6 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on FERARRI

Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena Italy on February 18 1898. He came from a well to do family that owned a metal foundry making railroad parts, they were the first in his town to own a car.

When WWI came Enzo’s father and brother (Dino) were drafted into the Italian army, whom both died from influenza in 1916. Enzo was forced to leave school to run the foundry, when the business collapsed he started work as a metalworker at the Modena Fire Brigade workshop as a turning instructor in order to support his widowed mother.

Enzo Ferrari 1919

Enzo himself was later drafted into the Italian army where he worked shoeing mules for the mountain artillery, after a few months he becomming seriously ill and was released from the military. Not interested in going back to shcool and against his mothers will, he found work as a test driver in Turin in late 1918. Enzo then moved to Milan to work at CMN (Costruzioni Maccaniche Nazionali) as a racing car driver. His first real race came in the 1919, the Parma-Berceto, he then entered the Targa Florio that same year. Enzo then founded Scuderia Ferrari, (literally means Ferrari Stable) who were mainly sponsors and trainers for Alfa Romeo.


The famous symbol of Ferrari is a black prancing horse on yellow background, usually with the letters S F for Scuderia Ferrari.

The horse was originally the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, a legendary asso (ace) of the Italian air force during World War I, who painted it on the fuselage of his planes. Baracca died very young on June 19, 1918, shot down on Mount Montello after 34 victorious duels and many team victories. He was the Italian ace of aces and he soon became a national hero.

Baracca had wanted the prancing horse on his planes because his squad, the Battaglione Aviatori, was enrolled in a Cavalry regiment (air forces were at their first years of life and had no separate administration), and also because he himself was reputed to be the best cavaliere of his team. The Scuderia Ferrari logo Coat of Arms of the City of StuttgartIt has been supposed that the choice of a horse was perhaps partly due to the fact that his noble family was known for having plenty of horses in their estates at Lugo di Romagna. Another theory suggests Baracca copied the rampant horse design from a shot down German pilot having the emblem of the city of Stuttgart on his plane. Interestingly, German sports car manufacturer Porsche, from Stuttgart, borrowed its prancing horse logo from the city’s emblem. Furthermore astonishing: Stuttgart is an over the centuries modified version of Stutengarten (an ancient german word for Gestьt, translated into english as mare garden or stud farm, into italian as scuderia).

Enzo and Dino Ferrari

On June 17, 1923, Enzo Ferrari won a race at the Savio track in Ravenna, and there he met the Countess Paolina, mother of Baracca. The Countess suggested that he might use the horse on his cars, suggesting that it would grant him good luck, but it the first race at which Alfa would let him use the horse on Scuderia cars was eleven years later, at SPA 24 Hours in 1932. Ferrari won.

Ferrari left the horse black as it had been on Baracca’s plane; however, he added the canary yellow background because it was the symbolic color of his birthplace, Modena. The prancing horse has not always identified the Ferrari brand only: Fabio Taglioni used it on his Ducati motorbikes. Taglioni’s father was in fact a companion of Baracca’s and fought with him in the 91st Air Squad, but as Ferrari’s fame grew, Ducati abandoned the horse; this may have been the result of a private agreement between the two brands. The prancing horse is now a trademark of Ferrari.

Ferrari was officially hired by Alfa Romeo as head of their racing department in 1938, then in 1940, upon learning of the company’s plan to take control of his beloved Scuderia, he quit Alfa. Since he was prohibited by contract from racing for several years, the Scuderia briefly became Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari, which ostensibly produced machine tools and aircraft accessories for Piaggio and RIV as Italy was gearing up for WWII. Ferrari did in fact produce one race car, the Tipo 815, in the non-competition period; it was thus the first actual Ferrari car, but due to the war it saw little competition.

Ferrari experienced an emotional breakdown in the late twenties and stopped racing for a short time, but in 1927, he returned. He continued to race for Alfa Romeo until his son was born, in 1932. Although Ferrari was a good racer, his talent was in the direction of organization and handling of small details. He worked for Alfa Romeo for nine years, but Ferrari wanted to design his own cars. After being released from his severance agreement with Alfa Romeo, Ferrari started his own car business. However, a stipulation of his release was that he could not race or design anything under his name for four years.

In 1943 the Ferrari factory moved to Maranello, where it has remained ever since. The factory was bombed in 1944 due to making machines for ball bearing production, it was rebuilt in 1946 to include a works for road car production. The first Ferrari road car was the 1947 125 S, powered by a 1.5-litre V12 engine; Enzo reluctantly built and sold his automobiles to fund the Scuderia. While his beautiful and blazingly fast cars quickly gained a reputation for excellence, Enzo maintained a famous distaste for his customers, most of whom he felt were buying his cars for the prestige and not for racing. Ferrari has long been one of the ultimate toys for the rich and young (or young-at-heart).

Ferrari Berlinette 375

Ferrari cars feature highly-tuned small V8 and V12 engines, often in a mid-engined configuration. But until the introduction of fuel injection in the 1980s, they were quite temperamental and were dificult to maintain. Before the mid 1980s they carried a reputation for unreliability and bad engineering, though these were written off by enthusiasts as character. Ferrari owners have famously and religiously defended the merits of their cars while virulently criticizing other brands.

The fifties were a time of economic boom, mostly for the north. Italy was becoming a world economic power, and was experiencing rapid expansions in the industrial labor forces. With the boom came low inflation, low unemployment, and higher consumer spending. This was considered an economic miracle, there was a great demand for Italian goods (Galt Lecture, 1997). The north offered the jobs which caused massive migration from the south. With the southern workers mostly being uneducated and having no representation in the work force, they were candidates for exploitation.

As with any economic boom, there are also hardships. For Ferrari, the end of the boom came when his son, Dino, died of muscular dystrophy in 1956. This also led to the end of his marriage to Laura, who never got over the death of her only son. After he and his wife separated, he moved into an apartment at the factory. He started to work seven days a week and throw himself into the business. Following the death of his wife, he publicly announced that the son of his mistress was his new heir.

The Scuderia joined the Formula One World Championship in the first year of its existence, 1950. Jose-Froilan Gonzalez gave the team its first victory at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari gave Ferrari its first World Championship a year later. Ferrari is the oldest team left in the championship, not to mention the most successful: the team holds nearly every Formula One record.

Ferrari Berlinetta 375

In the fifties the Ferrari racing company experienced numerous accidents, one of which led to Ferrari’s indictment for manslaughter. One of his drivers lost control of his car and was killed along with spectators in the stands. Ferrari was acquitted of the charges, and he urged strict new safety regulations to protect both drivers and the public.


In the years that followed Italy went through another crisis. In the sixties, the economy declined. An increase in inflation eroded wages. The late sixties were composed of student movements which included students helping the working class by fighting for and winning higher wages. During this time Ferrari was also experiencing economic troubles. He sold part of his company to Fiat in 1965, which kept it going for a few more years. In 1969, Fiat assisted him again and bought the up a total of 90% of the company, with the stipulation that he would control until his death.

The now classic Berlinettas battled the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The works engines produced 384 bhp at 7500 rpm. Customer 375mm Berlinettas and Spyders utilized a new short stroke engine of 84mm x 68 mm for a total displacement of 4523cc. This engine produced 340 bhp at a lower 7000 rpm.

Ferrari stepped down as president of the company in 1971. However, he continued to run many aspects of it, including control of his stock interest, until his death in 1988.

Enzo Ferrari was given the Italian award of Cavaliere for sporting mertit in 1924 and went on to receive further honours from the nation: Commendatore in 1927, Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1952. In 1960 he received an honorary degree in mechanical engineering from Bologna University. In 1988 Modena University gave him in Physics. He was awared the Hammerskjold Prize by the UN in 1962, the Columbus Prize in 1965, the Gold Medal from the Italian school of Art and Culture in 1970, the De Gasperi Award in 1987.

Under his leadership (1947-88) Ferrari won over 5000 races all over the world and earned 25 world titles. The most important achievements have been 9 Formula 1 Drivers’ World titles, 8 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championships, 14 Manufactures’ World titles, 9 wins at Le Mans 24 Hours race, 8 at the Mille Miglia, 7 at the Targa Florio.

Enzo Ferrari 1980

Introduced in the fall of 1962, the 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso was Ferrari’s latest intermediate model, a vehicle to bridge the gap between competition racers and luxuriously appointed 2+2 Coupe’s. In the past, models like the 250 GT Pinin Farina ‘Notchback’ and SWB Lusso had occupied this middle ground, however, Ferrari’s new model struck a perfect balance between what were two very different automobiles. It combined exceptional performance and sultry looks and today the GTL is widely regarded as one of Pininfarina’s greatest ever designs – no small complement considering some of their exquisite bodywork from the last 60 years.

The Lusso’s tubular steel Tipo 539 chassis was eminently comparable to the frame seen on Ferrari’s awesome 250 GTO. Sharing an identical wheelbase of 2400mm, primary points of difference were smaller diameter steel tubing and the Lusso’s forward mounted engine to increase cabin space. Otherwise, the independent front suspension and live rear axle set up, with hydraulic discs all-round and Borrani wire wheels, was very much the same. Once again, the single overhead camshaft, 60° V12 used in these GTL’s was another descendent of Colombo’s original unit, Lusso’s representing the pinnacle of development for the legendary 250 unit. Designated Tipo 168, the engine was little more than a mildly de-tuned version of Ferrari’s racing spec units used in the aforementioned GTO. Displacement remained at the by now familiar 2953cc thanks to a bore and stroke of 73mm x 58.8mm respectively. Output was 250bhp at 7500rpm with a compression of 9.2:1 and three twin choke Weber 36 DCS downdraught carburettors. However, by special request, both these could be altered according to the desires of any particular client. For example, some Lusso’s received high compression units whilst hot 36 DCZ or even 40 DCL and DCZ carburettors were fitted to some motors. Indeed, it’s believed that one or two GTL’s left Maranello producing a GTO-rivalling 290bhp!

Ferrari 250 GTO 1962

The Ferrari 250 GTO was made from 1962 to 1964. There were 39 produced and they were only available as coupes (hardtops). Today’s going rate for a good 250 GTO is in the $10,000,000 range! Obviously this is the way beyond the budgets of most mortals.

The design of the GTO was instantly and universally admired. Its appeal has withstood the test of time, and it is considered to be one of the best looking sports cars of all time.

GTO stood for Grand Turismo Omologato, or Grand Touring Homologated. This naming is widely considered to be a very effective ruse, by which Ferrari convinced the FAI (international sanctioning body for racing) that this car was a version of Ferrari’s mass produced 250 GT.


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