I L C O M M E N D A T O R E A N D H I S L E G A C Y
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.
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