speed Rules! r R Inside the World’s Hottest Cars

Pure Passion and Power ferrari r

By Paul W. Cockerham

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First printing 1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2

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speed Rules! r R Inside the World’s Hottest Cars

BMW C orvet te

F errar i J aguar L amborghini M erc edes -B enz M ustang P orsche


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I N T R O D U C T I ON 4

C h a p t e r O n e I N T H E B E G I NN I NG 10

C h a p t e r T w o MA N I A F O R T H E MA S S E S 24

C h a p t e r T h r e e S P O R T S C A R S W I T H AT T I T U D E S 42 C h a p t e r F o u r E N Z O ’ S D R E AM L I V E S ON 80

R e s e a r c h P r o j e c t s 92 F i n d O u t M o r e 93

S e r i e s G l o s s a r y

o f K e y T e r m s

94 I n d e x 95

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T here is nothing like a Ferrari. Ever since these famed road cars and racing machines first came out of the Modena works in the late 1940s, they have evoked the passions of auto enthusiasts as no other marque ever has. The sights and sounds of a Ferrari, experienced first-hand, are provocation of the highest order. Sensuous body curves, a sonorous exhaust note, and giddily transcendent speed all blend together, likening the Ferrari encounter to a dream. The glorious history surrounding Ferrari feeds this passion as well, a histo- ry built on experience in racing. In Europe, no other sport, save for soccer, commands the dedicated attentions of the fan the way racing does. Rulers of the European states have on occasion exploited the hold racing has on the fan (the German government-backed Mercedes and Auto-Union Grand Prix teams of the late 1930s, for example), and racing cars served as rolling billboards for their national sponsors: green for English teams, silver for Germany, blue for France, white (with blue stripes) for the rare American entry, and red for Italy. As Ferrari’s Grand Prix and sports car racers hit the roads and circuits of Europe in the years following the Second World War, their success quickly charged the imagination and hopes of the Italian people. The devotion of these fans was so singular they soon gained their own sobriquet, Tifiosi. A fascinating consequence of this passion is the intimate association Ferrari has developed with the color red. One cannot find anywhere in popular culture a closer relationship between an inanimate object and a hue. To this day facto- ry-backed Ferrari race cars bear this color. When someone finally realizes their long-held Ferrari fantasy and orders a production car, he or she usually specifies a red model. Automobile magazine’s Jean Lindamood once pithily called a Ferrari “the reddest car available,” no matter what its color. What evokes these responses is nothing more than the magnificent vision of Enzo Ferrari. With his racing teams, his genius lay in marshaling the myriad of disparate resources needed to place his cars first at the finish line. His pro- duction automobiles were always the realization of his beliefs as to what the customer should have—never a mere marketing exercise. There is no car more individual than these magnificent marriages of alloy and steel bearing


Ferrari’s early practice was to offer a base chassis, for which customers selected whatever body style they preferred. This 166 Inter Ghia has essentially the same mechanical underpinning as the Spyder Corsa.



the badge of the “Prancing Horse,” none more representative of the character of its creator. “My cars may not be perfect,” Ferrari once remarked, “but they are unique.” His influence and reputation were truly international. It is now eight years since the passing of Sgr. Ferrari, and the company that bears his name is still guided by his vision. The expense and competition of motorsports is now light years beyond what Enzo Ferrari faced in the 1950s and ’60s, when his teams were most successful, but meaningful results have been achieved by both the Formula One Grand Prix and sports car rac- ing efforts. And the company’s newest production GT, the F555 Daytona, takes both its name and styling cues from what is, for many, the quintessen- tial Ferrari—the Daytona 250 GTO of 1962. Contemporary aficionados manifest their Ferrari appreciation in different ways. The tifiosi still fill the stands of the world’s racing circuits. Those who can afford to purchase the products of Maranello enjoy a superlative motoring experience, even if they aren’t among the growing number of customers who participate in their own special factory-sponsored racing program. Then there are some who, enamored more by the car’s history and reputation than they are of its capabilities, garage their purchases in the name of speculation. Indeed, it was the coveting of the marque following Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988 that created a boom (and subsequent fallout) in the entire collectible car market. Life after Enzo Ferrari actually started five years before he died, as he spent this time shaping projects that would be fulfilled after his death. With such a strong legacy, some enthusiasts wonder whether the company’s history might be diluted down the road. But current executives do respect the compa- ny’s traditions. The company started out building racing cars, and will contin- ue to do so. Its racing heritage, more than anything else, defines Ferrari as something special, almost irreplaceable. That essence will always drive inter- est in the marque.

FOLLOWING PAGE: At its introduction, Enzo Ferrari described the F40 as being “a sum- mary of all the efforts of Ferrari over the years.”

The 250 GTO delivered GT-class championships to Ferrari in 1962, 1963, and 1964. The “O” stood for “omologoto,” or homologation, the production run mandated for the car to compete.


The 1960 250 SWB (short wheel base) Berlinetta was a particularly nimble and aggres- sive variant of the 250 series.


C h a p t e r O n e


B orn on the outskirts of Modena on the 18th of February, 1898, Enzo Ferrari was the son of a metal workshop owner. Young Ferrari’s father soon added a motor repair shop and it was here that Ferrari immersed himself in basic automotive skills. Both he and his father attended early automobile races in Italy, and his desire to become a racing driver was formed early on. Ferrari was forced to leave school when his father died, and soon found work instructing members of the Modena Fire Brigade on how to maneuver their new motor-driven fire engines. After the First World War, he joined the young automotive industry as a tester for a company that converted Lancia truck chassis to passenger vehicles. During a trip to Milan he met Ugo Sivocci, a fellow tester, and the pair soon established Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali (CMN), a company that rebuilt chassis and converted parts from the Isotta Fraschini factory. This activity funded racing for Ferrari and Sivocci, and in 1919 Ferrari drove a CMN to a respectable fourth-place showing in the Parma-Reggio de Berceto hill climb. He also entered the Targa Florio race for the first time that year. The following year Ferrari joined Alfa Romeo as a factory racing driver, and that year he brought an Alfa to a second-place finish in the Targa Florio. Alfa soon recognized, however, that young Ferrari shown brighter promise as an administrator than a driver, and for the rest of the decade, he ran Alfa’s team, leaving to form his own, Scuderia Ferrari, in 1929. It was at this point that Ferrari first incorporated the famed Prancing Horse logo on his racing machinery. Apparently his brother had been a member of Squadriglia 91a, a World War I fighter squadron that flew Spad S13s, and the prancing horse had been displayed on their aircraft. After Ferrari won a race in 1923, he was presented with a piece of fabric by the Countess Baracca from the aircraft of Francesco Baracca, the Italian ace who was shot down and killed during the war, and it apparently was suggested to Ferrari that displaying this logo on his race cars would be a fitting tribute to both his brother’s and Baracca’s memory. Over the years, Ferrari altered the original logo’s appearance to its present state, which shows a horse standing on a single rear leg with an upright tail. As the Alfa team manager, Ferrari enjoyed success in his early years, particularly with the Alfa Romeo P3. He also devoted some time to managing a motorcycle racing effort that used British-built Rudges and Nortons, picking up Italian championships two years in a row in the 250cc, 350cc, and 500cc classes with the Rudges. After a few years the Italian government took over Alfa Romeo, which was faced with stiffening opposition on the track in the form of German-backed Mercedes-Benzes and Auto Unions, which soon became the dominant grand prix cars of the period. However,



government-backed Alfa did not have the resources to counter the German challenge, and Ferrari soon became frustrated. It was during this period that Ferrari construct- ed his first race cars from the ground-up, twin-engined affairs made from Alfa parts that were meant to compete in Formula Libre events. The two cars built were the fastest race cars of the time, capable of speeds of 200 m.p.h, and were quite reliable, limited only by tire technology. In 1938, Alfa brought its racing program back in-house, calling the team Alfa Corse. After running the show for so many years, Ferrari could not find a place for himself in the new organization, and he quit Alfa. The separation terms dictated he remain out of racing for four years, so he returned to Modena, transformed the Scuderia into Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari, and bided his time with contract and design work. The Second World War soon intervened, and his workshop moved from Modena to Maranello, where it manufactured grinding machines for ball bearings. The workshop was bombed out in 1944, and it was 1946 before Ferrari could get back in business again. By the time the war ended, Ferrari employed two hundred people and had had twenty years experience as a race driver, team manager, and constructor. Ferrari was convinced that success on the track would drive sales of passenger cars, and it was this perspective that inspired the new automobile company bearing his name that was created in 1947. Now, thirty-nine years later, Ferrari is still a dedicated competitor in grand prix racing, and is the only Formula One team that uses its own engines to power its cars, rather than buy engines from other makers (such as Ford, Renault, or Honda) off the shelf. During that time, the team has dominated the sport about half the time; its most conspicuous success came during the 1952-53 season, when the smaller Formula Two class was used to determine the world championship and Ferrari won fourteen consecutive races. His success in sports car racing was no less notable. Winning on the home court has always been most important in Italy, and the man known as Il Commendatore deliv- ered early, and often: Ferraris won the Targa Florio race, known for its grueling pace, in 1948, ’51, ’58, ’61, ’62, ’65, and ’72; they also won the Mille Miglia each year from 1948 through 1953, and again in 1956 and ’57. At some point or other, almost every major European automotive race has been won by a Ferrari.

A look at early Ferrari history

The open-top 246GTS Dino Spyder was intro- duced at the Geneva Motor Salon of 1972, where its looks and low price made headlines.



Many road warriors would enjoy this perspective of a 250 GT California Spyder as it passed.

Amateurs Wanted Ferrari had also built cars for non-professional drivers, cars which by the late 1950s would be renowned as perhaps the most gorgeous limited-produc- tion automobiles on the planet. The following decade, his road cars had become wild machines with excessive capabilities beyond most mortal drivers, but as time went on they became more accessible without sacrificing any of their performance potential. Over the years, Ferrari became an increasingly autocratic individual, a natural development for a man never adverse to risk. After all, he had founded his own racing team in 1929, leaving the protective cloak of corpo- rate employment when he departed Alfa ten years afterward, and he had pooled his resources to develop a 1500cc V-12 racing engine in 1947, when Italy was demanding the machining tools his company made. His strong per- sonality caused considerable conflict with the press, which was always on him for failures at the Italian Grand Prix. And among his customers, he counted the world’s royalty. Ferrari didn’t give away too much about himself, either among his associ- ates or in the public realm. It was obvious that his most crushing defeat was the death of his son Dino, a loss that tortured him all his life, yet hardly any- one recalls Ferrari discussing his feelings about this tragedy. Obvious, too, was Ferrari’s mastery of the politics of automobile racing. He knew full well that his name was the sport’s biggest draw and he played this card to the hilt. Perhaps the best example of this occurred in 1964. When it became apparent that the Cobras of Texan Carroll Shelby would win the man- ufacturers’ world championship that year, Ferrari lobbied the sport’s sanction- ing body and managed to have the race at Monza canceled, depriving Shelby of his championship and keeping it for himself.


Fiat Steps In Motorsport was always more important to Ferrari than the production car business, and as racing became an increasingly expensive proposition, he sold off his company, a little piece at a time, to Gianni Agnelli, who headed Fiat, finally becoming a fifty percent partner with Agnelli in 1969—after Ferrari realized he could not match Ford for funding when the American manufactur- er campaigned its GT40 in the mid-1960s. (Fiat ultimately became the majori- ty shareholder in Ferrari in 1988.) But he had stopped attending races after Dino’s death, preferring to administer over the phone. Over time, perhaps, this technique did not serve Ferrari to full advantage, as his subordinates, fearing his considerable wrath, often told him news designed to keep him happy. He was always a down-to-earth individual, though, and fully appreciative of the irony of all this. “When I look in the mirror in the morning,” he once told a journalist, “even I don’t understand myself.” A tall, stately, white-haired patrician, Ferrari was fond of women, opera, and lambrusco; he loved gossip, particularly about the girlfriends of employ- ees. He had his own vision as to how his cars would be constructed, and stuck with it; integrity such as this is almost unimaginable in today’s marketing-dri- ven world. His country showered him with honors. He received the Cavaliere award for sporting merit in 1924, Commendatore honors in 1927, and Cavaliere del

This striking 1954 375 America was built for Prince Leopold. The aggressive and clean lines were the work of Pininfarina, who would go on to design many of Il Commendatore’s most memorable cars.


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