October 5, 1919 – Enzo Ferrari enters his first race

In his first professional auto race a young Italian by the name of Enzo Ferrari took fourth place in a hill climb race in Parma, Italy on this day in 1919. Throughout his racing career, which lasted all of 47 races, Enzo took home 13 first place awards. It was said he could have won more but his love for the automobiles prevented him from pushing them to a breaking point. Perhaps that is the reason why he stopped racing cars in the mid 1920s to pursue his passion for building them. In 1929 Ferrari formed the Scuderia Ferrari racing team in Modena about the same time he took over as the head of Alfa Romeo’s racing department. In 1933 his racing team became the official racing department of Alfa Romeo after withdrawing its in-house racing program. In 1935 Ferrari, along with designer Luigi Bazzi, built the Alfa Romeo Bimotore, which was the first step for Ferrari to become an automobile manufacturer all his own. Ferrari left Alfa Romeo on September 6, 1939 under the provision that he would not use his name on cars for at least four years. A few days after leaving Alfa Romeo he founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, which was based in the old facilities of the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena. At first he built only machine tools and aircraft parts, but in 1940 he produced two examples of his first in house built vehicles, the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, which debuted at the 1940 Mille Miglia. Following WWII Ferrari commissioned Gioachino Colombo to design a new V12 engine. The engine came to be in the first Ferrari-badged car, the 1947 Ferrari 125 Sport, which debuted May 11, 1947 at the Piacenza racing circuit. Ferrari would win its first Grand Prix in 1951 and its first World Title the following year. The rest, as they say, is history. PicsEnzo Ferrari c. 19191 of 2 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815s – By Arnaud 25 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20931212Replica of a 1947 Ferrari 125 S – public domain

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