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.


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