Listing the top 20 Ferraris can be a near impossible task, as there is just so much automotive goodness that has emerged from Maranello over the years. And just to make things even harder for ourselves, we decided that there also had to be some models that weren't as good. Before we get to that, let's take a look at who Mr. Enzo Ferrari was and how he built the most famous car brand in the world.
After his father's carpentry business went under, young Enzo found his way into the auto industry. He founded Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 and achieved great success racing Alfa Romeos—including a stint as part of the official works Alfa squad. By the late 1930s, Ferrari parted ways with Alfa in order to build his own race cars; road cars didn't really interest Enzo.
After WWII, Ferrari needed to come up with a way to finance the racing, it was at this point in time he first started making cars for members of the public to drive on the road. While a lot has changed since back then, Ferrari's first road car in 1947 was powered by a V12, just like their flagship cars of today. From his humble beginnings, Enzo Ferrari grew a global brand that has established itself as one of the world's most desirable car manufacturers and is now synonymous with speed and style, both on and off the racetrack.
25 One Of The Worst: 348
Following up on the successful 308 and 328 proved to be difficult for Ferrari. While the 348 had a decent enough engine—a 3.4-liter V8 with close to 300 horsepower—there were a few other issues. First, there's the styling, which borrowed heavily from the Testarossa and makes the car look dated today. The biggest problem with the 348 was that it was never as good as the competition. The Honda-Acura NSX offered similar performance in a better-looking wrapper, and it was easy to drive. Ferrari was forced to go back to the drawing board, and would later emerge with the brilliant F355.
24 One Of The Worst: 412
The 412 was the final incarnation in Ferrari's series of grand tourers, a lineage that started with the 365 GT4 2+2 back in 1973. The 412 had two problems, though. The first one was the optional three-speed General Motors automatic transmission. With this trans mated to the 335-horsepower, 4.9-liter V12, the 0-60 time was a sluggish 8.3 seconds, compared to 6.7 seconds for the manual. At least there were no badges to let the world know you drove the automatic. The second problem was its looks. This would be the Ferrari to buy if you didn't want anyone to know you were driving a Ferrari—which kind of defeats the purpose of owning a Ferrari in the first place.
23 One Of The Worst: Testarossa
The Testarossa was taking over from the gorgeous Berlinetta Boxer, and it's not hard to see that it was a product of the 1980s, the era of excess. The Testarossa is just ridiculous, looking like a giant door wedge with side strakes, its width measuring in at a very impractical 78 inches. The reason the Testarossa looked like this was to fix some of the issues with the 512i BB it replaced. But the flagship Ferrari had some issues of its own, such as losing in comparison tests to Lamborghini's Countach, Alpina's B10 Bi-Turbo, and even a standard BMW M5.
22 One Of The Worst: Mondial
Four seats in a mid-engined car sounds like the best of two worlds. A practical supercar—what more could one ever ask for? Well, how about performance that's worthy of the Ferrari badge? With a real-world 0-60 time of 9 seconds, the Mondial would get beaten by a Golf GTI. Maranello kept developing the Mondial throughout the 80s; a Quattrovalvole was introduced in 1983 and there was a 3.2-liter version in 1985. The ultimate Mondial was the T version that came out in 1989, with 296 horsepower from its longitudinally-mounted V8. Even with all the upgrades, the unloved Mondial is still one of the cheapest entries to Ferrari ownership.
21 One Of The Worst: 365 GTC/4
One would think that by using the chassis from the legendary 365 GTB/4 Daytona and having Pininfarina take care of the styling, the end product should be a V12-powered GT with panache. Sadly, that wasn't the case. While stretching the car in order to add the extra seats to make it a 2+2 certainly didn't help the proportions, the biggest sin has to be the rubber-trimmed front bumper. To make matters worse, not only did the 365 GTC/4 manage to lose most of the legendary Daytona's design flair, its 4.4-liter engine was actually detuned to 340 horsepower to make it better suited to a GT car (and only 320 horsepower were available for U.S. cars).
20 One Of The Greatest: Berlinetta Boxer
Good old Enzo Ferrari was known to be stubborn as a mule, and his engineers had to do a lot of begging and pleading in order to convince him that the mid-engined Berlinetta Boxer was a great idea. When he finally gave in, Ferrari customers were treated to a wedge-shaped beast filled with race tech, amongst which was an F1-derived, flat-twelve engine mounted behind the seats and powerful enough to push the car all the way up to 175 miles per hour. The BB would be the first of the big-engined, mid-ship Ferraris, and without it, there would be no Testarossa, F40, F50, Enzo, or LaFerrari.
19 One Of The Greatest: 365 GTB4 Daytona
It wasn't easy being Ferrari in the late 1960s. Ford had beaten them several times at Le Mans, and to make it worse, a former customer had started making his own mid-engined supercar: the Miura. Instead of going with a mid-engined layout, Ferrari's response would have its V12 mounted in the front, and the result was the 365 GTB/4, later nicknamed Daytona because of the 1-2-3 victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Its design was a little controversial but it caught on and more than 1,400 examples were made from 1968 to 1973.
18 One Of The Greatest: F430 Scuderia
Scuderia means team in Ferrari's native tongue, and for Ferrari fans, the name is synonymous with the racing division set up by Enzo Ferrari in 1929—so that should give you a clue that there's something special going on here. The F430 Scuderia received rave reviews back when it was released and to this day, it remains one of the best driver's cars ever to emerge from Maranello. While it might look like a regular F430 to the untrained eye, the Scuderia was 220 lbs lighter than the standard car, and with 20 extra ponies, it would do 0-60 in less than 3.6 seconds.
17 One Of The Greatest: 458 Italia Speciale
The 458 Italia Speciale really had to be special in order to beat its predecessor, the F430. And it was! Ferrari's engineers fitted a naturally-aspirated, 4.3-liter V8 that was modified to produce 597 horsepower and capable of launching the car from zero to sixty in three seconds. However, that wasn't the only thing that was special about the Speciale... It was the first mainstream Ferrari model that didn't have a manual transmission option. Instead, it had a seven-speed, double clutch Getrag unit. The front bumper had deformable winglets that offered reduced drag, and the interior was designed with input from former Ferrari Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher.
16 One Of The Greatest: 599 GTB Fiorano
The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was the most powerful production car in the world when it debuted at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. It replaced the 575M Maranello, and thanks to its designer, Frank Stephenson, it was one of the most beautiful cars Ferrari has ever made. Stephenson, who had previously worked with Ferrari's competitor, McLaren, achieved his goal of creating a high-performance version of the 599 GTB. It would shoot off the line from standstill and reach 60 mph in a mere 3.3 seconds, from there it was capable of continuing its acceleration all the way to a top speed of 208 mph.
15 One Of The Greatest: 250 Testa Rossa
The 250 Testa Rossa truly is a drool-inducing vehicle, no wonder it's one of the most sought-after collector's cars of all time. Testa Rossa literally means redhead, a name it received from the 3-liter V12 engine's crimson-tipped valve covers. It won multiple 24 Hours of Le Mans races, being crowned champion in 1958, 1960, and 1961, proving there is a lot of beast underneath all that beauty. Only 34 Testa Rossas were built, meaning that in those rare instances when one comes up for sale at an auction, only the wealthiest of the wealthy can afford to bid on one.
14 One Of The Greatest: 250 Spyder GT California SWB
The idea behind the Spyder GT California SWB came from an influential Los Angeles auto dealer who had a special request. Basically, he was in the market for a "simple spider" that could be marketed in the So-Cal region, Ferrari agreed, and the rest, as they say, is history. Ferrari's engineers and designers started with the 250 GT shape and made plans for a car that could accelerate from zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds. Once revealed to the rich people of Southern California, it became a big hit. With only fifty made, they're in even more demand today than back then.
13 One Of The Greatest: 330 P4 Berlinetta
The 330 P4 is one of the most stunning cars Ferrari has ever made. It was the response to the Ford GT40, which had whipped Ferrari's behind in the Constructor's International Sports Prototype Championships. Enzo Ferrari instructed his chief engineer "to win" and that goal meant pulling out all the stops. In 1967, the 330 P4 grabbed the two top positions at Monza, as well as finishing second and third at Le Mans. While the Ford GT40 still won at Le Mans, Ferrari did manage to claw back the Prototype Championship title.
12 One Of The Greatest: 166 MM
The 166MM was powered by a 2-liter V12 engine producing between 110 to 140 horsepower. After making its debut at the 1948 Turin Motor Show, the 166 went on to win the Mille Miglia in both 1948 and 1949. It also won the 1949 race at Le Mans and the Targa Florio, making it the only car ever to win all three races. In addition, a 166 won the 1949 Spa 24 Hours. The 166 was the first in the Ferrari family to adopt a unified and cohesive appearance—with its "egg crate" grille and long fenders, it was the beginning of Ferrari's signature designs.
11 One Of The Greatest: F355
The F355 truly is a testament to Pininfarina's ability to adapt their designs in order to embrace their era. It features a much simpler aesthetics than its predecessor, the 348, while still managing to look more sporty and aggressive than the previous model. It wasn't all about looks though. The F355 was better than the 348 in every way, performance and driveability was now as good, or even better, than the competition. Powered by a 3.5-liter V8 with 375 horses, the F355 is one of the cars that have made Ferrari the most recognized performance car brand in the world.
10 One Of The Greatest: Dino
The Dino 206 was Ferrari's first attempt at building a smaller, entry-level car to compete with Porsche. The car was dedicated to Enzo's son, but Enzo himself wasn't a fan of putting his name on anything that wasn't powered by a V12, hence why it doesn't have a Ferrari badge. Two years after being launched, the engine was upgraded, and it became the Dino 246. For a long time, the Dino wasn’t considered a “real” Ferrari due to its having fewer cylinders than normal, and values reflected that. These days, collectors have warmed up to the mid-engined Dino and it is now highly sought-after.
9 One Of The Greatest: 488 GTB
While the 488 GTB wasn't the first turbocharged car Ferrari ever made, its 169.4 hp per liter of displacement was a record for road-going Ferraris. The twin-turbo 3.9-liter made 662 horsepower when it reached a deafening 8,000 rpm, enough power to get you from standstill to 60 in about three seconds. If you're among those who wonder why the car is called 488 when it only has a 3,902 cc engine, we can inform you that there's a perfectly good explanation for that: 3,902 divided by eight (the number of cylinders) is 487.75, which Ferrari has rounded up to 488. And we have to admit that name sounds better.
8 One Of The Greatest: LaFerrari
The LaFerrari introduced new tech that was previously only found in prototypes and race cars. Being the first road-legal hybrid Ferrari, it had a 6.3-liter V12 engine that revved all the way to a screaming 9,350 rpm and produced 789 horses. In cooperation with a 120-kilowatt electric motor, the total output was a whopping 949 hp. Only 499 LaFerraris were built, and they were all sold before the first car was even made. Those unfortunate souls who missed out on getting the coupe were given a second opportunity when the topless version, the Aperta, was announced.
7 One Of The Greatest: Enzo
Naming a car after the company's founder can only mean one thing: it's going to be something very special. There was a lot of hype surrounding the Enzo, hype which it lived up to and helped cement Ferrari's dominance in the hypercar market. The Enzo's angular design was a preview of Ferrari's upcoming design language, but the design was only part of the package. The Enzo had a 660-horsepower V12 that was coupled to a six-speed sequential transmission, filled with F1 technology and with large shift paddles behind the steering wheel which, all told, helped make the most mundane of trips feel like a lap around the Monaco GP circuit.
6 One Of The Greatest: F40
In 1986, Porsche received all the attention of the automotive world when they introduced the 959. The following year, all eyes were on Ferrari as they unveiled the F40 to celebrate the brand's 40th anniversary. Billed as a race car for the road, the F40 made extensive use of composite materials and featured an interior stripped of any luxuries. The F40's design is perhaps the most easily recognized of all Ferraris, and the sharp, low-slung body hides a beast of an engine: a 478-hp 3.0L version of the engine that could be found in the 288 GTO.
5 One Of The Greatest: 288 GTO
The 288 GTO might look like a 308 with a beefier body kit, but don't be fooled, there's a reason why the 288 was the first Ferrari to wear the GTO nameplate since the iconic 250 GTO. Developed to participate in Group B rally events, it was built around a tubular chassis, and the body was made from composite materials. Two large turbochargers were fitted to a 2.8-liter V8 pushing out nearly 400 horses—enough to make it one of the fastest cars of its era. Ferrari initially announced only 200 examples of the GTO would be built. However, they sold out so quickly that another 72 examples were made.
4 One Of The Greatest: 308
The 308 GTB made its debut in 1975. Ferrari had enlisted Pininfarina to design a successor to its entry-level model, the 246 GT. Keeping in tune with the 1970s trends, the soft, rounded lines of the Dino were discarded in favor of a boxier design. The vents on the side of the body hinted to the presence of a powerful V8 engine fitted in the middle. During the 1980s, several changes were made to the 308, including different variants of the coupe and convertible models, while fuel injection was introduced, it got four valves per cylinder, and finally, a new 3.2-liter engine was fitted. The increased displacement also meant an updated design and a new name, 328 GTB.
3 One Of The Greatest: 500 Superfast
In 1964, Ferrari proved their cars could be equally sporty and luxurious when they launched the 500 Superfast. The four people in the cabin were treated to soft leather upholstery and real wood trim, not to mention the beautiful soundtrack emitted from the front-mounted, 400-hp, 5.0-liter V12. Only 25 examples were built of the original 500 Superfast, which came with a four-speed manual transmission, but in 1966, Ferrari assembled another 12 cars, this time with a five-speed manual gearbox. By the late 1960s, it became increasingly difficult to justify huge investments to build low-volume cars like the Superfast. Instead, Ferrari started focusing on series production.
2 One Of The Greatest: 250 GTO
The 250 GTO is a fine work of art—think of it as the Mona Lisa of the automotive world—only better, since it's a car and not a painting. Owning one means being part of a very exclusive club as only 39 cars were built from 1962 to 1964, and past and current owners include Sir Stirling Moss, Pink Floyd's Nick Mason, and Ralph Lauren. The voluptuous lines and timeless proportions of the 250 GTO contribute to its overall attractiveness, as does its impressive racing pedigree. Those who consider buying one would probably be interested in knowing that 250 GTOs rarely come up for sale, but those that do change hands go for anywhere between $40-$60 million.
1 One Of The Greatest: 125 S
While the 125 S wasn't the first car built by Ferrari, it was the first car to wear the Ferrari name when it was released in 1947. Under the long hood, one could find a 1.5-liter V12 engine with 118 horses that were sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. While only two examples were built, the 125 S did help Ferrari secure its first victory during the 1947 Grand Prix of Rome. The 125 S was replaced with the 159 S, which had a larger 1.9-liter engine that produced 125 hp, and there were only minor visual differences between the two models. Why fix it if it ain't broke?
Sources: Motor1, Road & Track, Top Speed, and Drivetribe