A Lifetime of Passion and Dedication
Even if you’re not a sports car expert, we’re willing to bet that you’re familiar with Ferrari. Their iconic prancing-horse logo and the signature streamlined design of their vehicles are synonymous with both luxury and speed. What not everyone knows is the story of Enzo Ferrari - which is just as incredible as the brand of sports cars that bear his name.
Enzo Ferrari was born during a snow storm on February 18th at the turn of the nineteenth century, in 1898, on the outskirts of Modena. As a young boy he was inspired by a motor race that he saw with his father, planting the early seeds of a life-long passion.
Enzo before Ferrari
After serving in the First World War, and being honorably discharged because of an illness, Enzo tried to get a job for Fiat in 1918, and, unfortunately for Fiat, was turned down. Of course, in the end Enzo would have a huge impact on Fiat, since in 1969 Ferrari officially became part of the Fiat group.
Eventually finding work as a test driver at a small company in Turin, Enzo made his competitive debut as a race car driver in 1919 - he came in Fourth. He soon became the head of the Alpha Romeo racing division, a position he held for nearly two decades.
The iconic prancing horse that we all know as the Ferrari logo has its origin in the year 1923, when Enzo Ferrari met the Count and Countess Baracca. Their son was a famous World War I Pilot, and the countess invited Enzo to use her son’s emblem, the prancing horse, as a mascot on his car during races.
During these early years as a race car driver, Enzo combined his passion for fast cars with his perhaps lesser-known passion for journalism, becoming in 1924 one of the founders of "Corriere dello Sport," which is still in publication today! In 1929 Enzo Ferrari also founded the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena.
The Beginnings of Ferrari
Enzo had his last race in 1931 at Circuito Tre Province on August 9th. His son was born not long after, on January 19th 1932. It is around this time that Enzo left Alfa Romeo, and could not use the Ferrari name in association with any race or race car for four years. He became determined to one day beat Alfa Romeo in his own car, so in late 1945, Enzo began work designing the first Ferrari. His ambitious plan was to power his car with a V12 engine, which would allow for more versatility than the sports cars of the time.
After two years of hard work, Enzo took the first 125S for a test drive, and in the yearsthat followed Ferrari became an unstoppable force on the race track, winning races like the Mille Miglia and Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix.
Enzo’s son Dino was played an important part in his life as well as in the design of the V6 Ferrari. Tragically, Dino died in 1956, and all V6 Ferraris are called Dinos in his honor.
Enzo remained active at Ferrari even late into his life. The last Ferrari to be created under Enzo’s management was the F40 in 1987. On August 14th 1988, Enzo died at the age of 90. Because of his wise maneuvering of Ferrari in those late years, the company was positioned for success even without it’s dedicated and passionate founder. To this day Ferrari remains one of the most recognized and respected names in luxury sports cars.
To know more about Enzo Ferrari we suggest a visit to Casa Enzo Ferrari museum in Modena and Ferrari museum in Maranello. KissFromItaly can organize the visit for you: see here or contact us for a customized solution.