Enzo Anselmo Ferrari Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (born February 18, 1898 in Modena, Modena, Emilio-Romagna, Italy – died August 14, 1988 in Maranello, Modena, Emilio-Romagna, Italy) was an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur, most famous for being the founder of the Scuderia Ferrari racing team and the Ferrari automobile manufacturer that followed.
Early Years Edit
On the 18th February 1898, Enzo Anselmo Ferrari is born as the second son to Alfredo and Adalgisa Ferrari. Enzo had a single sibling, an older brother, Alfredo, who two years Enzo's senior shared the namesake with his father.
The Ferrari family hailed from the Po Valley, a land known for its agriculture and vineyards, located not far from the city of Modena. The Ferrari family came from humble beginnings, Alfredo senior's father had been a grocer, however Alfredo himself had developed a successful family business. Alfredo was a structural metal contractor who owned a manufacturing company that focused on developing metal parts for railway bridges and covers.
Alfredo senior had approximately 30 people in his employ and his two sons, Alfredo junior and Enzo were both heavily involved in the family business. The two sons of the Ferrari family were not well educated, however their work alongside their father meant they had begun to develop an acute understanding of machinery. Alfredo senior operated his metal workshop on the downstairs floor of their home. Alfredo senior had intended his two sons to take over the family business, however the young Enzo had no interest in continuing the manufacturing business. Despite his lack of education, the young Enzo had aspired to be a journalist or an opera singer when he was older.
Since the late 1880's, the development of the automobile had the world transfixed. Manufacturing corporations from arounnd the world had entered a development race to build the fastest and most reliable automobile. These cars were tested against each other in great road races. In 1908, Alfredo senior took his two sons to witness the Circuit di Bologna. The young Enzo was left awestruck of witnessing a motor race for the first time. Enzo's latest passion was now included in his many dreams and future aspirations that did not include succeeding his father in his metalwork business. His mind had become encapsulated by the idea of working for Fiat, Italy's leading car manufacturer and racing alongside his heroes, Felice Nazarro and Vincenzo Lancia.
However his father new that automobiles were only for the most wealthy and prestigious folk, quite unlike the background of the status of the humble Ferrari's and their small family ran steel workshop. Alfredo senior sent his two sons to a mechanical engineering trade school, and whilst Alfredo junior was achieving, Enzo was unable to find interest in the trade and was failing his grades. He had quickly withdrew from the course and therefore seemingly deny his father's legacy in continuing the family business.
World War One Edit
The outbreak of War in 1914 would provide further uncertainty for Ferrari, as Enzo continued his disillusioned path. With no trade or obvious skill set, Enzo continued to live as a drifter in Modena. In 1915, Alfredo junior had been conscripted into the Italian Army where he too would have to leave his father's legacy behind. He was deployed to the frontlines of the war where he would work as an ambulance driver. Like Enzo, Alfredo also had an interest in the automobile.
With Alfredo gone to serve on the frontlines and the younger Enzo struggling as a drifter, Alfredo senior continued to operate his manufacturing business. However his business would collapse when the elder Alfredo died of a sudden case of pneumonia. Without either of his sons able to continue his work, the business quickly fell apart. Worse was to come for Enzo and his mother, Adalgisa, when the family received word that the younger Alfredo had died on the frontlines due to a case of typhoid's fever.
Shortly after the death of his father and brother, Enzo, got the call to the arms for war. Upon conscription, Enzo insisted to the officer's that he had some skill as an auto mechanic. The Italian military scoffed at his ability to be able to work with motor cars, believing it only accessible for the higher classes of society. He was therefore assigned something more akin to his commoner status, a place among the 3rd Mountain Regiment. His primary duty would be to shoe the mules.
Not long into his service, he was afflicted with a severe case pleurisy, which could be quite fatal at the time. His health degraded to such that he was transported to a Bologna Hospice where he was expected to die beside most of the other poorly degraded patients.