Ferrari is neither a type of horse nor a horse at all. The great Enzo Ferrari, who founded Ferrari, went by this surname, which is actually quite prevalent in Italy. The horse served as his trademark when he first began producing Ferrari race cars in 1947.
But Enzo was not the first to use a horse in a logo. You might be wondering where the horse came from. It’s a terrific one, including Porsche, a Countess, and the Duke of Savoy! All will be made clear!
It never ceases to amaze me how many people ask me this, presuming that the stallion in the Ferrari logo is a specific breed of stallion with the name Ferrari. Since the name and the prancing horse have always been together since the very first automobile, I suppose it is not really strange.
Whatsmore It is commonly known that Lamborghini named their cars after several breeds of bulls. Contrary to popular belief, Ferrari did not participate in this Italian tradition.
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Ferrari’s original logo
The Museo del Marchio Italiano discovered a similar pattern on the regimental banner of the Royal Piedmont Regiment of the Duke of Savoy, Vittorio Amadeo II, in 1692, which led to the discovery of the Ferrari Cavallino Rampante, or Prancing Horse.
According to Ferrari, the Countess suggested that Enzo Ferrari put the prancing horse their son had painted on the side of his plane during the war on Ferrari’s race cars for good luck while he was visiting Count Enrico Baracca and Countess Paolina Baracca, the parents of renowned Italian WWI fighter pilot Francesco Baracca.
After winning a race at the Savio track in Ravenna, Italy, in 1923, Enzo was given the chance to meet the Baraccas in person. The horse was black, a trait he preserved, and according to Enzo’s retelling of the narrative—a story he is known to have told just once—but the canary yellow background was his own invention. He chose it since it was the color of his city of Modena. Francesco Baracca originally painted the horse on his jet in red, but after Baracca was killed in battle during the war, his squadron mates changed the color to black as a show of sadness.
Another account of the origins of Baracca’s (and subsequently Ferrari’s) Prancing Horse, this time from the Museo del Marchio Italiano, claims that the horse on Baracca’s aircraft was not painted as a lucky charm but rather to pay homage to valiant regiments of the past and Baracca’s own cavalry roots in the Italian army’s Reggimento Piemonte Cavalleria, the contemporary offspring of the Royal Piedmont Regiment Instead, it was a kill symbol painted on the aircraft to signify that Baracca had shot down a pilot from Stuttgart, Germany, whose city crest featured a horse that was similarly pranced. This kill symbol differed from the historical Italian version in that it had the same upward-curving tail as the Ferrari badge. Strangely, Stuttgart’s heraldic crest also has a background made of bright yellow, and to this day, the same horse can be seen on every emblem for a Porsche.
What was the origin of the Italian stallion?
It has grown to be among the most recognizable logos in the world and a representation of excellence. The name Ferrari is almost as recognizable as the company’s prancing horse, but where did it come from? According to the Italian company, Enzo Ferrari only mentioned the stallion’s lineage once.
Enzo Ferrari was a racer before he rose to renown for designing some of the most esteemed road and race cars. Having success with Alfa Romeo, Enzo took first place in the Coppa Acerbo race in Italy in 1924. The Scuderia Ferrari racing team was established in 1929 and competed in numerous categories with mostly Alfa Romeo vehicles.
One day, Ferrari came across the parents of renowned World War One flyer Francesco Baracca, whose aircraft’s fuselage featured a galloping horse. For good luck, they requested that he mount the stallion on his vehicles. To construct his logo, Enzo complied and added a yellow background—a color associated with Maranello.
At the Spa Grand Prix in 1932, the Alfa Romeos of Enzo’s Scuderia used a yellow shield with a black horse prance. The two entered cars finished first and second, proving that the lucky charm was effective. In 1933, Alfa withdrew from racing due to financial issues, leaving Scuderia Ferrari as the acting racing team. Later, the iconic symbol gained prominence and even appeared on the grille of the 1935 Alfa Romeo Bimotore.
Later, Alfa Romeo acquired interests in Scuderia Ferrari and turned it into Alfa Corse. Enzo permanently departed Alfa Romeo to start his own racing vehicle company after World War Two, which put an end to motor racing. It was agreed that he would have to wait four years before using the Ferrari name on his projects. His company started off creating machinery, but even when his new headquarters in Maranello were attacked, he continued to be passionate about motorsports during the war.
The 12-cylinder Tipo 125S manufactured by Ferrari once more proudly carried the prancing horse and the Ferrari trademark in 1947. The 1948 Italian Grand Prix marked the car’s debut, and the rest is history.
Countesses, aircraft, and military heroes: It’s nothing short of amazing, just like a ’86 Testarossa.
One of the most known logos in the world is that of Ferrari, which was created after countless hours of market research and countless revisions by a sophisticated corporate branding agency. However, as this interesting film from the Italian automaker demonstrates, the origin of Ferrari’s jumping black stallion was much more spontaneous.
Count Francesco Baracca, an ace pilot in the Italian air force and a hero of World War I, had a red horse painted on his fuselage, and Papa Enzo claimed that this is where he got the idea for the logo. Evidently, Enzo only mentioned the history of the emblem once. He then said the following:
I first met the hero’s parents, Count Enrico Baracca and Countess Paolina, in ’23. One day, they said to me, “Ferrari, put my son’s prancing horse on your automobiles.” You will be lucky as a result of it. The horse was black and still is. Additionally, I added the canary-yellow background, which is the hue of Modena, the city where Enzo was born.
The movie omits the fact that Francesco Baracca died in battle, possibly when his aircraft was shot at by ground troops and crashed in a blaze of flames, however Wikipedia filled us in on this information. Ferrari’s horse is black instead of crimson because it was intended to be a memento mori for the pilot who perished. It’s a heartfelt detail that the powerful PR machine of the current Ferrari opted to ignore. They probably don’t want people to hear the word Ferrari and immediately think “death by flaming automobile.”
The Prancing Horse’s background
Enzo Ferrari picked the renowned Prancing Horse as his first Scuderia’s badge. It is the emblem of aviator Francesco Baracca.
The Prancing Horse hails from the aviation industry, much like Moto Guzzi’s eagle with outstretched wings. In particular, it was initially Francesco Baracca’s personal symbol. Baracca was a major and pilot in the First World War who was shot down in flight in 1918. A small black prancing horse with its tail pointing downward, a symbol of bravery and boldness, was painted on the bodywork of his figher.
Enzo Ferrari got to know his mother, the countess Paolina Baracca, a few years after the ace Baracca passed away. The Grand Prix of Savio, near Ravenna, was due to start on June 17, 1923. Countess Paolina urged Enzo Ferrari adopt her son’s Prancing Horse logo after he won this maiden race driving an Alfa Romeo. She had already given him permission to use the insignia as a good luck charm on his cars.
Enzo Ferrari established the Alfa Romeo-affiliated “Scuderia Ferrari” (Ferrari racing team) in Modena six years later, in 1929, but it wasn’t until 1932 that he was given permission to use the Prancing Horse symbol. On that day, victory struck once more. However, the Drake had to give up his lucky charm for a whole five years when he left Alfa Romeo in 1939 to create his own auto manufacturing business.
It will happen in due course. Beginning in the 1940s, the Prancing Horse made a triumphant comeback to the racetrack, bolder than ever before and once more fully apparent in his Ferrari 125 S, the first model to carry its creator’s name. In order to honor the color of Modena, the tail was now pointed upward, the profile shrunk, and an unmistakable yellow background was selected. It is followed by the Ferrari lettering, which will become well-known for its distinctively long “F.”
What Motivated Ferrari to Create the Prancing Horse Emblem?
The famous Italian air force fighter during World War I, Count Francesco Baracca, was the real owner of the prancer (the cavallino rampante). That identical pattern was printed on the side of his plane. Before being shot down on June 19, 1918, Baracca, who the Italians regarded as their national hero, had won approximately 30 dogfights.
- Considering that his group was a cavalry corps
- owing to the fact that his wealthy family kept horses on their estate
- Considering that he took the artwork from a German pilot’s aircraft that included the Stuttgart city emblem
But it wasn’t until 1923 that Enzo Ferrari met Baracca’s parents, who begged Ferrari to adopt their son’s artwork as a good luck charm on his automobiles.
The yellow backdrop of the emblem represents the city of Modena, Italy, where Enzo was born. Scuderia Ferrari is the name of the company’s racing branch, and the two letters next to the horse, S and F, represent for that. The Italian national colors are represented by the red, white, and green stripes at the top of the emblem.
Interested in thinking about car logos like Ferrari’s? See more of our Behind the Badge series, which explores amazing auto logos!