"Give a child a piece of paper, colours and ask him to draw a car, and surely he will make it red”. Enzo Ferrari’s words have gone down in history and give perfect voice to the connection between the Maranello-based company and red (Rosso Corsa) that has always distinguished the Scuderia's cars on the track and the majority of those driven on roads around the world. However, yellow is another colour that is fully part of the Prancing Horse’s DNA.
Yellow is a bit like Ferrari’s second soul: it is the colour of the city of Modena which, together with the black horse inherited from the family of war hero airman Francesco Baracca, is part of the Ferrari brand, one of the most famous in the world. It is still one of the most popular among customers of the Maranello-based company who have chosen it for some extraordinary cars such as the 488 GTB, the F12 TdF and, more recently, also for the Ferrari 488 Pista.
This colour, in its various shades, is linked to many events in the company’s history. This was certainly the case for Fiamma Breschi, widow of driver Luigi Musso and friend of the founder who, according to legend, was the first person to suggest presenting a yellow Ferrari at a motor show and inspired the creation of Giallo Fly, adopted for the first time on a 275 GTB.
Yellow Ferraris cars have also competed in motorsport, where they made their debut courtesy of Salvatore Ammendola and his 195 Inter Berlinetta, which lined up for the first time in the Coppa Inter-Europa on 15 April 1951. The Italian driver came second and then 15th in the Mille Miglia together with Guglielmo Pinzero. The following year a yellow 225 S finished second in the Portuguese Sports Car Grand Prix. It was driven by the Portuguese Casimiro De Oliveira, brother of the filmmaker Manoel whose assistant and estate administrator he became once he hung up his helmet.
As the Maranello-based company grew in popularity and prestige in racing, more Prancing Horse cars appeared on the tracks and a real surge in the numbers of yellow Ferraris occurred in the early 1960s when teams from Belgium (Ecurie Nationale Belge and Ecurie Francorchamps above all), whose national racing colour was yellow, began to buy various cars.
There was also a yellow Formula 1 Ferrari, which was deployed by the Scuderia at the request of Belgian importer Jacques Swaters for Olivier Gendebien. The Brussels-based driver had just won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ferrari and the chance to drive the 156 in the 1961 Belgian GP was a sort of reward.
Gendebien came fourth behind teammates Phil Hill, Wolfgang Von Trips and Richie Ginther in a race dominated by the Scuderia. Since 1951 more than 50 teams have opted for yellow on their racing cars, and as recently as January, a Ferrari recorded yet another win in this colour.
On 12 January, Japanese team Car Guy triumphed at the 4 Hours of Buriram, which counts towards the Asian Le Mans Series, with reigning WEC world champion James Calado and the Japanese Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura. It was a special victory for the 488 GT3, the 200th in less than three years of racing.