Enzo Anselmo Ferrari developed an early interest in sports cars and racing as a result of his father and older brother’s involvement in motorsport. He was a diligent and talented individual who began as a test driver and eventually founded his own multinational company, Ferrari. He possessed a wealth of knowledge about automobiles and mechanics despite having received no formal education in engineering or physics. His inventiveness and breadth of knowledge earned him honorary degrees from the Universities of Bologna and Modena, as well as numerous other awards and accolades from around the world. He had constructed himself from the ground up following the tragic death of his family members at a very young age. He faced rejection and oppressive professional situations, but his passion for automobiles and racing propelled him forward in life. He is the reason we have such fast and luxurious cars on the road today, as he designed cars for the road as well as the race tracks. He was a naturally compassionate person, as evidenced by his stories about caring for his drivers when they were injured. He is frequently referred to as the inventor of the term ‘fast’.
Childhood & Adolescence
Enzo Ferrari was born in the small town of Modena, Italy, on 18 February 1898. He was born to Alfredo Ferrari, a manufacturer, and grew up in Modena without receiving any formal education.
He developed an early interest in race cars and race car driving and declared his desire to be a racing driver at the tender age of ten, when his father took him to see the 1908 Circuit di Bologna. He attended numerous other race car competitions following this, and each one left a lasting impression on his mind.
Ferrari began teaching at the Lathe Operator School in the Modena fire brigade’s workshop in 1914. In 1916, during World War I, both his father and brother died as a result of the outbreak of the Italian flu. Simultaneously, he was drafted into service and assigned to the Third Alpine Regiment, Val Seriana. He contracted the 1918 flu pandemic, which resulted in his discharge at the war’s conclusion.
Ferrari applied for a job with Fiat in 1918 after receiving a letter of recommendation from military authorities.
Regrettably, there were no openings at the time. However, he obtained employment as a test driver in Turin, working for a motor company that converted light trucks into chassis in collaboration with an Italo-Argentinean body shop in Milan.
Career of Enzo
In 1919, Enzo began working as a test driver for a company called Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali in Milan. However, he was quickly promoted to the position of racing driver.
He made his racing debut in the Parma-Poggio di Berceto uphill race the following year. He finished fourth in the race. He also competed in another race that year, the Targa Florio, but was unable to achieve significant success due to a fuel tank issue.
In 1920, he competed in the Targa Florio car race once more, this time driving an Alfa Romeo and finishing second. This victory marked the start of a 20-year career with Alfa Romeo, first as a test driver, then as a racing driver, then as a sales representative, and finally as the head of the Alfa-Corse team.
Ferrari competed in numerous races in 1921 as an exclusive Alfa driver. He also had his first accident that year, during the Brescia Grand Prix, when he staggered off the road to avoid colliding with a herd of cows that crossed the route.
In 1923, after winning his first Savio Circuit, he met the Count Baracca, Francesco Baracca, and Countess Baracca. He was presented with a photograph with a dedication and encouraged to use their “Prancing Horse” as a mascot on his racing cars without restriction.
In 1929, he founded the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix racing team, which served as Alfa Romeo’s racing team.
Ferrari retired from racing in 1931. He finished second in his most recent race at the Three Provinces circuit, driving an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MM. Due to his growing family and other professional commitments, he stepped away from racing this year.
Alfa terminated its association with Scuderia Ferrai in 1933 due to financial constraints. Alfa regained control of its racing efforts in 1937, and Ferrari was demoted to the position of Director of Sports.
In 1939, Ferrari agreed to leave Alfa Romeo on the condition that he would not use the name ‘Ferrari’ in connection with racing or racing cars for the next four years. He established his own company, Auto Avio Costruzioni, Modena, in a garage on Viale Trento e Trieste, the same year.
In 1940, he built cars for the Mille Miglia in the former Scuderia’s main quarters. During WWII, Ferrari’s firm was compelled to produce for Mussolini’s Fascist regime.
At Silverstone in 1951, Ferrari’s firm won its first Grand Prix with Jose Froilan Gonzalez. The company won its first championship in 1952-53. This was also the time when the company began selling sports cars to raise funds for its racing events.
In 1957, Ferrari and Englebert, the tire manufacturer, were charged with manslaughter after Alfonso de Portago, driving Ferrari, and his co-driver died when one of the tires blew during the Mille Miglia. Additionally, nine members of the audience were killed. In 1961, the prosecution was dropped.
Ferrari sold 50% of its shares to Fiat in 1969, but Enzo Ferrari retained complete control of the racing endeavors. This offer was initially made to Ford, but Ferrari declined, knowing that he would lose control of critical decisions if he merged his company with Ford.
Ferrari stepped down as managing director of the road car division in 1974. He then proposed Luca Cordero di Montezemolo as Formula One team manager, requesting that he represent him at all race meetings.
Ferrari built sturdy cars and hired world-class drivers in 1982. Although Ferrari remained associated with Scuderia until his death, Ferrari did not win any more championships.
Significant Works of Enzo
In 1929, during a dinner party in Bologna, Ferrari proposed the idea of establishing Scuderia Ferrari in Modena. It was decided that its mission would be to provide an opportunity for its shareholders to race. The Caniato brothers from Ferrara, Mario Tadini, and Count Trossi were the company’s first shareholders. This company quickly surpassed Alfa Romeo in terms of sporting activities.
In 1945, he began designing the first ‘Ferrari’ automobile. He developed the type of engine for the car that became the brand’s trademark.
Awards and Accomplishments
Ferrari was appointed a ‘Cavaliere’ by the state in 1924 for his significant contribution to the field of sport, and a ‘Cavaliere Ufficiale’ in 1925. He founded ‘Corriere dello Sport’ in Bologna the following year, catering to his passion for sports journalism.
In 1927, he was named ‘Commendatore’ for his contributions to Italian sports. Ferrari was named ‘Cavaliere del Lavoro’ in 1952 for his contributions to the automobile industry, which aided in enhancing Italy’s international image.
Personal History and Legacies
Ferrari married Laura Dominica Garello Ferrari in 1932. They had a son named Alfredo ‘Dino’ Ferarri together. In 1956, he died of muscular dystrophy.
Ferrari had a second son, Piero, with mistress Lina Lardi in 1945, but it was not until 1975 that he recognized Piero as his legal son, following Lina’s death. He died in 1988 at the age of 90. Two days later, his death was made public.
Ferrari was a recluse who rarely appeared in public or gave interviews. He was also a workaholic.
When his driver, Nicki Lauda, sustained an injury during a race, Ferrari stayed alongside him to console him.
Ferrari was not hired by Fiat because he lacked the necessary skills for work in automobile mechanics.
Ferrari is believed to have instilled competition among his drivers and pushed them to achieve the position of number one driver.
Estimated Net Worth
Enzo Ferrari had a net worth of $100 million at the time of his death. Enzo’s net worth at the time of his demise is exceedingly difficult to determine. Despite being the founder of one of the most famous luxury car companies in history, Enzo was never “rich” during his lifetime. Indeed, Ferrari was always operating at a loss in order to support his beloved racing team.