The Ferrari is arguably the premier sports car brand. Started by Enzo Ferrari in 1927, it has built on years of experience in making superb sports cars and is renowned for its style, performance, and exclusivity.
A unique thing that separates the Ferrari from other cars is the craftsmanship that goes into making the vehicles.
For years, Ferrari cars were assembled by hand with little or no automation involved in the manufacturing process. You could see the amount of work that went into creating each vehicle that bore the Prancing Horse logo in the exquisite body design and overall performance of the car.
Are all Ferraris handmade?
Most Ferraris are still assembled by hand at the Maranello plant in Italy. Although recently, machines tend to perform more of the complex tasks in the manufacturing process.
Check out our more detailed explanation below!
Table of Contents
What Ferrari Models Were Handmade?
The creator of the Ferrari brand, Enzo Ferrari, loved the concept of craftsmanship and ensured that he applied this ingenuity to the production of Ferrari vehicles. This explains why most of the early Ferrari models were individually crafted manually by workers and not mass-produced like Ford or BMW cars.
Most of the early Ferrari models were handmade, i.e., their body parts were made and fitted by hand. This allowed workers to produce each Ferrari car with maximum attention to detail. This exceptional mastery made each Ferrari unique, leading to the “no two Ferraris are the same” aphorism.
Here is a list of some Ferrari models handmade at the company’s Maranello factory:
- Ferrari 328
- Ferrari 365
- Ferrari 512 BB/BBi
- Ferrari 250
- Ferrari 330
- Ferrari 275
- Ferrari 166
- Ferrari 195
- Ferrari 212
What Is The Last Handmade Ferrari?
The last Ferraris to have handcrafted body panels are the Boxer models (365/512BB/512BBi). The body panels of these vehicles were stretched over wooden bucks and beaten into shape by engineers (the chassis were stretched over jigs too).
At some point, Ferrari could not continue making body parts by hand because of an increase in demand. Before this, several body parts were created by hand at the nearby Scaglietti factory and assembled by workers at Maranello.
According to the book Inside Ferrari (written by Michael Dregni and detailing the production history of Ferraris through the 50s to the 90s), Ferrari started using machine-produced body parts during the production of the Dino model (which explains why the Dino is the first Ferrari to be produced in large quantities).
Are Ferraris Still Assembled By Hand?
The modern automotive market is hugely competitive, and manufacturers have developed several ways to increase their output at minimal expense. One cost-saving strategy is the use of automated mass-production technologies to produce cars.
Carmakers such as Ford, Fiat, and Toyota often use fully-automated assembly lines with the individual car parts fitted by remotely controlled robots. This allows them to produce millions of cars yearly for their expanding markets.
However, Ferrari is different. While it automates some tasks to meet higher demand, the assembling is by hand. The only part of the assembling process done with machines is the connection of each car’s valve mechanics, a job too complex for humans.
NB: It is essential to know that while the new Ferraris are assembled by hand, we cannot describe them as handmade. “Handmade” means the car parts are made by hand and assembled by hand with no automation in the car-making process.
To meet demand, Ferrari parts are no longer created by hand save for the engine, which is handcrafted from start to finish. The parts are created in a separate facility and then taken to the assembly line to be assembled by teams (with 8-Cylinder engines) or a single worker (12-cylinder engines).
How Long Does It Take To Make A Ferrari?
Ferraris are made by hand and take a longer time to finish compared to other mass-market cars like Ford, Honda, and Nissan. The average time to produce a Ferrari from start to finish is usually three weeks. This number can be higher, especially in cases of special models that may take years to complete.
Often, Ferrari cars are ordered well in advance to make up for the time delay. Some exclusive models have long waiting lists, and customers have to queue for months or years before getting the vehicles they paid for.
Check out our article that talks about Are All Ferraris Street-Legal?
How Is A Ferrari Built?
The Ferrari is not your normal car, and this is very obvious in its production process. First, all Ferraris are exclusively produced at the Ferrari headquarters in Maranello, Italy. It does not have any external production plants outside this, save for the nearby Scaglietti factory where the bodywork and chassis are made.
The production of the Ferrari starts from the Light Alloys Technology area. This area houses the foundry where metal is melted at high temperature and poured into sand molds to create engine parts (e.g., camshafts, crankshafts, cylinder heads, etc.). Parts are finished by hand and thoroughly tested for cracks and flaws. In some cases, X-Ray tests are used to determine the structural integrity of the parts.
After production, the engine parts are transported on trolleys to the Nuova Mechanica or New Engine Assembly Building. Here, the parts are painstakingly put together by workers to create powerful engines that define the Ferrari brand. The transmission, powertrain, and gearbox are also produced at this stage.
The engines are taken to test beds where they undergo hot running tests to see if they conform to specifications. Engineers test them for emissions to meet the standards set in various markets.
The Production Process
The production journey moves to the New Assembly Line. The New Assembly line is where the Ferrari is finally put together. Body panels and vehicle chassis are transported from the Scaglietti factory for assembling in this place. The tested engine and gearbox modules are also brought in from the nearby engine assembly unit.
During this stage, the engines are installed in the vehicle, and the panels are bolted in. Major structural, electronic, and mechanical systems are installed. Afterward, teams work on the interior, installing the upholstery, dashboards, and other custom inputs.
NB: Unlike the engine-making and body-making process, no automation is involved during the assembling process. The only automated process is the transport of the cars from station to station and fusion of the car’s valve mechanics.
Are The Engines in Ferraris Hand-Built?
Ever since the first Ferrari model, the engines have always been built by hand. For a time, even the engine parts were entirely created by human workers and assembled. However, for safety reasons, certain dangerous aspects of the engine-making process are left in the hands of robots.
The final fusion and arrangement parts are still done by humans who pay extreme attention to every individual component to prevent mistakes. Once the engines are complete, they undergo another round of tests to check for defects that may not be visible to the human eye.
Here are few facts on our article about Are All Ferraris Red?
How Are Ferrari Engines Built?
Ferrari has a long-time reputation for producing some of the best engines in the world. So how are these super-engines created? The answer lies in a review of a process that is a fusion of superior engineering and exquisite craftsmanship.
First, you should know the three areas which are involved in the making of the engine. They are:
- The Foundry
- The Mechanical Machining Area
- The Engine Assembly Unit
Creating a Ferrari engine starts with the melting of aluminum ingots. These melted ingots form the raw material used in casting parts of the engine, such as the cylinder block, valve casing, cylinder head, and crankcase. Robots pour the aluminum alloy into molds to harden into complex shapes.
After this, the components are taken to the Mechanical Machining Area, where the aluminum castings are transformed into engines (the cylinder block and crankcases are joined).
Meanwhile, the production of the crankshaft (which is the most important part of the engine) is undergoing. Processes involved in creating functional crankshaft are:
- Rough machining
- Recovery heat treatment
- Boring and grinding
- Final grinding and lapping.
The Engine Assembly Unit is where all the finished engine parts go for assembly. Here, teams assemble the crankshaft, cylinder block, cylinder head, and valves to create the engine.
From here, the engine moves on to the shuttle, a large cart that travels over a track between different assembly stations. Different details added, including the timing chains, the casing that protects the distribution, and the electrical system. The engines move to the completion station where the twin turbines are mounted, and the engine is sent to the test bench.
Once the first testing cycle is over, engineers add the transmission unit to the engine before the final inspection. Then, the engine is ready for transport to the assembly line where “the soul meets the body.”
Ferraris cost a lot for a reason.
Besides their cutting-edge transmission and engines, they get some of the highest levels of attention from the best craftsmen and craftswomen in Italy! Not to mention that Ferraris deliver mind-blowing performances on the road and race track!
What’s not to love about these amazing cars?