Few brand logos are as well-known worldwide as that of Ferrari. But how did the manufacturer come up with a horse as a symbol?
There are manufacturers whose vehicles make the hearts of sports car fans beat faster at the sight of them. Ferrari is indisputably one of these brands. The vehicles from Maranello are unaffordable for normal earners, most of them should not even be able to afford the maintenance of such a treasure. Accordingly, it also hurts many when a Ferrari is turned into scrap again: Not so long ago, a copy fell out of a vehicle elevator at a dealership. One buyer even dismantled his Ferrari just a few kilometers from the exit of the dealership. Almost everyone knows the logo of the Italian sports car manufacturer with the rearing horse. But where does it actually come from?
Ferrari horse – often flanked by two letters
A black horse on a yellow background – this logo has been firmly associated with Ferrari for decades. Occasionally, it is also flanked by two letters. However, it is not "EF", as many mistakenly think (for the founder Enzo Ferrari), but "SF" for "Scuderia Ferrari" (german: "Ferrari racing team"). But why does a car manufacturer have a horse in its logo?
World-famous: The Ferrari logo with the rearing horse. © Wirestock/Imago
"Cavallino rampante" – Ferrari horse originally comes from a fighter pilot
Originally, the horse was the symbol of Baron Francesco Barraca, an outstanding fighter pilot of the Aeronautica Militare in the First World War. After many successful dogfights, he was shot down on June 19, 1918 and quickly mutated into a national hero. There are two different theories as to how Barraca came up with the idea of the horse. The first was that he had the horse painted on the planes of his flying group because it was part of the coat of arms of the Piemonte Cavalleria cavalry regiment, to which he belonged. Another assumption is that Barraca copied the horse from the logo of a German pilot. He wore the Stuttgart city coat of arms on his plane.
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Ferrari logo: different theories about the yellow background
Enzo Ferrari, on the other hand, came up with the "Cavallino rampante" (german: "rearing horse") through a meeting with Barraca's mother: Contessa Paolina Biancoli. Two different theories are circulating about the exact course of events. One says that the Contessa advised Enzo Ferrari to put the horse on his racing car – presumably as a lucky charm. Another is that Ferrari discovered a picture with a horse on the wall and wanted to take it over.
And there are also two theories about the yellow background. While some are of the opinion that Enzo Ferrari added it because it is the color of his hometown of Modena, others are convinced that the yellow color simply comes from his preference for sunflowers.
Incidentally, the creativity of the brand's fans knows no bounds: a hobbyist, for example, transformed an Audi R8 Spyder into a Ferrari LaFerrari. The work of a couple from Lithuania was much cheaper – they modeled a LaFerrari out of snow.