Ferrari (NYSE:RACE), 70 anni, the Biggest Brand in the Automobile Business

Ferrari (NYSE:RACE), 70 anni, the Biggest Brand in the Automobile Business

Ferrari (NYSE:RACE), 70 anni, the Biggest Brand in the Automobile Business


Enzo Ferrari’s passion was motorcar racing, road cars were a necessary distraction.

Without the road cars, Scuderia Ferrari as we know it today would not exist. As the Commendatore Ferrari built road cars to sell to wealthy customers to fund his racing team.

These were people for whom Il Commendatore had little time as he felt they were buying the cars for their prestige  not performance.

The fact is that they were buying the cars for both prestige and performance reasons. And that is the case today, exactly 70 years after the 1st official Ferrari was built in Y 1947.

It’s a landmark that is being marked by an exceptional display of Ferrari road cars that will form the centerpiece of the London Classic Car Show, which takes place from 23-26 February at ExCeL, London.

The story of Ferrari road cars goes back more than 70 years, in fact, to the 1940 Fiat-based Auto Avio Costruzioni Tipo 815. This was a straight-8-powered racer built by Ferrari for that year’s Brescia Grand Prix, a shortened version of the Mille Miglia. But it could not be called or badged a Ferrari due to a legal restraint imposed by Enzo’s previous employer, Alfa Romeo.

By the end of WWII, however, that bar had expired and the 1st “real” Ferrari, the 125S racer, to appear in 1947, thus marking the starting point of the 70th Anniversary.

The 125S was powered by a 1.5-litre V12 engine. Ferrari does not own it, it owns a replica produced by Michelotto in Y1987, built to mark it’s 40th Anniversary.

The early Ferraris were road-going sports racers built in very small numbers and sold to fund Ferrari’s Formula One racing team. But, in Y 1954 Enzo introdduced the 250 Europa GT, a 3.0-litre V12 road car that marked the start of Ferrari as a serious manufacturer of GT cars. I had one in 1970 and gave it away because I did not have a place to store it,

Any Ferrari is better than money in the bank according to the price data, a/any 250 GT should be regarded as a serious investment.

There will be a number of variations on the 250 theme at the London Classic Car Show as part of a display conservatively reckoned to be worth more than $100-M.

They will include a 250 Lusso, a 250 SWB California Spyder and a 250GT SWB + a 275GTS and 275GTB, at one time or another I owned all but a SWB California Spyder, I owned a 250 LWB California Spyder, much rarer.

The cars were fast and beautiful, they were not totally reliable, and Ferrari unwilling to do anything about it. So, Ferrucio Lamborghini, an Italian tractor maker he decided to make his own cars to show Enzo Ferrari how it should be done. Hence, the birth of Lamborghini. I has the 1st Miura in America.

By the late 1960’s Ferrari’s financial difficulties were rising.

More and more money was needed for new car development and to meet increasingly demanding safety and emissions requirements. This, in turn, meant the road car division could no longer fund the F1 racing team.

 Ferrari went looking for a partner.

Enzo needed someone with deep pockets would leave him to run the race team alone, while they looked after the road car side which was producing 3 models: the V12-engined 365 GT and 365 GTB/4 Daytona and the beautiful V6, mid-engined Dino (unbadged as a Ferrari).

Enter Fiat, which in Y 1963 had taken a small stake in the company after negotiations with Ford (NYSE:F) had broken down. In Y 1969, Fiat increased that holding to 50% in Y 1971 and a new era began.

Over the years, a series of V8-powered mid-engined cars leading to today’s 488 have provided the majority of sales while the greats include cars such the V12 550 Maranello, the flat-12 Berlinetta Boxer and Testarossa, as well as the current GTC4Lusso, a V12-engined GT in finest Ferrari tradition.

 And then there are the HyperSupercars

The F40, the world’s 1st 200mph Supercar and the last road Ferrari produced while Enzo was still alive; the F50, dubbed Enzo, and the LaFerrari hybrid.

Since the 1970’s, Ferrari production has increased and record sales were posted in Y 2015 hit 7,664 cars

Also, the model range has expanded to include V8 and V12 models; 2 and 2+2 seaters; AWD and RWD drive; Coupés, Spyders and Convertibles.

If I include Limited Edition special models such as LaFerrari, LaFerrari Aperta and the F12tdf, the current range is 9 models strong.

Something never conceived or considered in the early days of the iconic marque, and the Key reason for the highest priced collector cars in the world.

Symbol Last Trade Date Change Open High Low Volume
NYSE:RACE 59.83  13 January 2017 0.55 60.1 60.26 59.52 376,700
HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE; Overall Short Intermediate Long
Very Bullish (0.54) Bullish (0.36) Very Bullish (0.58) Very Bullish (0.67)

Have a terrific weekend.

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