In the galaxy of motoring superstars, it can be said that no star burns brighter than Ferrari – maker of many of the world’s greatest “supercars”, motor sporting giant, bearer of perhaps the most famous emblem and marquee in the motoring world. For more than almost ¾ of a century, Ferrari the automobile brand and branding has become an icon similar to that of a rock star of champion athlete. Yet long before there were Ferrari classic automobiles there was Ferrari the man. Long after his demise the legend of Enzo Ferrari still burns as brightly and vividly as ever –sentimentality, unshakable stubbornness yet focused tenacity and yet not the least a measure of mystery and almost intrigues.
It is more than clear with the beauty of hindsight that Enzo Ferrari was not born to have an ordinary life time. From the beginning his story was spiced with drama – even in the very story of his birth. He was actually born February 18, 1898 in Modena in northern Italy. In the midst of a heavy winter blizzard Enzo’s father could not immediately reach the local registers office to record the new birth. Thus the infant’s arrival was not formally registered until two days later. Even after February 20, 1898 was listed as Enzo Asnekmo Ferrari’s official birthplace.
Enzo Ferrari came to relish the ultimate individualist. Anyone and everyone who came into contact with this ambitious young man detected both by his manner, demeanor and attitude to life and issues that this was both an ambitious, focused and dedicated young man indeed.
As Ferrari, the auto maker and motor sporting giant, this man’s reputation grew almost to rival that of the aristocracy itself. Yet his family background was relatively low key, comfortable but not of the privileged upper classes.
Ferrari was lucky to some degree that his families were able to both support and groom his coming trade. His father being wealthy enough to be one of the first people in Modena to own an actual automobile, when such things were rare in rural Italy. The father added a motor repair works in his metalworking business and while working and helping in these workshops Enzo acquired some very basic skills and skill sets. While still reluctant to study engineering at school, he was obviously fascinated by the automobile. By the time he was 13 he was learning to drive. In September 1908, when he was ten years old, his father had taken him to nearby Bologna, where they lucky enough to view Felice Nazzaro’s Fiat winning the Coppa Florio road race.
This laid the very vision and working foundation to grow and thrive on in young Enzo Ferrari’s brain. From then on it was clear and indelibly imprinted in his brain cells that motor sport and sporting would play the greatest part in his future life and endeavors.
Mike B. Lancia
Autoworld Mazda - Edmonton Alberta Mazda3