History of Giallo FLY color

Discussion in 'Vintage (thru 365 GTC4)' started by toggie, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ

    Nov 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    Toggie (Ron)
    Sorry if this is a repost - I did a search and didn't find anything specific on this topic.

    I'm hoping the experts in this vintage section can share the answers to 2 questions:
    - where did the color name "giallo FLY" come from?
    - And which Ferrari was first painted that color?

    In other threads and on other websites, some people say "FLY" is an acronym for "Ferrari Light Yellow".
    If it stands for "Ferrari Light Yellow", then "FLY yellow" would be redundant (Ferrari Light Yellow yellow).
    It doesn't seem likely Ferrari would use the name "giallo FLY" if the "Y" meant "yellow".

    I vaguely remember another reference I read in some magazine (perhaps Cavallino?) that "FLY" was an acronym for either a specific company or perhaps a racing team or location.

    I'm aware that Ferrari has several colors that part of the name is an acronym, such as:
    - Blu NART (North American Racing Team)
    - Bianco AVUS (Automobil Verkehrs und Ubungs Strasse), AVUS is one of the German Grand Prix tracks.
    - Blu TDF (Tour de France)
    So, it isn't too far-fetched for "FLY" to be an acronym.

    Another thing that typically comes up in the discussion of Ferrari colors is that racing red (Rosso Corsa) is the national racing color of Italy but that yellow is the official color of Modena. I've heard that is why the Cavallino shield ("Scuderia Ferrari") has a yellow background color.

    I'm hoping that the identification of the first Ferrari painted Giallo FLY will be a clue as to what "FLY" stands for.
    I'm thinking the color first appeared in the 1950's but I'm not sure.

    Thanks for any insights into this. I figured FerrariChat is the best place to find people who would know this (especially the vintage section).
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  3. Ferrari 360 CS

    Ferrari 360 CS F1 Veteran
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    Dec 4, 2004
    Cape Town,SA
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    Very interesting thread, I dont have anything new to add but I am also curious at the orgins of FLY.
  4. morcal

    morcal Formula Junior
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    Mar 7, 2003
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    #3 morcal, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    Accordingly to the legend , the light yellow tone used by Ferrari and launched specifically with the Dino, was taken from the original emblem of the city of Modena. In fact, if you browse[/url], you may see pictures of the original "Charts of Account" of the old "Mutine" village. The chart of the year 1336 shows an emblem of a blu cross on a yellow background. Identical colors you may see in the "Dino" logo ( blu digits on yellow background). I learned this by searching for the color of my Dino GT4 which blu tone ( Blu Montecarlo) is same of the blu of the Dino logo. FLY might reasonably be the acronym for Ferrari Light Yellow but what is reasonable in Ferrari related topics?

    BIGHORN In Memoriam

    Sep 18, 2006
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    Name comes from Studio Fly in Modena, run by an ex Ferrari guy whose name I dont recall. My recollection of the color being new on 275s.
  6. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ

    Nov 30, 2003
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    Toggie (Ron)
    #5 toggie, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    Thank you! That is the company name I could not remember.
    I did a google search and found this interesting website:

    I don't speak the language, so maybe someone else could say if this is the same company or not.
    Are they still in business?

    Their contact info on their website is:
    Viale Malmusi, 88 Viale Malmusi, 88
    I-41100 Modena - Italy I-41100 Modena - Italy

    Later, I figured out how to run their Italian website through google's translator to English.
    The results aren't perfect but it gives a general idea of what the company does these days.
    They specialize in: Vehicle Engineering, Industrial Design, and Information Technology.
    Here is a link to run the Studio FLY website in English mode (starts on the Privacy page, click "Company" link on top):
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  8. morcal

    morcal Formula Junior
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    #6 morcal, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    Studio FLY has been opened by the engineers Caliri and Marmiroli (former Ferrari racing staff ) in the early `80 ies, who left Ferrari when participation to endurance racing was terminated to focus on F1 racing only. Yellow Dino were around since years.
  9. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ

    Nov 30, 2003
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    Toggie (Ron)
    #7 toggie, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    An interesting wikipedia entry for Giacomo Caliri:

    Giacomo Caliri is an Italian former Formula One engineer.
    His racing career began in 1966 when Caliri graduated from Turin Polytechnic with a prize-winning thesis on aerodynamics.
    He joined Ferrari in 1964 and became the head of aerodynamic studies in the racing department in 1969, replacing Mauro Forghieri who had moved to Ferrari's F1 department for the 1970 season. By 1974, he was the head of the design office at the Fiorano Circuit. He left Ferrari in 1976 and set up FLY Studio in Modena, working in conjunction with Autodelta, Fittipaldi Automotive (he designed the F5A's aerodynamics in 1978) and ATS (he designed ATS D2 in 1979) on the design of competition cars.
    He joined the Minardi Formula Two team in 1980 and became a stockholder of the Italian team. He became the technical director of the team in Formula One in 1985 and also designed the first Minardi Formula One car, the Minardi M185. He left Minardi in 1989 and also sold his stock in the team.
    He joined Maserati as Technical Director. In 1997 he returned in Ferrari as the head of the Innovation Department. He left Ferrari in 2002 and started as a consultant for the ATR group.
    Since 2004, he is the President of Expotecnica.

  10. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
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    Oct 16, 2007
    Edwardsville, IL
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    Jeff Kennedy
    Maybe I am already supposed to know this but is the yellow of Ecurie Francorchamps different from Fly Yellow.

    BTW the "racing red" has had many, many mutations over the years. I remember reading at one point that it was changed to more closely match Marlboro red at one time.

  11. 285ferrari

    285ferrari Two Time F1 World Champ

    Sep 11, 2004
    Southern Md
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    How different is FLY yellow versus Gallio Modena yellow?? Most people think every yellow Ferrari is FLY yellow...
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  13. Ed Niles

    Ed Niles Formula 3

    Sep 7, 2004
    West Hills, CA
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    Edwin K. Niles
    Giallo is simply Italian for yellow. I was told that fly refers to a bee. In other words bumble-bee yellow. It works for me. Have I started a new rumor??? Always short on facts and long on opinions, I remain yr. hmbl. and obdt. srvt. Ed
    of2worlds likes this.
  14. turbos7903

    turbos7903 F1 Rookie

    Mar 16, 2006
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    jon walton
    Nothing of value to add to this discusion but a huge thanks for starting the discussion. I will be glued to FChat so I can learn the origin of Giallo favorite Ferrari color! Jon in Delaware
  15. toggie

    toggie F1 World Champ

    Nov 30, 2003
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    Toggie (Ron)
    #12 toggie, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    There appears to be 2 different paint codes used by Glidden Salchi of Milan for Giallo FLY.

    20-Y-191 = Giallo FLY

    20.Y.490 = Nuovo Giallo FLY

    I found these paint codes referenced in several articles.
    Also they are mentioned on Eurospares web page for Ferrari Paint Codes:

    An interesting quote at the top of that web page is:

    "Principally Scaglietti-built cars such as the 275 GTB series were delivered with paint manufactured by Glidden Salchi, whereas those built by Pininfarina had paint manufactured by either PPG or Duco, the latter only being in solid colours (non-metallic). The list below details all known paint colours available during the 1965 to 1973 period, where a code number is not listed, this is because the manufacturer did not list one."

    The color "Giallo" used from 1965 to mid-1969 is one of those colors, like Nero, where the manufacturer did not assign a paint code.
    It appears, according to this chart, that "Giallo FLY" became available in mid-1969.

    On other web pages, I've seen the following paint code used for "giallo":

    20-Y-346 = Giallo

    So, no real answers yet, but thought I would post what I've found so far.
  16. Bob Zambelli

    Bob Zambelli F1 Rookie
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    Nov 3, 2003
    Manning, SC
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    Robert G. Zambelli
    When I decided to paint my GTC, I decided that it was definitely going to be yellow. I wanted the absuloutely brightest color I could find.
    Turns out, it was staring right at me - the horn button!
    I removed the button and took it to a paint shop for a match. The color that came up was 1975 Corvette bright yellow.
    So, that's the color I painted it.
    Original color? No, but who cares?

    Bob Z.
  17. Matthias Urban

    Matthias Urban F1 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2005
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    Matthias Urban
    they are not the same colours. Giallo Fly is a deeper, richer Yellow than Giallo Modena, although everyone has to admit that its very hard to tell if cars in both colours do not stand close enough to identify the colour.
  18. Athanase

    Athanase Formula Junior

    Jan 27, 2007
    I have Giallo Fly paint with code: 5204.490
    In my memory it is a Pininfarina reference,not Ferrari.
  19. Randy Forbes

    Randy Forbes Formula Junior

    Jul 14, 2006
    Sarasota, FL
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    Sports Cars Plus,LLC
    A bright yellow has been on the pallette since the 50s, to be sure; not certain that Gil Nichols 340 was originally yellow, but Mrs. Day's 375 MM definately was.

    As was said of Rossa Corsa, there could be many hues of yellow, but it wasn't a new color in the 60s.
  20. mfwpb

    mfwpb Rookie

    Oct 4, 2006
    west palm beach, flo
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    marcello fiorentino
    When I was a kid I remember thinking it was fly-paper yellow. Remember the sticky fly paper. I painted a GT4 Giallo Fly in the early 90's, I have always loved the color. I also read that some Ferrari colors are taken from great race horses. My C/4 is Azzurro Hyperion. Hyperion was a great race horse years ago. Oro Kelso, Giallo My Swallow, etc...............MF

    SPEEDCORE Four Time F1 World Champ

    Jul 11, 2005
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    Toe Knee
    #18 SPEEDCORE, Mar 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Interesting thread :)

    The letter Y isn't part of the Italian alphabet (missing are j, k, w, x and y) and usually you see those letters used with loaned words from other languages OR the local dialects (dialects in Italy differ greatly to the national language and I have noticed the northern states dialects mix it up with other languages and are harder to understand). Though of course there are exceptions to the rule.
    Most likely the word FLY was borrowed from the English version of Fly or the modanese dialect/slang uses the word FLY as Ed Niles suggests for some sort of bumble-bee reference. Are there any Modanese locals that are on the forums?

    The actual Italian word for bee is ape.

    Also here are the coat of arms and the soccer team colours of Modena :) The flag is just half yellow half blue in the same order as the team logo.
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  22. tongascrew

    tongascrew F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2006
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    george burgess
    Good yellow is very difficult to find unless you are painting a school bus, double lines down the middle of the road or a color that's pale and has to much green. Well let me help you out. I stumbled on a numbered color from Paint World in New Haven, Conn. which stated it was a Ferrari color. Assuming it was red I ordered a spray can of it. Guess what. It was yellow and as close to the Ferrari Fly Yellow as I have seen. Up until I had resigned myself to red for the 250 California repro I am building. Now I have my first choice. So Google Paint World and try it. You will not be dissapointed just one man's opinion tongascrew
  23. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    #20 Napolis, Mar 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
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  24. 2GT

    2GT Formula 3

    Aug 25, 2008
    Western NY
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    Fly yellow, which I always associate especially with 275 GTB longnose coupes and Dinos, has an orange cast to it, not too far removed from schoolbus yellow. Giallo Modena is more like the color of the background on the Ferrari and Dino badges: more yellow, without the orange. Bob Zambelli's GTC is about the brightest, purest yellow around. His plane is the same color, with a black arrow accent. Fred
  25. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    Media, PA
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  26. bigblok827

    bigblok827 Rookie

    Aug 30, 2005
    Normandy Park , WA
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    Ed Bruce
    I was told my Dale Chihuly ,,noted glass artist ,, that it was called fly yellow because it attracted flies...
  27. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Matt F
    Neat thread.

    How do the Italians pronounce "fly"?
  28. jdwheeler

    jdwheeler Rookie

    Nov 28, 2007
    London, UK
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    If FLY stood for Ferrari Light Yellow it would make the Giallo part redundant.

    Yellow Ferrari Light Yellow?

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