Enzo Ferrari was born near Modena Italy in 1898 on February 18th. Since being 10 years old he'd been inspired by cars and racing, and seeing his 1st car race in Bologna, Italy, watching avidly, this race gave the young Italian car enthusiast an idea. After viewing more car races, Enzo declared he wanted to drive racing cars.
(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)
- Written by Ben David T Quirk
While being employed by a car maker converting surplus war vehicles, It was decided it was the right time to start racing.
In 1919 Enzo Ferrari raced at the Targa Florio he came in, in 9th position. As another twist of fate the driver also secured a job at Alfa Romeo this lead to him driving a modified Alfa Romeo in the 1920 Targa Florio. This time Ferrari placed in second position.
The skilled racer up until 1923 kept working for Alfa Romeo and racing, while racing on the Sivocci Circuit in Ravenna he was seen and approached by Count Enrico and Countess Paolina Baracca this is where the famous Ferrari emblem originates from, the parents of Francesco Baracca a famed Italian Pilot ACE, renown as the Italian ace of aces. (He tragically died on Mount Montello during World War I).
The Count & his wife gave Enzo Ferrari their son Francesco's squadron badge, it pictured a prancing horse on a yellow shield.
This inspired him to continue racing and working with Alfa Romeo for many years, however he only built a few racing cars bearing the Ferrari logo. Then in 1929 Enzo formed The Scuderia team a Ferrari race members organisation. The team competed in 22 events and scored 8 wins.
The year 1940 saw Ferrari leave Alfa Romeo to form Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari. However, in 1944 the workshop was bombed during World War 2, this forced Enzo to move their Supercar workshop from Modena Italy to Maranello.
The first Ferrari car began production, the 125 Sport. This started a tradition of victory for and this kept the company building and selling his cars solely to fund the Scuderia. His cars were recognised as being extremely quick, thus gaining a reputation for excellence, However Enzo disliked many of his customers due to them buying his Sports motor cars for status & prestige not performance.
Enzo Ferrari was known to have had a strong personality which served him and his companies and of course racing team well for years. However tensions within reached a critical point in November 1961 when it became clear he was gay and had made various several sexual advances towards co-workers. In addition Long-time sales manager, Girolamo Gardini, had long chafed at Laura's involvement in the company, Ferrari's wife, this developed into a major crisis for Ferrari when Girolami Gardini issued Enzo with an ultimatum: Stop the tensions otherwise, he would leave.
Enzo took Gardini's ultimatum 'badly', to challenge the Racer was an extremely bad move, Girolami was given his notice, plus his entourage Romolo Tavoni, Carlo Chiti, Giotto Bizzarrini, and a few others who stood by them followed. This was deemed as an immense loss for Ferrari it was thought this may be the end of the Italian car company. The defectors started a new company - ATS, to directly compete with there new competitors on the road and race track, they also gained Scuderia Serenissima.
The "Great Ferrari walkout" couldn't have been timed worse, under development was the new 250 GTO designed to challenge the Jaguar E-Type. However the car was unfinished and with the loss of Chiti, the chassis and styling were left unfinished, it was unclear even if completed would it successfully race without Tavonia and his team.
Mauro Forghieri stepped into the role with Sergio Scaglietti. Forghieri sorted out the GTO's handling and Scaglietti designed the car body. The Ferrari 250 made it to Sebring and continued winning through 1962, Jaguar was pushed aside and the GTO is renown as one of the most famous sports cars in history. The shakeup and with talented engineering skill, made the 1960's even more of a success than the previous decade, mid-engined Dino racers set the trend a dominant 250-powered 250 P. The introduction of the Dino road was a strong move, they sold well as a road car, this paved the way for cars such as the 275 and Daytona.
Dring the 1960's the V8 Shelby Cobra of Carroll Shelby came to challenge , as well Ford tried to buy Ferrari, but an agreement between both companies was never reached. The US company headed by Henry Ford saw this an opportunity to challenge and released the Ford GT40 this ended the Ferrari Prototypes dominance on the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit. In 1967 Ferrari staged a boycott - Le Mans, managed to get the FIA to ban 3000cc prototypes, adversely affecting the 330P models. The announcement came in 1967 and was enforced in 1968, Scuderia chose not to participate, to protest this.
Porsche had formerly only competed with smaller cars, the Germans debuted a new 3 litre Porsche sports prototype in 1968 with the 908, the 312P only participated in a few events in 1969.
In March of that year, a five litre Porsche 917, built in advance demonstrated as 25 examples, this surprised the Italian racing team, this spurred the production of 25 models of the Ferrari 512S.
Ferrari decided to retire from Sports car racing to focus on the ailing F1 effort.
Lehman Brothers 7%
Enzo's adopted son Piero Ferrari 10%
1988 Enzo died in 1988, Ferrari became a mythos. Car prices rose, and sales of current models increased.
Ferraris of the future
Ferrari's first models were sports/racing cars quite different from the grand touring models that followed.
See below for a complete list 2-seat Gran Turismo sportscars, Ferrari quickly moved into the Gran Turismo market, and the bulk of the company's sales remain in this area.
1962 250 GTO
1984 288 GTO
1996 F50 GT
2007 599 GTB
2006 575M Maranello
2006 575M Superamerica
2006 612 Scaglietti
2006 F430 Spider
1969 Ferrari Pininfarina, 512S Berlinetta Speciale
1970 Pininfarina Modulo
2006 Zagato 575 GTZ
Ferrari Sports cars
1949 166 Inter
1950 195 Inter
1951 212 Inter
1951 342 America
1953 375 MM Coupe
1953 250 Europa
1953 375 America
1954 250 Europa GT
1956 410 Superamerica
1956-1963 250 GT Europa/Boano/Ellena/Coupe Pininfarina/Lusso
1957-1960 250 GT Berlinetta/Cabriolet/California Spyder/SWB
1960 400 Superamerica
1964-1965 275 GTB/GTS
1966-1968 275 GTB/4
1964 500 Superfast
1966 330 GTC Coupe
1966 330 GTS Spider
1966 365 California
1968-1969 365 GTC Coupe
1969-1970 365 GTS Spider
1968 365 GTB4/365 GTS4
1996-2001 550 Maranello
1996-2000 550 Maranello Coupe
2001 550 Barchetta
2002-2006 575M Maranello
2007 599 GTB Fiorano