The Prancing Horse – 48 and Counting

There’s a great series on HDT-TV called Chasing Classic Cars, which spotlights vintage automobiles, particularly sports cars.  The host spends his time traveling the auction circuit in search of much sought after classic cars to renovate and ultimately sell to collectors.  I got thinking about the cars I have owned over the years and was able to jot down 48 vehicles.  Although never a motor head, I have always been an admirer of stylish makes and models.  It was surprising that I could have possibly owned so many cars over the years and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few along the way.  My affection for sports cars dates back to 1975 when I purchased a 1972 MG Midget.  Wow, a kid from the concrete jungle circling the playground in a sporty 2-seat convertible, British racing green no less.  My affections grew as fast as my disposable income and soon I was the proud owner of such collectibles as a Jaquar E Type, Porsche 911 Turbo, Two Porsche 928s, a Maserati Quatroporte, but most notably, 3 legendary Ferraris – a 348 Speciale’, a 355 berlinetta, and an F430 with a Formula One transmission.

Again you ask, what does this have to do with Stampone Law – everything!  The “Cavallino Rampante” or Prancing Horse as it is perhaps better known, is one of the most instantly recognizable automotive badges in the world.  The Ferrari horse symbol has been used since the production of its first vehicle (125S) in 1947.  First used as a symbol on planes flown by World War I flying ace, Count Francesco Baracca, the symbol was thereafter adopted by Ferrari founder, Enzo Ferrari, as a symbol of the passion which inspires everyone involved in the design, engineering, build and testing of cars that wear the Prancing Horse badge.  At the Ferrari plant in Maranello, the cutting edge automotive technology is tested to the limit with the tradition of age old craftsmanship to endow each and every Ferrari with the soul that is the unique source of extraordinary emotions.  The task of ensuring that every new Ferrari is worthy of the iconic badge and the extraordinary heritage that continues to excite and intrigue the world, is firmly shouldered by every single employee who enters the Maranello factory.  Another example that greatness, success and longevity of any business can only be achieved through a total team effort.  Anything less is unacceptable by Ferrari.

Ferrari’s program of continuous development at the extremes of technology will never come to an end.  The quality of these magnificent cars cannot be separated from the lives of every employee who touches one of the thousands of parts that go into the build.  It is only with such extraordinary employees, top managers, and the best working conditions, that these basic elements of Ferrari’s strategy can be so successfully executed.  It is interesting to note that Luca di Montezemolo, the current Chairman of Ferrari S.p.A. since 1991, is a graduate in law from the University of Rome and later specialized in international commercial law at Columbia University.  Luca joined Ferrari in 1973 as an assistant to legendary founder, Enzo Ferrari, and he has been the single most important leader in the evolution of the marque.  Not many get to experience the firsthand exhilaration of getting behind the wheel of these artfully designed vehicles, but I have been lucky enough to share this experience.  I can state unequivocally that these are moments which are forever laser cut on my mental hard drive.  It is with the same enthusiasm demonstrated by companies like Ferrari that I hope to continue to use as motivation and as a model for each and every venture I undertake.