MARANELLO--When we arrived at "Formula Ferrari," a conference held this week at Ferrari's main headquarters to share the company's future with international media, we had a suspicion that the event had been perfectly timed to rain on Lamborghini's parade. You see, Lamborghini, another Italian sports carmaker just like Ferrari, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.
The rivalry between Ferrari and Lamborghini is legendary. As you probably know, the latter was founded by tractor maker Ferruccio Lamborghini after he had been slighted by Enzo Ferrari. The story goes that Ferruccio had been a Ferrari customer, and that he had told Enzo to come up with better parts for his car's clutch. Enzo famously told Ferruccio off, saying a tractor maker didn't know a thing about sports cars. Which prompted the irate Ferruccio to establish Lamborghini out of spite.
Our sneaking suspicion was sort of confirmed during the press conference featuring current Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo. When he was asked a question about the competition, he notably mouthed off this remark: "Porsche is the second-best (or second-most important, depending on the accuracy of the translator) sports carmaker in the world." Needless to say, the best sports carmaker in di Montezemolo's estimation is the one symbolized by the Prancing Horse.
Yes, Ferrari's big boss thinks that the second-best sports car company in the world is from Germany, not from Sant'Agata Bolognese in Italy.
Do you think this was an honest assessment on the part of the Ferrari executive, or was it said merely to insult his main rival Lamborghini?
Photo by Vernon B. Sarne