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,


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