotiations fell through at the 99th hour. This annoyed Henry Ford II so much that he authorised the development of the Ford GT40: a racing car that would exist to do just one thing – humiliate Ferrari at the annual 24-Hours of Le Mans. Ford managed to achieve this no less than four times from 1966. (Check out 10 greatest cars to ever race at the Le Mans 24.)


8. Ferrari engines have been used in the road cars of many other automotive brands over time including Fiat, Lancia and, most recently, Maserati.

9. With a maximum 708-kilowatts of power and 900Nm of torque courtesy of its advanced hybrid powertrain, the limited edition LaFerrari is the firms’ most powerful road going sports car of all time. Before it hit the production line in 2013 the F12 Berlinetta ruled the roost.

10. Ex-Top Gear presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, has a well-known affinity for the Ferrari F40. He’s cited it as one of greatest supercars the world had ever seen and also one of the most beautiful.

11. Rival Italian sports car firm, Lamborghini, was born out of a dispute between Enzo Ferrari and tractor-manufacturing magnate, Ferruccio Lamborghini, in the early 1960s. Lamborghini had some complaints about his own personal Ferrari, which he took right up to Enzo himself. This didn’t go down well, with Lamborghini being told that the problems lay not in the car but the man. So Lamborghini there and then decided to stick it to Enzo and start up his own sports car company. The rest is history.