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Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & Collectable Books

Ferrari – Books vs Cars

Whilst idly staring at a shelf of Ferrari books, (and daydreaming of owning one), a question popped into my head: which are there more of - actual Ferrari cars, or books about the iconic vehicles?

Before we attempt to answer that conundrum, a very brief history about this famous brand.

After working as a racing driver for Fiat and Alfa Romeo, Enzo Ferrari set up Scuderia Ferrari in 1929. Scuderia Ferrari was effectively the racing division of Alfa Romeo and was very successful in the pre-war years.

After a disagreement with Alfa's managing director, Ferrari left in 1939 and founded Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. With the outbreak of World War II, Ferrari's factory was forced to undertake war production for Mussolini's fascist government. At the end of the war, Ferrari decided to start making cars bearing his name, and founded Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947. Initially, Ferrari existed to build (and race) racing cars. However, to finance his racing endeavours, the company soon started selling sports cars.

Over the years Ferrari have produced some truly beautiful cars as well as many engineering marvels. Recently, my wife and I toured northern Italy in our little campervan. Ferrari have two museums: The Ferrari Museum in Maranello which is more focused on Formula One, and The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena which looks more at the history of Ferrari. The history of Ferrari interests me more, so we managed to take a slight detour through Modena to visit the museum there.

MuseumEnzo's Office
Original Workshop & Enzo's Office

The museum is relatively small and only took me about an hour to wander round. But it was fascinating to see a selection of their finest cars and engines. I was particularly pleased to see my favourite ‘I just might be able to buy one’ Ferrari – the 308; as well as my favourite ‘never ever gonna happen’ Ferrari – the iconic F40.

Ferrari 308Ferrari F40
Ferrari 308 & F40

Anyhow, back to the books. The Internet reports that approximately 220,000 Ferraris have been built since 1947. I was surprised by this figure; for some reason I thought it would be higher. So how many books have been published and printed about Ferrari? The short answer is I really don’t know! But we currently have around 50 books in stock dealing with Ferrari – and have sold well over 200 such books. Based on those figures, and the number of Ferrari related books I see in new book shops, I think it’s safe to say that there are far more books about Ferrari that there are actual cars! I wonder if the same can be said for many other car manufacturers?

The books we have in stock deal with all aspects of Ferrari. Lots deal with specific models – maybe racing history and very technical details.

Ferrari 312 & 512Ferrari 250 GTO

Others deal with the history of the company or design ethos.

Enzo FerrariFerrari Design

I suspect there are many people out there who, like me, are only able to afford the books whilst dreaming of the real thing! If you fall into that category, maybe you can find some daydreaming material on our shelves!

Contributed by Steve

(Published 4th Jun 2024)

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