The Life and Accomplishments of
More than 25 years have passed since his death, but Enzo Ferrari still remains a legend.
Perhaps you recognize the name. “Ferrari” represents both a man and an automotive company—Enzo
Ferrari the Italian race car driver and later the entrepreneur behind the Ferrari motor company.
Enzo lived a long, full life from February 18, 1898, to August 14, 1988.
Born in Italy, Enzo quickly set himself apart in his love of racing at a young age. At the tender age of
10, Enzo committed to his dream of becoming a race car driver after seeing the 1908 Circuit di Bologna
Enzo received little formal education in the early 1900s in Italy. He later served in World War I, and
during that time, he lost his father and brother in an Italian flu outbreak. It was then that his family’s
manufacturing business collapsed. Enzo was forced to explore other career options, after barely surviving the
1918 flu epidemic himself.
Enzo decided that the time was right to pursue his dream and enter the automotive industry. Enzo soon got
a job as a test driver for a small automobile manufacturer called CMN. Within just a few short years, he was
racing. By 1923, Enzo won the Ravenna Circuit of Sivocci.
Enzo’s greatest victory and claim to fame was at the first Coppa Acerbo at Pescara in 1924, where he won
driving an Alfa Romeo RL. That victory made Ferrari a notable name on the racing circuit. Scuderia Ferrari was
founded by Enzo in 1929 to manufacture race cars and sponsor drivers. Street legal Ferraris were manufactured
just a few years later, starting in 1947.
Alfa Romeo RL
Enzo’s greatest victory and claim to fame was at the first Coppa Acerbo at Pescara in 1924, where he
won driving an Alfa Romeo RL.
“Everyone dreams of driving a Ferrari, it was my intent from the start.”
– Enzo Ferrari
Today, the finely crafted Ferrari is a sign of status and wealth. What once started as a speedy
Italian race car has become a coveted automobile by the upper class. As far back as the early 1900s, Enzo
made a name for himself. He built on his racing legend to create a successful automotive company that is
still in business today.
How much do you know about America’s favorite Italian sports car? Here are 10 fun facts about
Ferrari, the man and the brand:
Enzo created his own mysterious image by choosing to always wear sunglasses in public until the day
The Countess Baracca gave Enzo the famous Ferrari prancing horse logo, used by her late son
Francisco who served as a flying ace in World War I.
Enzo Ferrari was also known as The Commander, a nickname that may have been given to him by the
Italian King Victor Emmanuel III.
Ford attempted to buy Ferrari in 1963 for $18 million; the deal failed when Ford refused to allow
Enzo to retain control over the Ferrari racing program.
Fiat eventually bought Ferrari in 1969 at a 50% stake that ultimately increased to 90% in 1988; Fiat
allowed Enzo to control the Ferrari racing program, unlike Ford.
The first Ferrari ever produced with an automatic gearbox was the 1976 Ferrari 400 GT.
The 250 GTO Ferrari was reportedly the most expensive car produced, sold privately for close to $15
The Ferrari F40 launched in 1987 in the UK at $316, 895; it was the most expensive car sold in
The two-seated Gran Turismo Ferrari is considered the most popular model.
Enzo Ferrari died in 1988 in his sleep at the age of 90.
if you have to ask, you can’t afford it
The Life History of Enzo Ferrari
Enzo’s life history shows a clear trajectory toward success. Here’s the timeline of an Italian race car
driver turned automobile tycoon:
Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena, Italy.
Enzo, 10, and his brother Alfredo were taken to their first car race by their father in Bologna. Enzo
dreamed of becoming a race car driver.
Enzo lost his father and brother in an Italian flu outbreak during World War I; Enzo barely survived the
flu himself while serving in the third Alpine Artillery of the Italian Army.
Enzo applied to work at Fiat after recovering from the flu but was turned down for the job.
Enzo participated in the first postwar racing event in Italy as a driver. At that time, Enzo raced for
CMN, a small auto manufacturer, where he also worked as a test driver.
Enzo Ferrari: enjoy.org
Enzo left CMN and began working at Alfa Romeo. He continued to race, now driving Alfa Romeo cars in
local events. In the same year, Enzo finished second in the Targa Florio
driving an Alfa Romeo Tipo 40/60; this was the beginning of a 20 year relationship with Alfa Romeo that
ultimately ended when Enzo stepped down as the head of the Alfa Corse racing division in 1939.
Enzo won the Coppa Acerborace at Pescara. In the same year, Enzo received an official honor from the
Italian state and was knighted for his racing accomplishments.
Enzo was made Commendatore by the Italian state for his National Service in the area of racing;
Enzo won the Circuito di Modena driving an Alfa Romeo 6C-1500 SS the same year.
Enzo won his second Circuito di Modena, again driving an Alfa Romeo 6C-1500 SS. That year, Enzo left
Alfa Romeo and started Scuderia Ferrari as the Alfa
Romeo racing team; the goal of the new foundation was to allow owner-drivers to race in circuits.
Enzo finished his final race as a driver at the Circuito Tre Province, coming in second. Enzo decided to
quit racing as he anticipated the birth of his first son.
Enzo married Laura; his son Alfredo was born the same year.
The Scuderia Ferrari built the Alfetta, or the Alfa Romeo 158, which quickly
rose to popularity in the international race circuit.
Enzo participated in technical manufacturing throughout World War II. In 1939, Enzo stepped down from
Alfa Romeo and was
not allowed to use the Ferrari name in races or on race cars for a minimum of four years. He then made
it his life’s goal to surpass Alfa Romeo in Ferrari manufacturing.
Enzo had a son named Piero by his mistress Lina Lardi; Piero was later named Enzo’s successor after his
son Alfredo died in 1956 and his wife Laura died in 1978. (Piero is currently Vice President of Ferrari.) In the
same year, Enzo began to work on his first Ferrari automobile, the V-12 powered 125 model that would debut in
Enzo produced the first Ferrari automobile. The Ferrari company boomed in the flourishing economy
following World War II.
Enzo won his first Formula One victory at the British Grand Prix.
The Ferrari team won their first Formula One Championship.
Enzo’s beloved son Alfredo (Dino) died from muscular dystrophy. In the same year, the Ferrari-powered
Lancia D50won the Formula One World Championship, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio.
50% of Ferrari was purchased by Fiat.
Enzo stepped down as Ferrari company president, though he continued to work closely with the company
until his death in 1988.
The Ferrari Fiorano test track opened near the team’s base in Maranello.
Enzo died in his sleep at the age of 90 in Modena, Italy.
Enzo was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Enzo’s sporting accomplishments made him the prize of Italy. He was knighted and later awarded
Commendatore. He was also bestowed several honorary degrees for his achievements—as well asthe Automobile Award,
the Hammarskjöld Prize, the Columbus Prize, and the De Gasperi Award. After his death, Enzo’s excellence was
recognized once again when he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Although his zeal for racing was evident, Enzo was reserved in his personal life. He rarely gave interviews.
After moving back to his hometown of Modena in 1958, he traveled infrequently, save for attending the annual Italian
Grand Prix outside of Milan.
Enzo was heartbroken after the death of his son Alfredo in 1956. Alfredo, called Dino, had worked closely
with his father to help develop the Ferrari V6 engine. While Enzo had a second son by his mistress Lina, it wasn’t
until after his wife Laura’s death in 1978 that Peiro could be recognized as Enzo’s son; divorce was illegal in
Italy until 1975. Today, Peiro is the heir to the Ferrari fortune and serves as the VP of the Ferrari company with
Enzo’s passion for racing was the catalyst behind his success as the owner of the Ferrari company.
What was the key to Enzo’s success, you ask? Always keeping his eye on the prize and never being
satisfied with the status quo, according to Enzo himself:
“If you see what a competitor is doing and it is better than what you are doing, you have to surpass
them to ensure your cars are better.” – Enzo Ferrari
Enzo left Alfa Romeo at the start of World War II, yet he was not allowed to use his exclusive
Ferrari name until four years later. The timing was right since racing
interest waned during World War II. During that time, Enzo moved Ferrari from Modena to Maranello,
where the headquarters remain today.
Enzo introduced the first 125 S Ferrari out of the factory.
The Ferrari company became an LLC.
Enzo developed the artisan training institute in Maranello to supply the Ferrari company with
specialty technicians; the institute was dedicated to his son Alfredo.
In the same year, Ferrari saw modest success in the US with only 450 employees and 598 cars
manufactured compared to Ford Motor Company at 175,000 employees and 2.1 million cars.
450 employees and 598 cars
175k employees and 2.1M cars
The first Ferrari with an automatic gearbox was introduced, the Ferrari 400 GT.
The concept of a four-door Ferrari was vetoed by Enzo. 1980 was also considered the worst
Formula One season for Ferrari with only eight constructor points.
Ferrari unveiled the F40, the last Ferrari manufactured under Enzo’s influence; the
F40 was considered Enzo’s dream car and was designed to commemorate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary.
The Formula Uomo initiative was introduced at the Ferrari Maranello headquarters to ensure the best
possible working conditions for staff members;
Formula Uomo was designed to make employees the heart of the company—as Enzo intended.
The world’s fastest Ferrari debuted, the Ferrari F60.
2004 was considered the best Formula One season for Ferrari with an impressive 262 points.
Ferrari success boomed to sell a total of 5,671 cars within the year; 635 sales
were in the UK.
The Ferrari company has expanded leaps and bounds from its humble beginnings in Italy.
If Enzo were alive today, he would be proud to see that his company has branched out into Europe, North
America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and even Africa. Ferrari North America, Inc. has headquarters in New
Jersey with authorized dealer networks throughout the US. Ferrari North Europe LTD is headquartered in England
as a fully-owned Ferrari S.p.A. subsidiary. The North Europe brand encompasses 24 dealerships in total,
including but not limited to the UK, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Italy,
Spain, Portugal, and more.
Ferrari ownership in Switzerland has surged in past decades.
Today, the Swiss market represents the highest concentration of Ferrari owners around the world in
relation to population. There are nine authorized Ferrari dealerships located in Switzerland, compared to
eight in Italy, three in Spain, and only one in Austria.
to the family
Ferrari’s replacement for the F430 is the 458 Italia pictured here. The new car is the lastest in a
long line of mid-engined, two-seat, roadgoing Ferraris that can all trace their heritage back to the 1967
Dino-badged 206 GT. Over those 40-plus years, the price has increased more than twentyfold and horsepower
has nearly tripled, but since late ‘70s, Ferrari has resisted, almost with religious dedication, allowing
its V-8 cars to undergo massive weight gain.
Price *all price based on year
Power (SAE net) / Zero to 60 mph / Curb weight
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
(2010) $230,000 (est)
DOHC 32-valve 4.5-liter V-8
570 bhp / 3.3 sec (est) / 3450 lb (est)
2009 Ferrari 430 scuderia
(2009) – $287,968
DOHC 32-valve 4.3-liter V-8
503 bhp / 3.5 sec / 3069 lb
2004 Ferrari 360
(2004) – $193,324
DOHC 40-valve 3.6-liter V-8
425 bhp / 4.0 sec / 3152 lb
1999-2004 Ferrari 360 modena
(1999) – $170,000
DOHC 40-valve 3.6-liter V-8
395 bhp / 4.4 sec / 3091 lb
2005-09 Ferrari f430
(2005) – $180,785
DOHC 32-valve 4.3-liter V-8
483 bhp / 4.1 sec / 3380 lb
1989-94 Ferrari 348tb/ts
(1990) – $101,050
DOHC 32-valve 3.4-liter V-8
296 bhp / 6.0 sec / 3300 lb
1995-98 Ferrari 355
(1995) – $128,800
DOHC 32-valve 3.5-liter V-8
375 bhp / 4.5 sec / 3270 lb
1986-89 Ferrari 328 gtb/gts
(1986) – $63,370
DOHC 32-valve 3.2-liter V-8
260 bhp / 5.6 sec / 3090 lb
1985 Ferrari 288 gto
(1985) – $125,000
Twin-turbocharged and intercooled
DOHC 32-valve 2.9-liter V-8
394 bhp / 5.0 sec / 2280 lb
1983 Ferrari 208 gtbi/GTSi
(1983) – $30,000
16-valve 2.0-liter V-8
211 bhp / 8.0 sec (est) / 3320 lb (est)
1976-79 Ferrari 308
gtb/gts (gtbi/gtsi ‘80-’82)
(1977) – $28,780
DOHC 16-valve 2.9-liter V-8
240 bhp / 7.9 sec / 3110 lb
1983-85 Ferrari 308
(1983) – $59,500
DOHC 32-valve 2.9-liter V-8
230 bhp / 7.4 sec / 3320 lb
1967-69 Ferrari/dino 206 gt
(1967) – $10,000 (est)
DOHC 12-valve 2.0-liter V-6
180 bhp / 8.2 sec (est) / 2700 lb (est)
1969-73 Ferrari dino 246 gt/gts
(1972) – $14,700
DOHC 12-valve 2.4-liter V-6
195 bhp / 7.9 sec / 2770 lb
Ferrari design evolution can be seen on the official website, with smooth transformations in size, body, and
style—using Enzo’s initial Ferrari concepts as a springboard.
Ferrari models differ in manufacturing by decade, starting from 1940-49 to present trends in 2010-19. The marriage
of Enzo’s original vision with modern technology is clear when comparing any two models from different decades, such
as the 1948 166 Inter and the 2010 SA APERTA:
Front, Longitudinal 60° V12
60 x 58.8 mm
92.0 x 75.2 mm (3.62 x 2.96 in)
499.9 cm3 (30.51 cu in)
5999 cm3 (366.08 cu in)
66 kW (90hp) at 5,600 rpm
493 kW (670 CV) at 8,250 rpm
620 Nm (63 kgm – 457 lbft) at 6,500 rpm
“All the innovations learnt from racing experience can find practical application in the normal
– Enzo Ferrari
67 years after the first Ferrari was unveiled in 1947, and the company continues to build upon
Enzo’s early success as a racecar driver and shaper of the Ferrari brand. Enzo believed from his time spent
at the racetrack that all racecar applications could translate into superior street-ready vehicles. And he
was right. The Ferrari brand was built on Enzo’s initial vision of crossover success:
Where does this leave Ferrari today?
In 2012, Ferrari solidified its standing as a luxury sports car manufacturer after revealing its best
financial year in Ferrari history. Ferrari earned €2.433 billion, with sales up 8% in 2012. Ferrari delivered
7,318 cars within the year, boasting a boost in production at 4.5%.
Total Ferrari net profit was valued at €244 million with a 17.8% increase.
In 2012, Ferrari saw record sales in the US, Germany, Great Britain, and China. Ferrari confirmed
that this reflected the
“best ever trading period in the company’s 66-year history.”
What’s more, Ferrari’s financial success beat the odds in many countries that were experiencing an
economic slump. Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo added,
“We are all enormously proud of ending the year with these kinds of results despite the unfavourable
economic backdrop in many European nations, and the distinctly hostile one in Italy.”
Montezemolo credited brand strength to Ferrari’s exceptional financial success—namely, the unique and
prestigious brand created by Enzo Ferrari more than half a century earlier.
Ferrari F14 T
Ferrari clings to its successful roots, established by Enzo, while integrating new technologies to
remain hot on the market. Ferrari recently patented a 4RM four-wheel-drive system that maintains better control
by transmitting torque to all four wheels of a vehicle. Ferrari has further improved performance by introducing
new technology in a brand-new GDI V12 engine, considered “the DNA of a thorough bred Ferrari” with sporty
performance and comfortable driver control.
Ferrari maintains a strong presence on the racing circuit—honoring Enzo’s passion year after year. The
most recent Ferrari race car to be unveiled was the 2014 Formula One car in red and black. The Ferrari F14 T is
the 60th Formula One car produced by the company. The new design integrates a thin nose with a curved, open
front and will be raced by the Italian Ferrari team in the hopes of winning the first F1 title in six years.
At the heart of every Ferrari is the spirit of Enzo himself. As a race car driver, Enzo kept his eye
on the finish line and always pushed for first place. His brand follows in his footsteps with fresh
innovations that reinvent the wheel time and again. Today’s Ferrari is fast, flashy, and luxurious, just as
it was 60 years ago. Enzo did what he set out to do:
“I want to build a car that’s faster than all of them, and then I want to die.”