One of the Greatest Minds in The Automotive Industry
There’s a pretty good chance that most American’s – car fans or not – won’t know anything about Ferrari’s founding father, Enzo. There’s an even greater chance you didn’t know he was born on February 18th, 1898. To help celebrate the automotive mastermind’s birthday, we wanted to share a bit about the man behind the raging black stallion, that is Ferrari!
Enzo grew up in a very tough era, especially for an automotive manufacturer. Luckily, his decision to be part of motorsports started as a family affair, at the impressionable age of 10. He would need several decades to achieve the results he was in search for – and that might seem like a stretch – once you find out how high he set the bar. In our case, we were stuck wondering, how it was even possible to achieve what he did in a single lifetime.
Enzo pushed the envelope of both racing as a sport, and the development of the road capable performance car – beyond his generations. Leaving a legacy and a name that will live on forever. Mr. Ferrari passed away in 1988, and for nearly 9 decades he represented what it means to never leave anything on the table, as it relates to achieving your dreams.
Celebrating his nine decades of excellence, here are nine facts about Enzo Ferrari that you never knew.
- Enzo was a WWI Italian Army Veteran, nearly losing his life in the war.
- He was not only a test driver, but he was also a podium finishing racing driver for two different manufacturers: C.M.N and Alfa Romeo, but never Ferrari itself.
- Scuderia Ferrari (racing development team) was founded and managed by Enzo before Ferrari was ever a manufacturer.
- The iconic black stallion logo was bestowed upon Ferrari, by the mother of a famous Italian pilot, named Francesco Baracca. The Countess requested that he use the emblem on his race cars. Obliged, Ferrari continues to use the logo but slightly altered to have a yellow background.
- Enzo was also a journalist who co-founded an Italian Sports Newspaper.
- He’s not only a decorated war veteran, but the recipient of eight awards and honors for his contributions to Italy, the sport of racing, and physics/engineering.
- The original Ferrari factory was bombed twice in 1944. Only three years before the 1st Ferrari was produced for the road.
- Almost all of his closest family died before him, due to complications from illnesses. This included his beloved son, Dino, who Ferrari dedicated it’s V6 mid-engine cars to.
- The last car to receive Enzo’s personal approval, was the iconic, Ferrari F40.
It’s pretty incredible to think of what Enzo was able to accomplish, despite all bumps in the road which he encountered. What’s more, is that Ferrari has continued to thrive in the world of racing, in addition to being one of the leaders in the automotive industry. Etching Ferrari’s name in the history books, forever.
More on the history of Ferrari in chapter two of this story, after Enzo.
Bonus material – Enzo Ferrari Movie:
Sources: Biography Channel | Ferrari | MotorTrend
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