Ferrari. That name originated as a blacksmiths business in Venice, then a few hundred years later, became something really, very special.
Enzo Ferrari was born from an incredibly rich background and had a keen interest in Motorcars.
In 1947 however, after a bit of fun with Alfa Romeo, the car world had a whole new emperor, Ferrari was born!
And this year celebrates 70 years of this paragon of exquisite engines, styling, soul, passion and boundless racing history.
Picking out Ferrari’s greatest cars is never an easy task. So I’ve enlisted the help of the R.I.D crew!
Evolution of Engines – From The 125S to The FXXK
(This introductory part was written by R.I.D’s new head: Josh Collins! Enjoy)
I’ve chosen to go with the Cliché first and last style piece.
I didn’t really want to, but Ferrari have done so much in 70 years it’s kind of silly not to. Over 30 GT’s, a mouthful of supercars, at least 100 mid-engined machines and 42 one-off specials… That’s quite a CV.
But we don’t have time for all of that and I can’t be bothered. So…
29 years ago, a man died. His name was Gioacchino Colombo. He was what my grandfather would call an “automobile engine designer.” He worked as an apprentice for Alfa Romeo in the mid-late 1930s designing (would you believe it) engines. Among those was the ‘158’ which made itself at home in an Alfa Romeo Alfetta. It was at this time something completely normal happened.
An Italian gentleman, Enzo Ferrari who had been paying slight attention to the process, decided he would ask Mr Colombo to design for him a small V12 engine that would be used in a car called the 125. Some humbling words were exchanged and a mere decade later Mr Colombo had built a tiny little 1.5 litre engine for Ferrari. It was a V12 (of course…). And so after some more words and years passed, that little engine went on to take Ferrari through many endurance and Formula One races as well as being thrown into a few sports cars later on.
Now normally at this point I would carry on much further. But this is a feature, so I’ll keep it brief.
That engine, quietly dubbed “The Colombo Engine” went on to live an extraordinary life, making its way into many, many cars and taking up more and more fuel as the years went to the point where a few of its hosts are now some of the most valuable cars in existence. But it all started with that little car and the unsung clever Italian man that is Gioacchino Colombo.
So with that rate of progress you would expect their latest, fastest car to be quite a thing. And of course it is.
The Ferrari FXX K is absolutely nothing like the 125 S, and yet everything.
You take a small 1.5 litre V12, put it in a car. Race it. Uprate it. Put it in some new cars and race some more. Then a man called Aurelio Lampredi comes along and thinks that more is better. It is. It was. He left. He came back. The I4 became a thing. It worked. The man who made it left again.
Then came a man called Jano Vittoro with a sweet sounding V6 (used in the Dinos) and V8 engine, and they both worked for a bit.
But after a short while, it was replaced with the Lampredi Engine once again.
So although Aurelio had left long beforehand. Enzo and his men had always seen something in that Engine.
The one which both Aurelio and Gioacchino had spent countless hours working on. It was passed up through generations and now many years on we get to watch a small bald man skid a 1,036 brake horsepower Ferrari around an international raceway.
So, in 70 years Ferrari have gone from straight away designing the best engine in the world, to the best engine in the world.
What the FXXK.
365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’-
(These next 2 parts were written by R.I.D’s resident Daytona fanboy; Adhitya Nugroho!)
Of course, I start with the older one first. My favorite classic Ferrari has to be the 365 GTB/4 otherwise known by many, but not Ferrari, as the Daytona.
Ferrari themselves never really refer the 365 GTB/4 (along with its topless sister, the GTS/4 aka Daytona Spider) with the Daytona name, as they only recognize the popular Daytona name as an “unofficial” name.
Of course, that begs the question: Where the hell did they get the Daytona name? Well, this car was launched at the 1968 Paris Auto Salon, a year after the infamous NART-Ferrari podium finish lockout at the 1967 Daytona 24 Hours race.
This car was a true gran turismo car, with a properly gran turismo layout, front engine, rear drive. This car wasn’t really for the people who likes sheer brutal speed, it was really made for the grand touring. Not only does it has an all-rounder road capability, it has a very forgiving interior. Heck, I’d say it’s a perfect interior blend between luxurious comfort and hardcore sportiness.
Another reason why I like this car is its near perfect styling. I don’t really need to write a paragraph trying to describe it, let the picture speak for itself…
And then there’s its symphonious engine, the Colombo V12. No, no, no, hold your guns, FBI agents, this isn’t made by the member of the Five Families organized crime family, Joe Colombo Family. This engine was the artwork created by Gioacchino Colombo, Il Commendatore’s close friend back in his days with Alfa Romeo.
And then, there’s the next car which is essentially the real successor to the Daytona…
Ferrari would say that this is anything but a successor to the Daytona. By de jure, it is the spiritual successor to the Ferrari 512 series, a flat 12 engined lineup in the 80s and 90s. However, if you see its design, its purpose, and its overall data, I can argue that the 550 is the de facto successor to the 365 GTB/4 Daytona.
In case you still can’t tell, I have a thing for FR layout GT cars.
I mean, if you look at the layout, a front engine, rear drive layout, this is a 365 GTB/4 in its roots. And the engine? A melodic naturally aspirated V12, mated to a manual gearbox, the last manual-only V12 powered Ferrari ever.
And if you thought the coupe 550 Maranello was seductively pornographically sexy, take a look at its even more seductively pornographically sexy sister, the 550 Barchetta, which is a version that I like way more than the coupe. It is a true roadster to its core. You don’t even get a retracting roof! All you get is just a sheet of canvas that vaguely covers the roof and will fly off into the near oblivion once you drive over 110 km/h which realistically is a laughable joke. But you got a 550 Barchetta, why would you be realistic?
If I had a quadrillion IDR in my balance, in a heartbeat, this would be the first car that I’ll make a purchase of.
And those are my two favorite Ferrari SpA cars, from your resident REVVING-IT-DAILY tifoso di Scuderia Ferrari. Grazie mille.
(These next 3 parts were written up by R.I.D’s Subaru SVX lover; Wai Ning Lai!)
The Ferrari 355. Always a very keen car in Ferrari’s history – because it is what a Ferrari should be. Very pretty, very fast, and more importantly, very Italian.
The V8 in the 355 is a very hefty engine. Sure, not as fast as today’s term of supercar, but it can keep up with the time difference. 0-60 in about 4 seconds? It’s quick enough if you asked me.
And it is still striking to look at before the introduction of the 360, which is just a bit of a bore. It’s the car that ended in favor the sake of shifting units. Nothing wrong, but then, the 458 came out and it showed us that they can make a pretty mid-engine car. And the 355 – that was the turning point. The last Ferrari to be brilliant before the 360.
250 GT California-
If you were an 80s film fan, you’d remember the film about a teen taking the day off. Yep, I’m referring to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But then there was one unsung hero. Yes, I am aware it’s a replica.
The 250 California was basically an MG in the film, but in reality, was a complete unparalleled. Sure, some of the image may have been lost due to Chris Evans. *cough cough* But then again when you consider that it’s got a small V12 with a displacement of just 3 litres, you’d fall in love with the lines as well as that engine.
Of course, being a 250, we do love it for it’s lines. Like it’s nameplate, we do love driving down the back costal part of a very open California road with no traffic, and just enjoying how very much of a pretty Ferrari this 250 really just… is.
Ferrari’s attempt of a V12 2+2 after the 412 was as a matter of fact, the 456. Yes, that is a pun on going in order, but that was actually the cubic size of the engine.
If you were looking for the car that created the V12 GTC4Lusso, then the 456 was what it is. A V12 2+2 grand tourer. Talk about history.
A favourite among pop-up fans too, this was the last Ferrari to have pop-up headlamps. Meaning, if you are interested in figures, to a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds, and on towards a top speed of 188.
So pretty quick, even by today’s standards.
(With the other writers’ parts finished, now it’s time for you to skim through what I’ve gathered up…)
Granturismo Omologato. To people who know nothing about cars, that term is meaningless nonsense (unless they’re Italian). But to petrolheads, it’s something really very special.
And no, I’m not talking about the Pontiac GTO.
I mean the Ferrari 250 GTO, which was simply what some call; ‘the greatest Ferrari ever made’. And I’m not surprised.
It won countless victories and raced everywhere around the world, including Sebring, LeMans, the list goes on.
Just 39 were ever made, and each of the 3.0 litre, 300bhp Columbo V12 engines were handmade, and specially modified for the FIA’s Group 3 Grand Touring Car Racing series.
Even these days, such things are fetching up to $30 million on average. A series 2 was once privately sold for $52 million!
The 1960s was a time when supercars simply couldn’t give 2 hoots about the environment and emissions or any form of wildlife trust, we just simply shot every wild animal we saw!
This meant engines of such rare things were made for shifting around the planet with a huge grin on our faces, NOT to save it!
And the 275 GTB is amongst one of the greatest hits of the swinging decade, I mean just look at it for crying out loud. It’s as pretty as Cameron Diaz bathing herself with honey, thanks to the craftsman at Pininfarina.
It’s as fast as a charging cheetah, thanks to the expanded 3.3 litre Columbo V12 with 4 camshafts, instead of the usual 2!
300bhp, a top speed of 167mph, and just 280 were ever made. This surely has to be up there with the greatest Ferraris of them all!
And Ferrari also made 10 convertible versions of this car, called the ‘NART’ Spyder (which stood for North American Racing Team). Which was even better.
330 GT 2+2 (Series 1)-
People tend to forget about Ferrari’s lesser models that floated around at the same time. And the 330 GT is amongst those forgotten gems!
It had a 4.0 litre version of the V12 for instance, it was practical, it was comfortable, it was great for touring around. And how do I know this?
Because Enzo Ferrari himself had one! He would even take his dog around in it…
And when Rock and Roll was swiftly trending, Paul McCartney had a Lamborghini 400 GT, Mick Jagger had an Aston Martin DB6.
John Lennon meanwhile had just passed his driving test, and his first ever car was a bright blue 330 GT!
And the Series 1 with it’s quad headlights, you have to admit, it’s a flipping GORGEOUS looking thing! Which is why it deserves to be up in this exclusive list.
Before the technologically astonishing LaFerrari came along, the prancing horses’ idea of an ultimate supercar came in the name of tribute.
Enzo. Named after the God-like man himself, and BOY was it a celebration!
The 6.0 litre V12 mated to a 6 speed semi-automatic gearbox meant 640bhp, which thrusted this car on to a top speed as high as 221mph! That’s as quick, if not quicker than the LaFerrari!
This car is so special, that Ferrari even built one for someone else below God: The Pope.
I personally love this car because of how low-pitched that engine sounds, compared to modern Ferraris. I love this car because of the incredibly beautiful styling.
It looks like a set of red hot knives have been welded together to create one STUNNING piece of Italian architecture!
And with a Top Gear lap time of 1:19.0, it’s quicker than almost any Ferrari to go on that board.
Many people have complained that turbocharging modern performance cars is killing off their soul, their history, their zest. People these days love the sound of a naturally aspirated engine.
The 458’s N/A V8 was a fabulous thing in all respects, so people naturally got sceptical when the forced inducted 488 came to town.
But you have to remember- some of Ferrari’s most iconic cars were in fact, forced inducted! So it’s quite significant to their history.
And the 488 really fails to disappoint. The 3.9 litre V8 churns out 661bhp and 560 lb ft of torque. It’ll shift all the way up to a 0-60 time of 3 seconds and a top speed of over 205mph!
Yes, a Lamborghini Huracan may have more drama from it’s V10. Yes, a McLaren 720S will smoke it in every power test.
But come on, if you had £183,000 to spend on a supercar, you’d have to be quite silly to look elsewhere from the 488.
It’s every bit as Ferrari, as Nigel Mansell’s moustache.
When you think about game-changers in the car world, you really should consider which cars really moved the world on. What changed the rule-books so much, that everyone else followed?
And the Ferrari F40 is certainly up there with the best of them!
It was the first road going supercar to break the 200mph barrier for instance. It was the first road car to have body panels made of carbon fibre! And most significantly, it was the last Ferrari to be signed off by Enzo himself.
And soon enough, other manufacturers such as Jaguar, McLaren, Porsche and even Mercedes, took Ferrari’s idea of making a supercar, and stuck with it! This car deserves more respect than it already does.
It was made to celebrate 40 years of Ferrari, and since it’s 2017, it’s now reached it’s 30th birthday. Happy birthday F40, and a very happy birthday to Ferrari!
So there we are! That’s Revving-It-Daily’s take on how to celebrate Ferrari’s 70th anniversary 🙂
We all genuinely hope you enjoyed reading this special article. As always, please leave a reaction or comment below! And follow us on social media @revving_it_daily