Today, many are familiar with Ferrari’s prancing horse logo. It has, of course, become the Italian supercar maker’s signature and it is emblazoned on all of its models. As such, the mere sight of it brings forth the mental image of a powerful metallic beast (typically red in color) screaming on the race track, or cruising on the highway.
The current Ferrari logo
So how did the prancing horse logo come about? How did Enzo Ferrari, the brand’s founder, come up with such an iconic symbol?
1923: The fighter pilot
On a fateful day in 1923, Enzo Ferrari got the chance to meet Enrico Baracca and Countess Paulina Baracca. They were the parents of Francesco Baracca, a famed and highly decorated fighter pilot who flew the French-made SPAD XIII bi-plane fighter.
Francesco Baracca with his SPAD XIII
Being an ace with 34 confirmed aerial victories, Francesco was a big deal in Italy at the time. The aforementioned fighter plane bore a logo of a horse that was prancing on its two rear hooves with a yellow background. As a side note, the aforementioned logo’s yellow color is also the color of Modena, which happens to be Enzo Ferrari’s birthplace.
During the meeting, the count asked Enzo to adopt the prancing horse emblem on his cars as this was said to bring him good luck. Enzo of course took this to heart.
The genesis of the Ferrari brand
1932: The Scuderia Racing Team
Later in 1932, Enzo’s Scuderia racing team participated at the 1947 Grand Prix of Spa. It was during this time that the team’s Alfa Romeo cars first bore the prancing horse logo with the yellow background. The horse was flanked with the letters S and F (Scuderia Ferrari) with the Italian flag colors on the top. Those were then contained within a shield.
Establishing his team as a force to reckon with in the racing world, Enzo began making his products accessible to the general public. To this end, Enzo modified the symbol by replacing the S and F with the word Ferrari, while retaining the colors of the Italian flag up top. Also, it was no longer contained in a shield, but instead in a rectangle.
The new rectangular logo with the prancing horse first appeared on the 1947 125 S, the first ever production car to bear the Ferrari name. Despite only two ever being produced, it did function as a stepping stone for Enzo to move on and make the 159 S.
The Ferrari 125 S
Fast forward to the present and Ferrari’s cars still bear the prancing horse logo that originated from Francesco Baracca’s SPAD XIII. The original Ferrari S and F logo within a shield has made a comeback on recent models like the LaFerrari, among others.
It still bears the same basic elements like the black colored prancing horse, Italian flag colors, and yellow background. We aren’t sure if it’s really that lucky, but we can be sure that it has indeed become a symbol of the brand’s engineering prowess.
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Know more about Ferrari
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Cesar G.B. Miguel