The same year we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of Ferrari we also celebrate the 119th birthday of Enzo Ferrari. We thank his stubborn mind to not listen to his father who wanted him to be an engineer rather than a racing driver. Here are five of the greatest achievements of one of the biggest names in automotive history!
His relation with Alfa Romeo
Enzo caught the eye of the Italian automaker Alfa Romeo in 1920 when he was a successful racing driver at CMN. He not only became a racing driver for Alfa but also an important source for upgrades of the cars. In the 1920s, Enzo Ferrari won a total of 12 races with Alfa Romeo. This isn’t an awful lot but he was mainly busy with engineering. He left Alfa Romeo in 1929 to fulfil his dream: forming his own company Scuderia Ferrari. In the beginning Scuderia Ferrari was still a part of Alfa Romeo. He still drove in Alfa’s and supplied the company with technical information. In the 1930s the Scuderia Ferrari team was so talented they easily defeated Bugatti, Maserati, Auto Union and Mercedes and in 1939 Ferrari and Alfa Romeo ended their relationship.
His first Ferrari
The Ferrari 125 S was the very first car produced by Ferrari. It made its debut on the 11th of May in 1947. The 125 S was powered by a 1.5L V12 producing 118 bhp at 6.800 rpm and it used a five-speed gearbox rather than the traditional four-speed. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t really sentimental and used parts of older cars for his new cars, so both 125 S’s were dismantled and were used to produce the 159 and 166 series.
His first successful racing car
Alberto Ascari, son of Ferrari’s friend and racing driver Antonio Ascari, won his and Enzo’s first ever Grand Prix in the Ferrari 500 in 1952. The 500 was the first car to win 14 races in a row. In 1953, Alfa Romeo was basically forgotten and Ferrari was the new standard. Ascari won seven consecutive Grand Prix’s in the Ferrari 500. This record stood until 2013 when Sebastian Vettel broke it.
His own racing track
In 1972 Enzo Ferrari build their own test track which can be used for developing new cars. It has a wide range of corner types to simulate as many Grand Prix’s track as possible. Niki Lauda once said in an interview: ‘’The track is incredible, it has a lot of technical features around the track including a timer which measures the time of every part of the track. If I drive fast enough on the straight but not in the corner, I can exactly see where I have to improve the speed. This way it’s very easy to test cars there.’’ Check out the recently added top 10 of Pista di Fiorano lap time records here!
His last car
The F40 was the last car personally approved by Enzo Ferrari in 1987 and its design was mainly derived from the 288 GTO Evoluzione. This hardcore 288 GTO was meant to be racing in the FIA Group B but the organisation brought an end to the championship in 1986. Enzo was left with all the 288 Evo’s and didn’t knew what to do with them. In a meeting with his engineers and designers they came to a conclusion: the Evoluzione came in very handy to develop their next creation, the F40. The F40 got its power from a turbocharged V8 producing over 480 bhp and was one of the first Ferraris with carbon fiber.
~ Grazie il Commendatore!
Written by Max Lammers.