Ferrari is a car manufacturer founded in Italy in 1929 as Scuderia Ferrari. The company is still based in Italy, in the city of Maranello. Scuderia Ferrari was created by Enzo Ferrari in Modena with the intention of sponsoring amateur drivers. In the early days, Ferrari sponsored several successful Alfa Romeo drivers, and in 1938 Enzo Ferrari was employed by Alfa as head of their racing department. The name "Scuderia Ferrari" literally means "Ferrari Stable".
During the World War II, Alfa Romeo was absorbed by the Italian government but the racing department was too small to become really affected by this. Since racing was prohibited for Enzo Ferrari for four yeas due to his contract, the Scuderia Ferrari turned into the Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari and would ostensibly produce aircraft accessories and machine tools. Ferrari did however produce one race car during this period, the Tipo 815 which debuted in the 1940 Mille Miglia. In 1944, the factory was bombed and when it was reconstructed in 1946 road car production was made possible. In 1947, Scuderia Ferrari began production of street legal cars under the name Ferrari S.p.A.
The main passion for Enzo Ferrari was racing, not street cars, and the production of street cars was more or less seen as simply a way of making money for race cars and racing. The company has never stopped racing and is especially famous for its participation in Formula One. Ferrari enjoyed great success in Formula One from the 1950s to the 1970s, and made a grand comeback in the late 1990s that has lasted well into the 2000s.
For many people world wide, owning and driving a Ferrari is a life-long dream and Ferrari has become one of the ultimate status symbols. Working at Ferrari is also a childhood dream for many, and this might be a sound aspiration because Financial Times placed Ferrari as number one on its list of the 100 Best Workplaces in Europe for the year 2007.
Ferrari has today developed an internally managed merchandising line and it is now possible to purchase anything from Ferrari pens, glasses and perfume to high tech bicycles and Ferrari lap top computers. There is naturally also a Ferrari clothing line.
In 1969, Enzo Ferrari sold the company's sports car division to the Fiat group to overcome financial difficulties. Enzo Ferrari kept control of the racing division until his death in 1988, when he was 90 years old. In 1949, Luigi Chinetti became the first Ferrari winner in motorsports when he landed first place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ferrari Model 166M. The Scuderia naturally joined the Formula One World Championships as soon as they started in 1950, and in 1951 the Ferrari team received its first victory in the 1951 British Grand Prix with the driver José Froilán González. A year later, Alberto Ascari gave Ferrari its first Drivers Championship. Ferrari is now the oldest team left in the championship, as well as the most successful. Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa were the Scuderia Ferrari drivers for the 2006 F1 season. In 2007, Felipe Massa is still there but Michael Schumacher has been replaced by Kimi Räikkönen.