Ferrari nowadays offers customers over 30 different paint colours, ranging from shades of silver, yellow, green, blue, black, white and red. Fortunate clients who opt in for the Tailor Made configurations are even given the opportunity to create their own colour. The popularity of 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 takes notice and adjusts
About 40% of the new cars that Ferrari sells are 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 say that buyers are becoming a bit more creative and less narrow minded.
This shows an interesting change, with clients now often choosing for a different colours such as silver, black, yellow or blue. Ferrari eventually took notice of this change, and in recent years, many of its 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.
National colours in the early 20th century
To explain the importance of red to 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 saw talented drivers of the 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 bit 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, and this is one of them. Supporters of the Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi wore red shirts/blouses – a trend he started when he was involved in military action in Uruguay in the 1840s.
Garibaldi spent time in the South American country when he was banned from Italy because of his strong thoughts and beliefs. During his time in Uruguay, he used red shirts from a nearby slaughterhouse that were meant for their employees. After Garibaldi became one of Italy’s founding fathers, the newly unified country adopted red as its national colour as a sign of respect towards one of its greatest modern generals.
What is your favourite Ferrari colour? Leave a comment below!