It’s rather ironic that Ducati was acquired by German owned Automobili Lamborghini, as the brand is often referred to as the Ferrari of motorcycles. In fact, even Ducati’s current CEO has referred to it as such. However, very few know that the similarities go beyond being built in Italy and often adorning red paint. There was a time when both Ferrari and Ducati utilized the notorious prancing horse on their vehicles.
Though only for a short duration of time, both race vehicles and road vehicles from Ducati adorned the prancing horse in the past. In 1956, when Ducati won the Sweden GP, it did so with the 125 Triple Camshaft Desmo, which was the first Ducati emblazoned with the horse. Prior to this, the company’s head engineer requested, with success, the approval to use the symbol.
Today, the prancing horse logo is most often associated with Ferrari but it originates from the side of an airplane, not an automobile, nor a motorcycle. Belonging, originally, to Major Count Francesco Baracca whom was a pilot in World War 1, he customized his plane by adding the horse in black on a white cloud. Whilst wearing the horse on his plane, Baracca achieved many aerial victories.
Baracca’s mother, many years after her son’s death, allowed Enzo Ferrari to utilize Barraca’s horse for good luck on his vehicles. As for the symbol itself, the rest is history. Still, this link that exists between the two company’s is rather intriguing. However, the relationship that now exists between Ducati and Lamborghini far outweighs, in terms of significance, the brief shared use of a symbol with Ferrari. Maybe it is time for a Ducati motorcycle to adorn the raging bull?