You’ve all seen it, and some of us have worshipped it. But where did Ferrari’s iconic prancing horse stem from? This is the true story behind the most recognized automotive logo of them all.
If you piloted European skies during the first World War, a certain logo struck fear through the heart. Donning the side of Count Francesco Baracca’s SPAD XIII fighter plane, sight of a prancing dark stallion brought mortality and death above ground. Should Baracca’s symbol of demise enter the crosshairs, you were going to meet your maker. The horse was lifted from the Baracca’s family crest, but it was effectively the grim reaper.
As a legendary professional of Italy’s air force, Baracca proved to be an inspiration to young, hot-blooded Italian men. Depicting his ‘prancing horse’ upon the wings of various aircraft, with its tail pointed downwards as a symbol of courage, Count Francesco claimed no less than 34 victories, sending dozens of aviators to the grave before being shot down himself on June 19, 1918.
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