Ferrari is one of the world’s most well-known brands. Not just car brands, but brands, period. Which is incredible when you think about that production has always been very limited. Even now, only around a little over 6, 500 cars are made yearly. Toyota, by contrast, has sold over 35 million Corollas around the world.
But why Ferrari? As the car world paces forward with electrification and automation, it’s ok to think about the appeal of the Italian marque. Is it just rich guys showing off, or something else?
The glib answer to an one-percenter question is this: to really know, you’ve got to drive one. But that’s hard to actually manage, unless you sign up for a drive experience in Las Vegas or have a Silicon Valley buddy.
But if you did get behind the wheel, the Ferrari appeal would make more sense. Compare it to an indifferent wine drinker who’s handed a glass of vintage Montrachet. It’s not that you’d abruptly turn up your nose at a cheap drink, but you might tell your fellow drinkers about the time you laid into a real expensive bottle of Romanée-Conti. Now that was a hoot.
How to tell what makes a Ferrari special? There is no doubt that they are playthings, and owners show them off. But not one of those concepts tells about the essence of the brand, that second the exquisiteness of the actual thing cuts away your own preconceptions.
And why all the red? Ferrari’s signature race red is the customary color of Italian race cars. Between the World Wars, the color of race cars acknowledged their nationality rather than the driver or manufacturer. French-entered blue cars like Bugatti, white cars for German Benz and Mercedes, and green ones for BRM and British Lotus.