The Italian brand known for its high-end supersport cars has a history that spans almost eight decades. Founded in 1939 by Enzo Ferrari, the brand rolled out its first car one year later. This model was named Auto Avio Costruzioni 815.
Two models raced at the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix, where both failed to finish due to engine problems. History books state that the company's inception as a car manufacturer was in 1947 when the first Ferrari-badged car was completed.
Fiat bought 50% of Ferrari in 1969 and increased its stake to 90% in 1988. In October 2014 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced its intentions to separate Ferrari S.p.A. from the group, as a standalone company. The separation began in October 2015 with a restructuring that established Ferrari N.V., a company incorporated in the Netherlands as the new parent firm for the Ferrari group.
Enzo Ferrari started the Scuderia (which literally translates to "stable" in English) racing team back in 1929, with the intent to eventually produce road cars. Ferrari bought, prepared and fielded Alfa Romeo racing cars for gentlemen drivers. After a short stint at Alfa Romeo as manager of their racing team, Ferrari started his own car producing company. The Ferrari name is also linked to a long history of racing in the Formula 1.
Currently, the most expensive car ever sold at an auction is a Ferrari. In May 2012 the 1962 250 GTO became the most expensive car in history, selling in a private transaction for US$38.1 million to American communications magnate Craig McCaw.