Ferrari nowadays offers over 30 different paint colours to their customers, ranging from shades of silver, yellow, green, blue, black, white and red. Fortunate clients who opt in for the Tailor Made configurations are given the opportunity to even create their own colour. The popularity of the traditional red is slowly decreasing, but why is red still the most present colour in the history of the brand? Let’s find out.
Ferrari notifies and adjusts
About 40% of the new cars that Ferrari sells, is ordered in red. This might seem like a huge number, but if you compare it to the early 1990s – where over 85% of new cars were ordered in red – you could state that buyers are becoming a bit more creative and less narrow minded.
This shows an interesting transaction where clients are often choosing for a different colours, such as silver, black, yellow or blue. Even Ferrari notified this change, and in recent years, most new cars weren’t launched in a shade of red: the 458 Speciale Aperta and F12tdf were launched in yellow, the LaFerrari Aperta in black and the 488 Pista Spider in white.
To explain the importance of red in the history of Ferrari, we have to go back to the first decade of the 20th century. Young Enzo Ferrari visited a race at Circuito di Bologna in 1908 and he saw talented drivers of that time (Vincenzo Lancia, Felice Nazzaro) in red Fiats. The fact those cars were red, was not a coincidence. The Italians adopted Rosso Corsa as their national racing colour the year before after an Itala (car) won the Peking-Paris rally. The AIACR (called FIA today) made new regulations that required race teams to paint their cars in their respective national colour.
The French raced in blue, the Britons in green and the Germans in white. During a race in the mid-1930s, the German cars were a tad too heavy, so they removed the paint and were left with a bare body that was silver. A new racing colour was born; most German race cars are currently known as the Silver Arrows.
Why is red the national colour of Italy?
There are various stories about how red became the national colour of the country, this is one of them. The supporters of Giuseppe Garibaldi - an Italian general and nationalist - wore red shirts/blouses. Garibaldi started this trend when he was involved in military action in Uruguay in the 1840s.
He spent time in the South-American country when he was banned from Italy because of his strong thoughts and believes. During his time in Uruguay, he used red shirts from a nearby slaughterhouse that were destined for their employees. Historians consider Garibaldi as one of Italy’s founding fathers and as one of the greatest generals of modern times. The country adopted red as their national colours as a sign of respect towards Garibaldi.
Written by Max Lammers