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|Enzo Ferrari in the 1920s|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Enzo Anselmo Ferrari
(1898-02-18)18 February 1898
Modena, Kingdom of Italy
|Deceased||14 August 1988(1988-08-14)
|Profession(s)||Founder of Ferrari|
|Wife/Husband||Laura Dominica Garello (1923–1978; her death)|
Enzo Anselmo Ferrari Del Piero (Modena, February 18, 1898 [registered on February 20] -Módena, August 14, 1988), was the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari and later of the car brand that would carry his name, Ferrari. He was known among Ferrari fans as «Il commendatore».
Enzo Ferrari’s Biography
Enzo Ferrari grew on the moon in the Po valley in northern Italy. Enzo’s father, Alfredo Ferrari, worked in a metal structures company. Alfredo wished that his sons Enzo and Dino Ferrari would dedicate themselves to continue with the family business, but Enzo claimed to want to be a journalist or an opera singer.
In 1908 Alfredo Ferrari took his two sons to see a car race near Modena. Enzo had the opportunity to see Vincenzo Lancia in the race. From this moment his life would be marked by car racing. Alfredo sent his two sons to a mechanical engineering school.
Dino accepted the studies and a year later he would be sent to the front when Italy enters the First World War, dying of typhoid fever. Alfredo Ferrari died in 1916, causing the family business to go bankrupt almost immediately.
Enzo Ferrari was practically alone and jumped from one job to another for more than a year. In 1917 he was recruited by the army. Although he tried to demonstrate his skills as a mechanic, his superiors did not take him into account and assigned him to shoe mules. Enzo contracted pleurisy, a disease commonly fatal, but managed to overcome.
At the age of 20 Enzo finished his service in the army, but he found a post-war Italy totally in crisis. Enzo got a letter of recommendation from the colonel of his regiment and went to Turin, the Italian automobile capital, to look for luck. He applied for a job at Fiat, but he did not take it into account.
A year later, he managed to get a job at a small car manufacturer company called CMN, in Milan. There Ferrari bought an Alfa Romeo used to compete in races, calling the attention of the Alfa Romeo managers, who invited him to work on the brand and compete with their racing cars. Enzo competed in several small races from 1920 to 1924, but his results were not remarkable. Ferrari asked Alfa Romeo to allow him to become a seller of the brand.
In this activity Ferrari met Laura Dominica Garello, whom she married in 1923.
Alfa Romeo had planned to compete with a car called P1 at the Italian Grand Prix held at the Monza circuit. Ferrari, along with several mechanics who managed to convince them to leave the Fiat and start working with him, arrives in Monza one day before the race. Ugo Sivocci was the chosen driver, but on the recon turn he leaves the circuit and dies. Ferrari suffers a strong emotional crisis.
The P1 had failed, Ferrari needed to redesign it for what it manages to bring from Fiat to engineer Vittorio Jano, a genius of mechanics. Together they redesign the P1 and baptize it P2. At the wheel they put Antonio Ascari. The P2 wins the race, achieves the lap record and the highest speed on the track. Ferrari then proposes to Alfa Romeo to leave it in charge of the company’s competition activities, which Alfa Romeo accepts. On December 1, 1929, Ferrari opens the doors of what would become the Scuderia Ferrari.
Despite his professional successes, his family life was not pleasant, his mother and his wife Laura detested each other. In 1932 Laura gives birth to her first child Dino Ferrari, however almost immediately the child is diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Enzo suffers terribly from not being able to do anything for his son, and tried in vain to stop the disease with different diets and with several medicines imported from several countries. Finally Dino dies in 1956 at age 24 causing intense pain in Enzo Ferrari. Since then Enzo visits every morning the grave of his first son before going to work.
In 1939 the Second World War begins and Mussolini together with Germany are launched to the invasion. Alfa Romeo breaks ties with the Scuderia de Enzo, so he is forced to work with the fascist government, to survive financially both he and the Scuderia.
Thus in 1940 was born Avio Costruzioni Ferrari that worked with the national aviation company in Rome, for Piaggio and for RIV. In 1943 during World War II, the Ferrari factory moved from Modena to Maranello by order of the government, to protect it from Allied bombings. Even so, the factory was bombed in 1944 and rebuilt in 1946, the year in which the design and manufacture of the first Ferrari began.
In his constant trips to Maranello he would meet Lina Lardi a secretary with whom she would have a romance at 46 years old. With her he would have two sons named Piero Ferrari, current vice president of Ferrari and Gustavo Pompa.
The war comes to an end and in 1947 Enzo and the public are ready to return to car racing. In this year Enzo culminates the development of the Ferrari 125 with a liter and a half engine. The first race in which a Ferrari would compete would be in Piacenza, Italy on May 11, 1947, a minor test. Ferrari’s expectations were high for both him and the Italian press. In the race, just 3 laps from the end and with the Ferrari in the lead the fuel pump is broken. Enzo would describe the 125 then as a “promising failure”. Enzo never got to see the competition and from this moment he never returned to attend a race in which a Ferrari competed.
Enzo began the development of several unprecedented vehicles, with speeds never seen before. Ferrari began to win almost all the competitions, but the costs of the races were enormous and Ferrari ran out of money. For this reason, despite his total lack of interest in the idea, Ferrari starts selling car versions of their cars.
But the speeds never before seen would also bring consequences. Car racing was a dangerous business and pilots began to die in the circuits, each time in a greater proportion. In 1957, in the celebration of the Mille Miglia, a popular race of the time, 5 Ferraris participated among more than 250 participants. More than 10 million people come to watch cars go by along the circuit. By its extension it was almost impossible to control the entire public. The most powerful Ferrari, the 335 liters of 4.1 liters under the command of the promising Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago, lost control and went to the public. More than 15 people died, including, of course, the pilot, and many more were injured. Enzo Ferrari was charged with manslaughter. Four years later the charges were dropped.
In 1961 Ford decided to compete with Ferrari, obtaining diverse results. Ferrari began to lose and the cost of maintaining the Scuderia increased dramatically. Despite the sale of cars money was running out. In 1967 the Scuderia Ferrari was on the verge of bankruptcy. Then he approaches the Fiat group for financial help. The agreement with Fiat contemplated that Enzo would be in charge of the race car division and Fiat would manufacture the Ferrari cars. By 1969, each party has 50% of the Ferrari shares (in 1988, the Fiat Group would become the majority shareholder).
In 1963 Enzo Ferrari built the Professionale Institute for the Industry and Artigianato, a learning school in Maranello. In 1972 he built the Fiorano test track.
In 1978 Laura Dominica Garello dies and Ferrari was organized with her lover Lina Lardi, her children Piero, Gustavo and her granddaughter Antonella.
Enzo became seriously ill of the kidney in 1978, after which he remained in bed for a long time. On August 14, 1988 about one o’clock in the afternoon, Enzo Ferrari dies in his bed surrounded by his family.
More Facts about Enzo Ferrari
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