When an auto enthusiast is asked what automobile maker excels beyond any other, it only takes about one second before they reply with “Ferrari!” What makes Ferrari the epitome of all racing and street performance cars? It’s not a simple question. Though it may seem possible that one or two things make Ferrari automobiles envied by every auto maker, it is in fact a plethora of different aspects that make Ferrari king.
To obtain the quality and precision that Ferrari’s yield doesn’t come with some good luck. It takes many years of researching, studying and real life experience. Enzo Ferrari was well educated by his experiences in life. It all began about 101 years ago when Enzo was born on February 18, 1898, in Modena, Italy. He lived a fairly typical childhood but encountered a rather large obstacle in his teens. His father died and he was then forced to leave school and work as a turning instructor to help support his family. A short while later in life, Enzo fought in World War I, thus helping him to understand how much it helps to stay dedicated and work hard to achieve whatever is desired. After Enzo returned from the war, he managed to find himself a job as a test car driver for Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali; in no time racing was added to his job description.
Enzo’s racing debut came in the 1919 Parma-Berceto race, where he didn’t achieve much of a standing, but he did finish nonetheless. After racing in the Targa Florio that same year, Enzo moved to Alfa Romeo where he established an extremely beneficial relationship that took him from race car driver to sales assistant to Director of the Alfa Racing Division until November 1939.
In 1929 he founded the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, with the prime intention of organizing racing for its members. This organization was the start of an intensive involvement in racing which eventually evolved into an official team and ultimately transformed the Scuderia into an engineering-racing division of Alfa Romeo, taking over the racing function entirely in 1933. In 1940 the Scuderia abandoned the Alfa Romeo connection and transformed itself into an independent company named “Auto Avio Costruzio Ferrari.”
In 1943, the Ferrari workshop moved from Modena, Italy to Maranello, Italy and began making powered grinding machines for ball bearings. Unfortunately the workshop was bombed out in 1944, but it was rebuilt in 1946, which was when designing and building of the very first Ferrari began. In 1963 Enzo built his Istituto Professionale per l’Industria e l’Artigianato, a training school in Maranello. In 1972 he built the Fiorano test track.
Enzo won many awards starting in 1924 when he was awarded the Cavalier for sporting merit. He went on to win an award practically four times every decade until his last, which was the De Gasperi Award in 1987. Under his leadership from 1947 to 1988, Ferrari won over 5000 races all over the world and earned 25 world titles. Enzo Ferrari died peacefully on August 14, 1988, in Modena, Italy.
Among all the publicity Enzo received, his company produced some pretty incredible innovations. Most of the innovations were created in the racing cars but later ended up in the sports cars. In order to look at all the innovations, they must be described in three different sections. The first being aerodynamics, then suspension and chassis, and finally engine.
Aerodynamics plays an incredible role in precision automobiles. Every Ferrari since 1960 has spent countless hours in the wind tunnel at Maranello, Italy to perfect it’s design. The first major accomplishment Ferrari achieved is quite possibly the most well known today. In the early days of racing, teams were having trouble maintaining the rear wheel grip to the pavement. (The rear wheels are the wheels that propel the car) At the speed the cars would travel, air would cram under the car and lessen the amount of pressure the tires could exert onto the pavement. Ferrari decided that “A fin at the rear of the car can help move the centre of pressure rearward and improve stability like the feather on an arrow.” Nowadays it is hard to find a sports car, much less a racing car, without a spoiler.
The next most significant innovation is more like a revolution.