Early in Enzo Ferrari’s life his mission involved speed. Not necessarily caring about the chassis, it was the high-powered engine mated with the chassis he was so mesmerized with. Having applied at Fiat, he was denied a position and shortly after began racing for Alfa Romeo where he started Scuderia Ferrari, the name for the Alfa Romeo racing team.
It was at the Piacenza racing circuit in May of 1947 where Enzo Ferrari’s first car wearing his name was introduced as the Ferrari 125S- 125 for engine displacement, “S” standing for Sport. Only two were made and both were dismantled to provide parts for later Ferrari models.
Skilled fighter pilot Francesco Baracca had given Enzo a necklace with a prancing horse on it. Regrettably, the pilot was shot down and Enzo, in his memory, used the horse as the focal point of his emblem as the late pilot’s mother was honored to have him employ the painted horse stating it would give him great luck and success.
Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars (available now on Amazon)
Not to worry my friends, when Ferris Bueller took his “day off” 34 years ago, the 1961 Ferrari 250GT used was actually not a Ferrari. Matthew Broderick couldn’t drive a stick nor did they want to tear up a rare Ferrari, so Modena Design & Development built a replica using a 302 Ford powered fiberglass bodied convertible to mimic that of the famed 250GT.
Today Piero Ferrari, Enzo’s son, owns about 10% of Ferrari. Remaining shares are owned between FCA, (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and shareholders. FCA is same Fiat company that ironically declined Enzo a job as a teenager. Interestingly, the ticker symbol on the NYSE for Ferrari is RACE.
Enzo Ferrari, at a young age, toyed with the idea of being an opera singer. Little did he know that rather than operatic solos, the real “performance notes” he would hit would be the exhaust sounds of an exquisitely tuned car engine.
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Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He is also author of the new book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, available at Amazon! He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.