Source: Ferrari via Bloomberg
Source: Ferrari via Bloomberg

A Brief Illustrated History of Ferrari, Just in Time for an IPO

Fiat’s decision to spin off 10 percent of the 86-year-old brand has prompted speculation about Ferrari’s modern legacy—but sometimes the best way to predict the future is to study the past. According to Hagerty, vintage Ferraris have gained seven times their value since 2006. Even relatively contemporary models (think Ferrari Testarossa) have doubled their value in the past year. Here’s a visual tour of some of the most significant models in Ferrari’s history.
1949 Ferrari 166
1949 Ferrari 166

The long-nosed, softly rounded Ferrari 166 was notable for its evolution from the 125 S sports car. In fact, two Ferrari 166 racing cars won the prestigious Mille Miglia race in both 1948 and 1949. The 166 S is an extremely rare model—only 39 were made.

Photographer: National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images
1952 Ferrari 250 MM
1952 Ferrari 250 MM

The Ferrari 250 was the company's most successful early line, and the 250 series included several variants, all of which are worth millions at auction today. It was replaced by the 275 and the 330. The special “Mille Miglia,” or MM, was exceedingly rare.

Photographer: By Bill Abbott (Ferrari Barchetta)/Wikicommons
1960s Ferrari 250 TR
1960s Ferrari 250 TR

This is the lesser-known and quirky—but just as successful—brother to the iconic 250 GTO. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961. Despite its racing success, the “Coke-bottle” design was controversial, and Ferrari started modifying the design soon after it debuted. 

Photographer: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images
1960 Ferrari 250 GT
1960 Ferrari 250 GT

Introduced in 1960, the Ferrari 250 GT had a body by Pininfarina and a 3-liter V12 engine. But the best thing about it was its fully lined top and generous (for the time) rear space to accommodate passengers and luggage. The idea was to make this Ferrari an attractive touring car without sacrificing performance. And it’s true—this is the one you want to take along the coast, or out to the Hamptons, for a sunny ride. 

Photographer: Car Culture/Getty Images
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder SWB

This is a multimillion-dollar Ferrari. It has drop-top styling by Pininfarina and Scaglietti, a Colombo 3.0-liter V12 engine, space for two plus luggage, and performance derived straight from the racetrack. The idea here was that a gentleman could beat the Aston Martins and Jaguars of the time at the track, then drive home in comfort (and in time) for an elegant dinner date for two in, say, Portofino.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1964 Ferrari 330 GT
1964 Ferrari 330 GT

When it came out in 1964, this 2+2 (four-seater) replaced the 250 GTE and formed the start of the 330 series. Apparently when it debuted, the public was shocked by its large quad headlights and chrome, but the V12, five-speed manual model ultimately received high critical praise both for its practicality and unique styling.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona
1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

The classic Ferrari: a 352-horsepower V12 with five-speed manual transmission and anti-roll bars. It was the last classic-era, front-engine, V12 Ferrari. Its 170-mph top speed became a supercar benchmark, and it was among the most produced Ferrari two-seaters ever. 

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1974 Ferrari 365 GT/4 BB
1974 Ferrari 365 GT/4 BB

This was Ferrari’s first street model with a mid-mounted, flat 12-cylinder engine, which was subsequently nicknamed the “Boxer” for its opposing pistons. The exotic design was derived from Ferrari’s then-Formula One car, and it took two years to bring it to production. Fewer than 400 were made. One prime example of this 380-horsepower five-speed manual car sold for more than $500,000 at an auction earlier this year.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1976 Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino
1976 Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino

This little Dino (named after Enzo Ferrari’s son Dino) was Ferrari’s first mid-engine V8 and the first production Ferrari to use bodywork by Bertone (rather than longtime partner Pininfarina), which was a rather large scandal in Italy.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1986 Ferrari 365
1986 Ferrari 365

Another rare 2+2 Ferrari, this one came (again) with a massive V12 engine and 400 hp. It’s one of the few outstanding models from the 1980s.

Source: Ferrari via Bloomberg
1994 Ferrari 456
1994 Ferrari 456

This front-engined V12 ’90s icon was the last Ferrari model to use pop-up headlamps. It’s unique because it’s one of the few Ferraris to use the 2+2 design.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
1995 Ferrari 512 Testarossa
1995 Ferrari 512 Testarossa

The 12-cylinder mid-engine car is one of the most produced and recognizable Ferraris ever despite its highly expensive price ($220,000 in 1995). It started production in 1984, with a break between 1991 and 1992 before it ended production in 1996. 

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
2002 Ferrari Enzo
2002 Ferrari Enzo

This is the famous Ferrari model that typically breaks $1 million at auction. It’s a 12-cylinder mid-engine Berlinetta supercar named after Enzo Ferrari and built according to Formula One standards. It has a carbon-fiber body and ceramic disc brakes, plus then-progressive technologies like active aerodynamics and traction control (which, ironically, were not allowed in F1). One of the all-time most significant Ferraris ever built.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
2008 Ferrari 599 GTB
2008 Ferrari 599 GTB

This two-seater was the flagship placeholder between the 2006 Ferrari 575M Maranello and the F12 Berlinetta that began in 2013. When it came out, its V12 engine got more than 600 hp on the six-speed manual (or optional semiautomatic) transmission, which was the most powerful road-ready Ferrari at the time.

Photographer: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch/Getty Images
2013 Ferrari FF
2013 Ferrari FF

This is Ferrari’s first-ever four-seat, four-wheel-drive coupe. (It replaced the 612 Scaglietti Grand Tourer.) The FF has a top speed of 208 mph and a 60-mph sprint time of 3.7 seconds, making it the world’s fastest four-seat car at the time it was released. Only 800 were produced in its first year.

Photographer: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MOCA
2015 Ferrari California T
2015 Ferrari California T

This two-door four-seat hard-top convertible has a lot of firsts associated with it: It was the first front-engine V8 Ferrari, the first seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the first with direct injection, and the first with a folding metal roof. It was panned a little as a “beginner” Ferrari when it first appeared, but its strong sales and popularity have made it a public favorite. 

Photographer: Marco Destefanis/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
2015 Ferrari 488 GTB
2015 Ferrari 488 GTB

The 488 GTB is a replacement for the Ferrari 458, sharing several design features and chassis measurements but also vastly reengineered, including a rare-for-Ferrari 3.9-liter turbocharged V8. Also new on it are a front double splitter and blown spoiler integrated into the rear deck. It has an automatic dual-clutch seven-speed F1 gearbox that harnesses 661 hp and will get to 60 mph in 3 seconds. 

Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg