Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 in Modena Italy. His father, Alfredo, ran a local metal-fabricating business. When he was 10 his father took Ferrari and his brother Alfredo Jr. to an automobile race in Bologna. There he saw Vincenzo Lancia battle Felice Nazarro in the 1908 Circuit di Bologna. After attending a number of other races he decided that he too wanted to become a racing car driver. Ferrari's formal education was relatively sketchy, something that he would regret in his later years.

In 1916 tragedy, which would haunt Ferrari his entire life, struck his family to its core with the death of his father and brother in the same year. He spent World War I shoeing mules but the world-wide Spanish Flu of 1918 brought upon his discharge and almost ended his life.

Looking for work he applied for a job at Fiat only to be turned down. Eventually he was able to get a job at CMN, a small carmaker involved with converting war surplus. His duties included test driving which he did in between delivering chassis to the coach builder. About this time he took up racing and in 1919 he finished ninth at the Targa Florio. Through his friend Ugo Sivocci he got a job with Alfa Romeo who entered some modified production cars in the 1920 Targa Florio. Ferrari driving one of these cars managed to finish second. While at Alfa Romeo he came under the patronage of Giorgio Rimini who was Nicola Romeo's aide.

After the war Ferrari set out to create his own Grand Prix car and in 1947 a 1.5-liter Tipo125 entered the Grand Prix of Monaco. The car was designed by his old collaborator Gioacchino Colombo. Ferrari’s first Grand Prix victory came in 1951 at the British Grand Prix in the hands of Argentine Froilan Gonzalez. The team had a chance for a World Championship evaporate at the Spanish Grand Prix. Before the most important race in the young team’s history Ferrari decided to experiment with new Pirelli tires. The result was thrown treads, which allowed Fangio to win the race and his first title. In 1975 Ferrari attained something of a renaissance at the hands of Niki Lauda winning two World Championships and three Constructor titles in three years. It was three years after Renault had inaugurated the new Turbo Era when Ferrari joined the bandwagon. Their current Flat-12 engine had reached the end of its development to be replaced by a 1.5-liter turbo V6. As with most Ferraris the engine turned out to be the car's strong point while the chassis was based on an antiquated multi-tube spaceframe.

The brilliant driving of Gilles Villeneuve gave the new Ferrari several victories in 1981 but it was evident that the chassis needed to be upgraded before the car could seriously challenge for the title. At mid-season the team was joined by Dr Harvey Postlewaite whose job it was to build an improved chassis for the following season. Postlewaite wanted to build a carbon-fibre composite chassis but had to settle on a monocoque with a Nomex honeycomb skin because of Ferrari’s lack of experience with the new material. Still with a half decent chassis much was expected of the team in 1982. It all ended in tragedy with the death of its star driver, Villeneuve and the maiming of his estranged teammate, Didier Pironi, in different accidents. With the earlier retirement of its last World Champion, Jody Scheckter, Ferrari was now bereft of any frontline drivers and years would go by before it could count a top driver as one of its own.
Enzo Ferrari would not live to see that day; he died at the age of 90 in 1988.


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