On 17 June 1923 the racing pilot Enzo Ferrari had the first of his few victories: in total there would be nine, over a racing career that lasted until 1931. That day, June 17, 1923, is linked to an episode that would play a decisive role in Ferrari’s passage from story to legend. Because Ferrari, behind the apparent exclusive focus on 'doing', was in fact a master of appreciation the value of symbols, and their ability to generate enthusiasm, becoming a reference point for passions of ordinary people.
His son Francesco, had become, in rural Italy at the turn of the century, a myth: an aviation pilot, the hero of the skies, the flying symbol of a patriotism which Enzo, an ardent interventionist in 1915, fully identified with. The activities of Baracca had a tragic outcome: he was shot down by the enemy in the clouds above Montello.
"The Horse" Ferrari wrote in his memoirs, "was and has remained black. I added the canary yellow background, which is the color of Modena."
Interestingly, only nine years after the chance meeting at the victory of the Circuit of Savio, the prancing horse would make his first appearance on the Enzo’s cars. The "debut" took place in Belgium, more precisely in Spa, where on July 10, 1932 was a 24 Hour race. The emblem was stuck on the hood of the 8-cylinder Alfa Romeo 2300 MM.
There is still a bit more backstory that establishes prancing stallion's origins in Germany. The prancing stallion is the symbol of the city of Stuttgart. During the First World War, in an aerial duel, Francesco Baracca shot down an aircraft manufactured in Germany. Recovering the enemy aircraft wrecks, the Italian pilot would keep the badge attached to the plane’s fuselage, made in a factory in Stuttgart. There was nothing strange in the behavior of Baracca, it was a practice among aviators to recover, if possible, something that would confirm the their dogfight results of the battle in skies. Affectionate to the symbol, Francesco would make it his own good-luck token. And after his death the prancing horse would be sent to his parents. From them it passed into the hands of Enzo.
Article originally posted at: http://www.webalice.it/g.sivocci/biografia-it-en.html
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