Ferrari History

The very name Ferrari evokes passion in its fans, over 90% of whom have never owned a Ferrari. Such is the emotion and fierce loyalty the brand stirs up in its admirers. The marque is a world-famous producer of thoroughbred sportscars and also an active participant in Formula 1. The company headquarters are in Maranello and it is 90% owned by Fiat.

It was founded in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari, whose primary focus was motor racing, and in fact until his death Ferrari sold road-going cars only as a means to fund the racing division. Enzo even held a certain disdain his road-car buyers, and once had a famous spat with a certain wealthy tractor manufacturer Ferruccio Lamborghini. Ferruccio then left in a huff and started the rival sportscar manufacturer that bears his surname. Enzo first started as a racing driver for Alfa, then became director of racing at the same company, managing such motoring legends as Tazio Nuvolari. He later left to start his own racing outfit that we know as Ferrari today. His roster of legends included Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorne. Enzo remained as managing director until 1971, and died in 1988.

Ferrari Models

Ferrari builds both mid-engine and front-engine cars, and most of its cars feature a V8 engine, though some have a V12. Current models available in New Zealand are the 599 Fiorano, the 612 Scaglietti, and the F430 Coupe and Convertible. The 599 is the latest production Ferrari. It’s a front-engined, beautifully sculpted car with a 6.0-litre V12 and advanced technological wizardry like the F1-style gearshifts mounted behind the steering wheel, and magneto-rheological shock absorbers that can change stiffness in milliseconds.

The F430, available as coupe or convertible, is the successor to the 360, itself a well-respected vehicle. The F430 is powered by a mid-mounted V8 under a transparent engine cover, and it’s one of Ferrari’s most iconic current models. There is also a special edition of the F430 called the Scuderia, and that’s for hardcore street racing and trackday usage; it’s got stiffer suspension, thicker antiroll bars and a lighter weight.

The 612 Scaglietti is a large 4-seater tourer, rather than outright sports car. It has a more relaxed temperament, like a 5.7-litre V12 compared to the F430’s high-strung, wailing V8.

Looking at buying a Ferrari? Check the vehicle history of any Ferrari by entering its number plate in the field above.