The tail of the Cavallino
08 March 2018

On Women's Day, our 'Lady in Alfa red', Elvira Ruocco, gives us a curious story about two women, two mothers who have made history: the mothers of Francesco Baracca and Enzo Ferrari.  

The origin of one of Italy's best-known symbols has been the subject of much writing in the past, and different interpretations have increased its appeal.

In his book: My Terrible JoysEnzo Ferrari recounts:

"When I won the first Savio Circuit in 1923, I met Count Enrico Baracca, father of the hero Francesco Baracca. From that meeting came the next one, with his mother, Countess Paolina. It was she who told me one day: Ferrari, put my son's prancing horse on your cars. It will bring you luck. I still have the photograph of Baracca, with the dedication of his parents entrusting me with the emblem,' Ferrari concludes. 'The little horse was and has remained black; I added the canary yellow background, which is the colour of Modena.

This was not the only change Ferrari made. If you compare the two images, you can see that the horses are not the same and not only in the tail. Note the mane and the position of the legs.
The prancing horse emblem appeared for the first time on the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300s of Taruffi-D'Ippolito and Brivio-Siena, which took the first two places in the 1932 Spa 24 Hours.

According to authoritative accounts, Enzo Ferrari's choice was based on his love of Giovanni Pascoli's poem 'La cavalla storna' and his admiration for the Ace of Aces, which he developed during his adolescence..

Perhaps not everyone knows that there is a link between Ferrari and Alfa, and the link is Enzo Ferrari, who was a racing driver for Alfa Romeo and later sales representative for Emilia Romagna and Marche. On 1st December 1929, he founded the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena and Alfa entrusted him with its cars, which were developed and prepared for racing by Alfa technicians at the team's headquarters, collecting 225 victories in eight seasons.

On the occasion of Alfa's 75th anniversary, Ferrari wrote: "I still have for our Alfa, rest assured, the adolescent tenderness of first love, the immaculate affection for mother! Believe me, your Enzo Ferrari.

Elvira Ruocco, historical memory of Alfa Romeo, thanks to her more than twenty years of experience at the Alfa Romeo Centro di Documentazione Storica, has become part of the Museum team and in the column "Elvira Racconta" she will share curiosities and anecdotes that you may not know or remember. We will retrace the legendary history of Alfa Romeo with her.