It has already been 25 years since Enzo Ferrari, the man who started the iconic Prancing Horse brand that bears his last name, passed away. Yet, despite his absence for two and a half decades, his memory, influence and legacy continues to thrive in the company he left behind.
He was born Enzo Anselmo Ferrari in Modena, Italy on February 18, 1898. His technical know-how might had been natural for him as his father owned an engineering company that served the state railways. At age 10, the young Enzo saw his first race at a circuit in Bologna – igniting his passion for high performance cars.
After some setbacks in life, Enzo found himself test-driving for a small company in Turin. He then moved to Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali to continue as a test driver. He got his break in this company when he had his debut as a race driver in the 1919 Parma-Poggio di Berceto hillclimb race and finished fourth in his category. Ferrari continues his racing career with Alfa Romeo and founded the Modena-based racing stable Scuderia Ferrari in 1929. He ended his racing career in 1931 to turn his efforts to his son Dino and the Scuderia.
In late 1945, Enzo began designing thefirst Ferrari with an intent of powering it with a V12 power plant. In the next two years, he introduced his concept car, now known as the Ferrari 125 S, to the public. Following the series of recognitions and race wins after that milestone, Enzo continued to build his company and garner status in the industry. The very last car created under his management was unveiled in 1987: the Ferrari F40 (pictured above). The following year, Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14 at the age of 90.
“He managed to realize his dream of building extraordinary cars thanks to his determination and his passion, characteristics which are part of the DNA of all the men and women who work for the company that bears his name,” said Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo speaking highly of the founder.
Since his passing, Ferrari continued on with a string of great cars that have stirred the passion of enthusiasts the world over. The list is long and distinguished: the Ferrari 348, 512 TR, F355, 550 Maranello, 360 Modena and even a pair of successors to F40 with the F50 and eventually a car that bore the founder's name: the Enzo.
Today, Ferrari continues to produce high-perfomance sports, super and hyper cars. Ferrari's current line up includes the California, the 458 Italia, their first hatchback in the V12-powered FF, the F12berlinetta and the successor to the Enzo, the Ferrari LaFerrari. That last name may sound redundant, but it's hard to argue with 800 metric horsepower.
Would Enzo Ferrari be proud of what has become of his company? We think so.
SOURCE: Ferrari Press