Two things some people may not know about Ferrari: the Scuderia was created before the company itself was founded in 1939.
However, back then it was called Auto Avio Costruzioni and the first Ferrari-branded car only left the factory in 1947.
Which is why the company itself – to this day – still considers 1947 as its “year of birth”.
Enzo Ferrari never really intended to build road cars, he was only interested in racing.
But he needed sales to fund the Scuderia, which is how the 1947 125 S – a V12-powered roadster – was born.
Fast-forward to 2022 and Ferrari is arguably the most iconic name in the industry, and that’s why we figured it’d be interesting to list (in random order) seven great cars we’ll always love.
1. Ferrari F40 (1987)
A debate about ‘the best Ferrari ever made’ would jeopardise friendships but everybody agrees that the F40 should at least be in the conversation. Possibly in the top three, definitely in the top five.
It was launched in 1987 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary and back then, it was the fastest, most powerful, rarest (1,315 units) and most expensive Ferrari on sale
You needed a $400,000 to buy one (about $1m in today’s money).
The F40 was road legal but it wasn’t designed for the road because it was uncomfortable with no creature comforts to speak of.
But what it lacked in terms of real-world usability, it more than made up for in performance and sheer thrills.
The engine was a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V8, delivering 471 hp (477 hp for the US-spec) via a 5-speed manual.
The top speed was 321km/h (200 mph) and it took a little over 4 seconds to get to 100km/h from standstill, which was super impressive in the late 1980s.
Collectors love it but they are not for the casual buyer, the ‘cheapest’ F40 now would still set you back about $1.8m.
2. Ferrari LaFerrari (2013)
The LaFerrari has to be on the list for two reasons: it changed the definition of what a supercar can be, and it was the first high-end hybrid supercar for the road.
Before the LaFerrari, you only had one hypercar and that was the Bugatti Veyron.
Meanwhile, every other luxury brand was building high-performance supercars delivering 600 or 700hp and costing $300,000 or $400,000.
But that all changed when the LaFerrari came along.
It delivered 950hp from its 6.3-litre V12, working in tandem with a KERS system and one tiny electric motor.
It also had a ‘proper’ price tag: $1 million.
An instant classic and a real collector’s item, it also helped establish Ferrari’s famous (some would say ‘notorious’) allocation policy: you couldn’t buy one without Ferrari’s say-so.
3. Ferrari Daytona (1968)
The Daytona is definitely a fans’ favourite, along with another car we’re gonna talk about in a second.
Officially known as the ‘365 GTB/4, legend has it that prominent media outlets from the time dubbed it the ‘Daytona’ to celebrate Ferrari’s 1-2-3 finish in the 1967 eponymous race.
And that’s why everyone – including Ferrari – still calls it the ‘Daytona’ to this day.
It was an elegant two-seat grand tourer built in the late 1960s (also available as a convertible), powered by a 4.4-litre ‘Colombo’ V12.
Interestingly, the Daytona is just as rare as the F40, with only 1,406 units ever produced.
4. Ferrari 360 Modena (1999)
Another fans’ favourite but for different reasons.
The Ferrari 360 was actually received with mixed feelings and reviews when it was launched in 1999.
Fans and collectors began appreciating it with hindsight, over time.
Through the 1990s and the 2000s, people were a bit ‘meh’ because everyone had loved the 355 that preceded it. And they liked the 430 that came after even more.
However, since the late 2000s, the Ferrari 360 has been receiving praise because it is being regarded as the ‘last’ Ferrari before the inevitable technological transition.
Like a bridge to connect fully analogue Ferraris such as the 355 and modern (what some call digital) Ferraris like the 458 and the 488.
Ferrari built about 11,000 units in total – including 7,000+ Spiders and 1,288 Challenge Stradale variants.
They were powered by a 3.6-litre (hence the name 360) V8, delivering 394hp in the ‘base’ model, the Modena.
5. Ferrari Testarossa (1984)
The Testarossa deserves a spot in the top 7 for the name alone: Testarossa is Italian for “red head”.
It was a cultural icon, partly because of the pop-up headlamps, partly because it was used by Ricardo Tubbs and Sonny Crockett in the TV show Miami Vice, and also because it had the most 1980s feature ever: a single wing mirror on the driver’s side.
The Testarossa was powered by a 4.9-litre flat-12 (yup), sending 385hp to the rear wheels courtesy of an old-school 5-speed manual.
Ferrari built 7,177 units in total and believe it or not this is one of the few models from the 1980s and 1990s to be vaguely ‘attainable’.
It’s more or less readily available on classifieds with prices starting from $100,000.
6. Ferrari Dino (1967)
Just like with other Ferraris, it took fans and collectors a while to understand and laud the Dino, because it wasn’t exactly ultra-popular when it was first launched in 1967.
It was sold under the Dino brand – essentially a racing sub-division of Ferrari – and available in three different variants: the 206 GT, 246 GT and GTS.
The GTS was the only open-top model available.
All three cars were powered by a V6, unusual for Ferrari, but because the car was so light (about 1,000 kg) it was agile and fun to drive.
Fun fact: the Dino’s 2.4-litre V6 was also used by Lancia to power the Stratos.
7. Ferrari F50 (1995)
Other cars are more expensive, others are more rare, but when you consider road cars only, the F50 deserves a place on this list because it combines all these ingredients.
It is one of Ferrari’s most easily recognisable and unique models.
The F50 was launched (nearly) 10 years after the F40 to celebrate Ferrari’s 50th anniversary.
It was a huge sensation back then, even though some people thought it wasn’t as good as the F40, and that it looked worse.
Everyone who could afford one wanted it, and those who couldn’t wanted to talk about it.
Only 349 units were built, and just like its ‘dad’ – the F40 – the F50 was a road car that you’re not really supposed to use on the road because it was a carbon-fibre, brutal speed machine.
The rear-mid engine was a N/A 4.7-litre V12, putting out 512hp. Not bad for a car that only weighs 1,230 kg.
It is extremely hard to find in the pre-owned market, even more so than the F40, and more expensive.
You know you’re in trouble when the seller says the price is ‘UPON REQUEST’.