February 18, 2005

Today in Automotive History 1898

Today in Automotive History

1898 Birth Of A Legend

Enzo Anselmo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy, on this day. After fighting in World War I, where he lost both his brother and his father, Ferrari became a professional driver with the Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazional (CMN.) The following year, Ferrari moved to Alpha Romeo, establishing a relationship that would span two decades and take Ferrari from test driver to the director post of the Alpha Racing Division. In 1929, Enzo founded Scuderia Ferrari, an organization that began as a racing club but that by 1933 had absorbed the entire race-engineering division at Alpha. For financial reasons, Alpha took back control of their racing division from Ferrari in 1939. His pride wounded, Ferrari left Alpha Romeo in 1940, transforming the Scuderia into an independent manufacturing company, the Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari. Construction of the first Ferrari vehicle was delayed until the end of World War II. Like Ferdinand Porsche, Enzo Ferrari suffered during the war, as his factory was bombed on numerous occasions. Still, Ferrari persisted with his work. In 1949, Ferrari's 166 won the 24 Hours at Le Mans, Europe's most famous car race. Ferrari would not look back. His passion for racing drove his company to become one of the world's premier race car builders. Ferrari cars would win 25 world titles and over 5,000 individual races during Enzo's 41-year reign. Off the track the company fared just as well. Responding to Ferrari's personal demand that his engineers create the finest sports car in the world, the company produced the F40 in 1987. With a top speed of 201mph and a 0 to 60 time of 3.5 seconds, the F40 may have been Ferrari's crowning achievement. Enzo Anselmo Ferrari died on August 14, 1988.

Posted by Quality Weenie at February 18, 2005 08:37 AM