Why is the Cavallino Black on rear of GTOs?

Discussion in '288GTO/F40/F50/Enzo/LaFerrari' started by andrew911, Jul 17, 2017.

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  1. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
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    I recall someone telling me the reason they were told that Cavallinos are black vs chrome on the back of GTOs, but I don't remember the story (the person had just returned from a factory tour- they were purchasing a then-new 599 GTO). Was it that Enzo Ferrari was ticked off about the homologation requirements for the 288GTO and the tradition stayed for the 599 GTO? Or to use the black for race cars to honor the deceased? I can't remember the story...

    From Wikipedia:
    On 17 June 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna where he met the Countess Paolina, mother of Count Francesco Baracca, an ace of the Italian air force and national hero of World War I, who used to paint a horse on the side of his planes. The Countess asked Enzo to use this horse on his cars, suggesting that it would bring him good luck. The original "prancing horse" on Baracca's airplane was painted in red on a white cloud-like shape, but Ferrari chose to have the horse in black (as it had been painted as a sign of grief on Baracca's squadron planes after the pilot was killed in action) and he added a canary yellow background as this is the color of the city of Modena, his birthplace. The Ferrari horse was, from the very beginning, markedly different from the Baracca horse in most details, the most noticeable being the tail that in the original Baracca version was pointing downward.
     
  2. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
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    I recall them being black on the Testarossa also.
     
  3. LVP488

    LVP488 Formula Junior

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    It might have been a '80 thing.
    If I'm not mistaken previously (in standard form) the cars did not have any cavallino on the rear, they only had the badge on the front.
    The black cavallino might have been selected for a progressive introduction, IIRC the 348 tb still did not receive any cavallino on the rear.
     
  4. Traveller

    Traveller F1 Veteran
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    I cannot steal Caeruleus' thunder.....
     
  5. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
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    Not sure what that means, but leads me to believe someone knows the real story..& hopefully fills me in :)
     
  6. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
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    #6 Caeruleus11, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    Yes, I believe the story is that Mr. Ferrari was upset. And thanks Traveller, I hope I have this correct. The story that was told to me by someone at FNA at the 599 GTO introduction- and this is purely from memory- Just prior to the introduction of the 288 GTO, there was an argument between Mr. Ferrari and some higher ups at Fiat. I'm not sure the reason for the argument. However, as the story was told to me, the Fiat executives were adamant this new 288 GTO would feature an oversized bright Cavallino Rampante on the rear. Supposedly, at the very last minute, and unknown to the executives at Fiat, Mr. Ferrari went ahead and changed it!... To the now famous small black prancing horse. Lesson- don't mess with Mr. Enzo Ferrari! :)

    As far as I am aware, the 288 GTO is the first Ferrari production car to wear a black Cavallaino Rampante. And not used again by the Factory until the 599 GTO.

    PS- this caused me to go back to some books and so far I can't find anything that disputes this story. I welcome corrections/ improvements.
     
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  8. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
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    Caeruleus11- that may be the story I was thinking of!! It was driving me nuts- I knew there was a story of why it was black - whether true or not, I think this is the story that was told to the guy I know as he was in the process of getting/ordering his 599GTO- I'm not sure if he was told this during a factory tour or by his Ferrari dealership (and I have not seen him in a while to ask about the story).

    I was reading an article on the 288GTO just a few days ago and when I saw the black Cavallino in the article's picture, I faintly remembered a story being told to me a few years ago but I couldn't remember the details. If true, I could see it being recounted by Ferrari people in the know with the release of the 599GTO! If not true and they just wanted some folklore to go with the black horse on the 599GTO, that wouldn't surprise me either.

    But reading about Enzo all these years, it's probably a true story :)
     
  9. Garretto

    Garretto F1 Rookie

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    #8 Garretto, Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    And in the 348 also.
    348TS_89302-1920x1080_7ASNAE.jpg
     
  10. andrew911

    andrew911 F1 Rookie
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    It may be that they were black on other cars, but my question was regarding the GTO's specifically. It makes sense (to me anyway) to have them black on the black rear of the testarossa/348..although the chrome looks good there too!
     
  11. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
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    Great points about the other cars. I wonder if it was that the Testarossa was sometimes marketed alongside the 288? The 348 is interesting as well as I don't remember seeing it with black but I have seen it with a silver CR. Now I see the picture with black and the same photo is on Ferrari's website. A search of images on line shows Testarossas with either. I will see about learning more on this and getting back to you all. Might be a few days.
     
  12. Camlet1

    Camlet1 Formula 3
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    When I went to the factory to spec my 599 GTO, the Atelier told me the same evocative story. And that because only the GTO has a black prancing horse, I should put a tiny one on the fuel filler flap. Given the depth of passion swirling around I had little choice but to agree. I didn't have the heart to ask how much. Months later when my car was delivered there was the cost: around 500 GBP inc tax. For an item that must have cost pennies to source. It didn't bother me at all and it was a superb example of the power of the Ferrari brand. Enzo would have been justifiably smiling at the margin.
     
  13. 4rePhill

    4rePhill F1 Veteran
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    348's from 1989 ~ mid-1993 left the factory with a matt black horse mounted on the rear grille.

    348's from mid-1993 onwards left the factory with a chrome horse mounted on the rear grille.

    Some owners replace the black horse with a chrome one because they either prefer the chrome horse due to it standing out more on the grille, or they misguidedly believe that the black horse is an after-market replacement.

    Both badges are also prone to getting their tails and legs bent when the car is washed if not enough care is taken, so it's also quite possible that the chrome badge gets ordered by mistake for early cars and gets fitted to the car.

    And finally, the Chrome horse is both cheaper, and easier to get hold of than the black horse when a replacement is required.
     
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  15. Trax

    Trax Formula 3

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    on the modern cars I have a black cavallino on the back of my SpecialeAperta (unbelievably it was a free option and you don't get much free from Ferrari these days)

    but the wouldn't do it for my 488 or 488spider
     
  16. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
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    Thanks for the information- I am curious to learn more.
     
  17. Camlet1

    Camlet1 Formula 3
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    I'm placing a black prancing horse on my tdf. The delectable and irresistible Titanium fuel filler cap released by Ferrari as a retro fit option for the tdf, and being fitted to my car now, has one on it :)
     
  18. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
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    And the legend of the Nero Cavallino Rampante lives on! :)
     
  19. David_S

    David_S F1 Veteran
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    Surely it is because the blackbody radiation adds just that little extra bit of "oomph" to the car? ;)
     
  20. LVP488

    LVP488 Formula Junior

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    I think the Testarossa also switched to a chromed horse when it became the 512 TR.

    Earlier models may get chromed horses to mimic the more recent models, in the same way they often get the black spoilers and skirts repainted in body color (as on the later versions).
     
  21. m5shiv

    m5shiv Formula Junior

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    I asked Marcel this question in person and he denied the story was true.
     
  22. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
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    I would think that solves it. I will have an update for this probably middle September... Sorry for the delay but thats how it goes. I certainly don't want to give out a story if its not accurate!
     
  23. RacerX_GTO

    RacerX_GTO F1 World Champ
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    *laughs* .. and to think back then, so many gripes about the black prancing horse when the TR/348 released. Nobody connected the dots, until this thread.
    :)
     
  24. 4rePhill

    4rePhill F1 Veteran
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    TBH, I think the black horses are a bit too anonymous on the back of the 348 and Testarossa - They tend to disappear into the rear grille (at least on the 288 GTO the black horse stands out against the red background)

    The chrome horse stands out far more, and to Me at least, despite not being original to early cars, looks a lot better.
     

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