After a disagreement with employers Alfa Romeo in 1938, Enzo Ferrari went about building his own cars under the Scuderia Ferrari name, where the 125 S took Ferrari’s first official victory at the 1947 Gran Premio di Roma.
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After a disagreement with Alfa Romeo over the intention to move the marque’s racing activities from Scuderia Ferrari to Alfa Corse, Enzo Ferrari was dismissed from the marque in 1938. Ferrari then founded Auto Avio Costruzioni the following year, unable to use the Scuderia Ferrari name on his cars for four years due to an agreement with Alfa Romeo upon his dismissal.
Ferrari’s AAC team saw little racing due to the Second World War throughout the early 1940’s, while his factory in Maranello had been bombed in 1944. However, after the war had concluded in 1945, Ferrari set about rebuilding the factory and continue racing, now under the Scuderia Ferrari name.
The first project completed after the war was the 125 S in 1947, which was entered in races throughout the 1947 season.
1947 Gran Premio di Roma
The Ferrari 125 S saw its debut in 1947 at the Circuito di Piacenza, driven by Franco Cortese. Despite showing some promise on its debut, the car was ultimately unable to finish the race and retired with fuel pump issues in a race Enzo Ferrari called ‘a promising failure.’
Two weeks later, the car entered the Gran Premio di Roma at the Terme di Caracella, where in practice, the car suffered with a spun bearing in practice. The car would be quickly repaired in a shop owned by Tino Martinoli, who would later move to America to help Ferrari stateside.
Despite the early problems, Ferrari went on to take its first official victory at the hands of Cortese, finishing over ten seconds ahead of the Maserati of Guido Barbieri, and a lap ahead of the third-placed Stranguellini of Guido Scagliarini.
Continuing The Success
With this victory marking the first for both the 125 S and Scuderia Ferrari as a whole, the team would go on to take a total of six victories throughout 1947, and two further podiums. Tazio Nuvolari would also see victory that year, taking a win at Parma.
The Ferrari 159 S replaced the 125 S for the second half of 1947, where French driver Raymond Sommer took the first victory for the 159 S at that year’s Turin Grand Prix. The 159 S would be replaced in favour of the 166 S for 1948 and the years to come.
Written by Cóilín Higgins.