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Ferrari: Red or Yellow, which is first?

Nowadays, everyone associates the color red with Ferrari. Seeing a Ferrari in any color other than red can seem so unnatural that this Rosso Corsa has become the identity of the Scuderia.

Enzo Ferrari said: “Give a child a sheet of paper, colored pencils and ask him to draw a car, he is very likely to color it red”.

So a yellow Ferrari, what do you think? Some even find that red is outdated! What if yellow was before red?

A point of history is essential not to see all the colors.

Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari was born on February 18, 1898 in the Modena region of Italy.

The young Enzo began his career as a driver in 1919 with CMN (Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali) and the following year he was hired by Alfa Romeo. He won several races and acquired a certain notoriety. On May 23, 1923, Enzo Ferrari won the race on the Savio circuit at the wheel of an Alfa Romeo. After the podium ceremonies, mother Baracca is introduced to him and evokes her heroic son (who died in 1918 after 34 successful missions) and authorizes Enzo Ferrari to use the emblem on his son's fighter plane, a Horse prancing black (symbol of the city of Stuttgart) to bring him luck.

On February 1, 1929, he founded Società Anonima Scuderia Ferrari, the racing division of Alfa Romeo, a racing team that was to become a pioneer and then a pillar of the Formula 1 world championship.

He continued his career until 1931, when he took the irrevocable decision to hang up his keys and became sporting director of Alfa Romeo.

In 1932, the management of the Alfa Romeo company allowed the Italian racer to depict the black horse on the racing car. But Enzo Ferrari corrected the emblem a bit by adding the yellow background, which symbolized the color of his hometown Modena.

That same year, the Alfa Romeo company left the competition and Enzo Ferrari created his team with an Alfa Romeo factory team under the name of Scuderia Ferrari. Therefore, the history of the Ferrari logo started from the racing cars of Alfa Romeo.

In 1947 he created the firm Ferrari Automobili, which designs, manufactures and markets very high-end sports cars in the city of Modena, whose color is yellow.

It was Enzo himself who chose to use this yellow as the emblem of Cavallino Rampante, a yellow called Giallo Modena.

Enzo Ferrari also explains that: “When the Countess Paolina gave me the photo of Baccara, she told me to put the Cavallino Rampante on my machines, that it would bring me luck. The Cavallino remained black, I just added a canary yellow background, which is the color of the city of Modena. »

. .The Ferrari logo was affixed to the Italian company's first racing car in 1946.

This is how Yellow turns to Red

The tradition of racing in Europe indeed wanted to differentiate the teams by country. For this, each was assigned a color. France had blue, England had green, Spain had yellow, Germany white... Italy had red.

It was after the attribution of red as the official color of Italy by the International Association of Recognized Automobile Clubs (currently the FIA), that Italian cars were painted with the so-called “Rosso corsa” tint. (originally, the color red was attributed to the United States).

On the circuits, red is therefore essential for Ferrari. But Enzo Ferrari intended to keep the ardor and brilliance of this shade. On its logo, but also on some of the most sought-after models of Ferrari icons.

The yellow Giallo Modena thus gives even more presence to the wildly alluring models of Ferrari T40, Ferrari Daytona or even Ferrari 250 GT.

But that does not mean, contrary to an old legend, that the first Ferrari was yellow. Indeed, the first road Ferrari, a 166 MM Barchetta, presented in September 1948, was well painted in Rosso Corsa red.

Today, Ferrari is the only team to have kept the color red. The link is such that 45% of Ferraris sold are red! But it must be granted, the yellow Ferraris are really charismatic!

A nod to the brand's colors on the occasion of its 75th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Monza circuit, the Rosso Corsa red Ferraris sported touches of Giallo Modena yellow..

A history of colors

Enzo Ferrari was never for a single color on these cars even if he wanted the yellow so that Ferrari would be associated with his city and the red imposed for the competition.

For the Ferraris of the 50s, it was difficult to find the color marketed because they were dressed by various coachbuilders who kept no trace of the colors chosen. But at the end of the 1950s, when Ferrari started mass-producing, out of 1000 Ferraris sold, 348 were gray, 154 were blue, 126 white. Red (99 copies) only comes in fourth position ahead of black (70). The yellow was very rare since only 10 specimens were colored like this.

Ten years later, tastes have evolved and out of 1000 cars marketed from 70 to 72, red was the favorite shade of customers with 231 copies. Next came blue (209), silver (156), brown (67), green (58), white (39) and gold (36).

Currently, the predominance of red is even more marked. Out of 1000 Ferraris produced, 421 are red, 154 are grey, 122 are silver, 101 are blue, only 74 are yellow and 64 are black. Shades like green and white have almost disappeared (6 green, 5 white/1000).

Over time, even if the Ferrari color chart offers the same number of colors, around 20, the range of colors chosen by customers has narrowed. And the proportion of red has continued to grow: 10% in 1960, 23% in 1970, 46% in 2000. Red has thus become the favorite color.

Of course, all its colors are matched with a multitude of shades (more than forty reds offered in the catalogue) to make each Ferrari unique, as Il Commendatore wanted.


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