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#1 JtP1

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 16:05

Discussion at lunch in the cafe brought up the following question. A lady friend of one of the clientel said she had watched a program on Ferraris and that the first one was yellow. The program said the colour of the following ones had been changed to red because of the death of a racing driver. I pointed out that Ferraris were red because that was the Italian national colour. So how much truth is there in the colour swap story? I can only think of Varzi a suitable candidate for the killed racing driver part of the story.

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#2 RStock

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 18:04

Discussion at lunch in the cafe brought up the following question. A lady friend of one of the clientel said she had watched a program on Ferraris and that the first one was yellow. The program said the colour of the following ones had been changed to red because of the death of a racing driver. I pointed out that Ferraris were red because that was the Italian national colour. So how much truth is there in the colour swap story? I can only think of Varzi a suitable candidate for the killed racing driver part of the story.



Achille Varzi was driving an Alfa Romeo when he was killed .

And an Italian newspaper described the first Ferrari road car produced as "small , red and ugly"

#3 WHITE

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:07

Discussion at lunch in the cafe brought up the following question. A lady friend of one of the clientel said she had watched a program on Ferraris and that the first one was yellow. The program said the colour of the following ones had been changed to red because of the death of a racing driver. I pointed out that Ferraris were red because that was the Italian national colour. So how much truth is there in the colour swap story? I can only think of Varzi a suitable candidate for the killed racing driver part of the story.



Hi, as far as I know, the red colour was the national colour for Italy. FIA (FIAS then ) assigned a color to each country and red was the one for Itali, that soon became known as "rosso corsa". However the official Ferrari colour is the yellow because this is the colour of the Modena flag, the town where Ferrari is.


#4 Mal9444

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:37

while one might have thought that if a colour were to be changed to pay respects to the dead, it would be changed to black.

#5 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 07:35

What your lady friend may have heard is: The original/official color of Modena is yellow and used in the Ferrari scudetto. Ferrari used red as noted above. The prancing horse was a gift from Baracca's parents to Enzo for he had been killed in action... It is quite unusual for Ferrari to act upon any fatality bar forfait during a race. Only 9/11 black nose springs to mind. Long after Enzo's days.
Next time give your lady friend another drink and ask her what is the exact Ferrari red! ;-)

#6 JtP1

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 09:59

What your lady friend may have heard is: The original/official color of Modena is yellow and used in the Ferrari scudetto. Ferrari used red as noted above. The prancing horse was a gift from Baracca's parents to Enzo for he had been killed in action... It is quite unusual for Ferrari to act upon any fatality bar forfait during a race. Only 9/11 black nose springs to mind. Long after Enzo's days.
Next time give your lady friend another drink and ask her what is the exact Ferrari red! ;-)


She is not my lady friend and she was saying that it was blood red from the program. The conversation started over her recognising a Ferrari while being driven past a car showroom and recognising one, even though this one was not actually red.
To put you in the picture, she has had her new car for 2.5 years and it is coming up for 2000 miles.

But I seem to remember from somewhere that the original Ferrari was yellow until changing to the national colour.

#7 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 12:29

She is not my lady friend and she was saying that it was blood red from the program. The conversation started over her recognising a Ferrari while being driven past a car showroom and recognising one, even though this one was not actually red.
To put you in the picture, she has had her new car for 2.5 years and it is coming up for 2000 miles.

But I seem to remember from somewhere that the original Ferrari was yellow until changing to the national colour.

Oops, sorry. All I can add that I never read or heard about this story. Already when he started his Scuderia in 1929 his cars were bright red. Not the marroon red Alfa used. The AAC 815 was red. The 125S was red. Etc.
What I may imagine what you read was about the primer used on early Ferrari's. At some tests Ferraris appeared in this grey-yellowish (!) primer as they simply hadn't found the time to paint it. Some practiced and were painted as desired before the race.

As an aside I come to amaze myself how well recognized Ferrari's are nowadays. Many moons ago when non-petrol heads had seen 'something special' they only replied: "Well it was red and low..."

#8 AMICALEMANS

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 14:40

Truth or tales : when ferrari design a new car, the first one which roll down the line is ...yellow. The second one should be red except if uou are the customer and you ordered it in ...pink !

#9 cpbell

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 20:00

Plus, of course, Ecurie Belge entered Gendebien in a yellow Sharknose at Spa in 1961.

#10 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 21:12

Plus, of course, Ecurie Belge entered Gendebien in a yellow Sharknose at Spa in 1961.


Belgian racing colours.

http://en.wikipedia....o_racing_colors

:cool:



#11 cpbell

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 21:19

Belgian racing colours.

http://en.wikipedia....o_racing_colors

:cool:


Of course, hence Ecurie Belge. ;)

#12 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 23:56

Go to the "vintage" section here: www.ferrarichat.com Your question will be answered. My own somewhat informed guess is that the first Ferrari was not yellow.

Jack

#13 dretceterini

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:01

Scuderia Ferrari Alfas=red
Alfa Romeo Bimotore, designed and built at Ferrari=red
Auto Avio 815=red

yellow Ferraris were all privateer cars



#14 RCH

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:03

Truth or tales : when ferrari design a new car, the first one which roll down the line is ...yellow. The second one should be red except if uou are the customer and you ordered it in ...pink !


I seem to remember reading this somewhere, but this applies to production cars, I believe yellow is the second most popular Ferrari colour. I used to have a customer for model cars whose entire collection of Ferrari models was yellow....

So far as racing cars are concerned red is the colour and always has been. As has been said here Ecurie Francorchamps/Belge cars have raced as "semi" works in yellow. Is it possible that a car was supplied to somebody to race in yellow, the driver was killed and the car returned to the factory and re-emerged in red? Or was this a programme which contained as much historical "truth" as the one I saw recently on Shelby Cobras?

#15 Rob29

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:26

Not sure if this thread refers to the Scuderia Ferrari team or the Ferrari production line?
If the former,apart from the belgians,they once ran a green car for Mike Hawthorn and a blue & yellow one for Gonzalez.Dinky Toys made a model of this-misinfo at the time was that this was the Thai colours for Bira!

#16 jtremlett

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 08:52

I suspect the programme in question was actually an episode of Channel 4's "Come Dine With Me" where a singularly uninformed (yellow) Ferrari owner came up with this story. The first Ferraris were red. They were racing cars and raced in the Italian national racing colour. That includes both the Auto Avio's built for the 1940 Mille Miglia and subsequent cars actually carrying the Ferrari name after WWII.

Up until the 1970s many Ferrari road cars were not red although a lot have subsequently been repainted. I look after the Register of cars for the Ferrari Owners Club GB. Roughly 66% of Ferraris owned by members are red, 10% are blue, 7% black, 6% silver. Just over 3% are yellow. I don't have the same figures for the entire database (i.e. including Ferraris not owned by Club members) immediately to hand but they are broadly similar.

Jonathan

#17 Tony Matthews

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 09:12

Up until the 1970s many Ferrari road cars were not red although a lot have subsequently been repainted.
Jonathan

I post this with trepidation, 'cos I don't like to make a fool of myself on matters of fact, but I thought that LdM stated fairly recently that yellow was his - and by association, the factory's - first choice for road cars, followed by red. I can't remember where I read it...

#18 jtremlett

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 09:59

I post this with trepidation, 'cos I don't like to make a fool of myself on matters of fact, but I thought that LdM stated fairly recently that yellow was his - and by association, the factory's - first choice for road cars, followed by red. I can't remember where I read it...

It might be his first choice (although none of the Ferraris that I know of that he has owned have been yellow) but it isn't that of Ferrari customers!

Jonathan

#19 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:09

In my view.

All Ferrari's are red.

With the exception of the yellow ones, which due to and through the very fine showings by Belgian Ferrari racers over the years.

Anyone wanting a Ferrari which is anything but red, do not understand what they are buying, unless the are Belgian, in which case they show a very fine understanding of Ferrari, history, nostalgia and what is 'right'.

But that is just me.

:cool:

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#20 Tony Matthews

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:11

It might be his first choice (although none of the Ferraris that I know of that he has owned have been yellow) but it isn't that of Ferrari customers!

Well, it wouldn't be mine either!

#21 RCH

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:21

In my view.

All Ferrari's are red.

With the exception of the yellow ones, which due to and through the very fine showings by Belgian Ferrari racers over the years.

Anyone wanting a Ferrari which is anything but red, do not understand what they are buying, unless the are Belgian, in which case they show a very fine understanding of Ferrari, history, nostalgia and what is 'right'.

But that is just me.

:cool:


Not forgetting "Piper" green of course!

#22 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:42

In my view.

All Ferrari's are red.

With the exception of the yellow ones, which due to and through the very fine showings by Belgian Ferrari racers over the years.


and the famed, Blue Ferrari driven by Louis Rosier. :D

#23 David McKinney

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:46

Scuderia Ferrari...once ran a blue & yellow one for Gonzalez

I'm not saying you're wrong, but the only blue and yellow Ferraris I recall Gonzalez racing were entered by ACA, not the Scuderia


#24 ChrisJson

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 10:48

and the white and blue NART Ferraris of 1964

#25 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 11:42

Yes there have been some one-off's with different colour schemes.

But Ferraris are red, or yellow.

No other colours should be wished for by anyone.

:cool:

#26 Spitfire

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 14:50

Ferrari must be red? Given Enzo's personal choice of road cars, he certainly didn't think so. . .


#27 # 0

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 15:27

If I ever get to buy a Ferrari, it will be any color, but most certainly not red! That'd be like going to a NASCAR race in a black #3 shirt.

#28 JtP1

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Posted 13 September 2009 - 20:35

I suspect the programme in question was actually an episode of Channel 4's "Come Dine With Me" where a singularly uninformed (yellow) Ferrari owner came up with this story. The first Ferraris were red. They were racing cars and raced in the Italian national racing colour. That includes both the Auto Avio's built for the 1940 Mille Miglia and subsequent cars actually carrying the Ferrari name after WWII.

Up until the 1970s many Ferrari road cars were not red although a lot have subsequently been repainted. I look after the Register of cars for the Ferrari Owners Club GB. Roughly 66% of Ferraris owned by members are red, 10% are blue, 7% black, 6% silver. Just over 3% are yellow. I don't have the same figures for the entire database (i.e. including Ferraris not owned by Club members) immediately to hand but they are broadly similar.

Jonathan


That sounds like the program the lady would watch, it certainly wouldn't be a program on Ferraris.


#29 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:51

Indeed, red is the favorite color of choice with street Ferrari's. Even such that today you can choose from three Ferrari reds when buying a new one (Corsa, Scuderia, Mugello). In the past there have been other red flavor's such as Rosso Barchetta and Rosso Dino (orange?). Already in th early years street cars have been sold in red. Of course many others got different colors up to ridiculous combinations (for instance to frustrate Luigi Chinetti when he received a new batch of cars). Nonetheless many Ferrari's look astonishing in different paint, particularly the metallics. Enzo as well as Battista 'Pinin' Farina had Ferrari in the lovely green Celeste Metallizzato. All gems.
Still racing has always reflected on the street car sales of Ferrari and therefore international customers bought them red. Given also that many of the first street cars were intended for racing.
This is also the case, albeit in lower proportions with yellow. Ecurie National Belge/Franchorchampsbeing being responsible.

If Ferrari always roll the first of a new series of the line in yellow sounds unlikely to me. Ferrari street cars were and are sold for the income of the company. Customer is king and only a small percentage is sold in yellow.
Some Ferrari's have been launched in yellow at shows and press releases. Often in a duette with a red one. Fly yellow of Giallo Modena as it is known today remains just a color to choose from.

When it comes to racing: the Scuderia always races in red, the national racing color of Italy. And their have been quite some different shades of Ferrari red. Don't be fooled, there is no one Ferrari red.
Yellow, color of the city of Modena, has always been a supporting color.



#30 Paul Parker

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 19:16

cpbell

'Plus, of course, Ecurie Belge entered Gendebien in a yellow Sharknose at Spa in 1961'

He also drove a yellow Dino 246 in the 1958 Belgian GP at Spa.


#31 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:30

cpbell

'Plus, of course, Ecurie Belge entered Gendebien in a yellow Sharknose at Spa in 1961'

He also drove a yellow Dino 246 in the 1958 Belgian GP at Spa.

Phil Hill US GP 1959. Blu NART.

#32 Paul Parker

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 11:35

Never seen a colour pic of that Arjan, I wonder if anybody took one?

#33 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:01

Never seen a colour pic of that Arjan, I wonder if anybody took one?


Me neither (as I was having discussions with some model car companies about the correct tone) until I bought an LP record of the 1959 US GP by Riverside Records. This has a color shot of the start with the blue Dino in among. It is a somewhat darkish blue (Royal Blue). Only others are good B&W pics that lead me to believe their it was not metallic.

#34 RA Historian

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 13:28

Never seen a colour pic of that Arjan, I wonder if anybody took one?

Thought that I could help, went to my copy of the recent book, "Sunshine, Speed, and a Surprise", which is about the 1959 USGP, only to discover that there are no color photos at all in it. Blast. A goodly number of b/w of the Hill Ferrari, but that is no help here. I know that I have seen such a photo, question is, where?

I have to think that there is a contemporary magazine, book, what have you, that would have such a shot.

Tom