Tag: italian

July 21, 1987 – The Ferrari F40 debuts
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July 21, 1987 – The Ferrari F40 debuts

When the Ferrari F40 made its public debut on this day in 1987, 89 year old Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari offered an impassioned speech. He proclaimed, "A little more than a year ago, I expressed my wish to the engineers. Build a car to be the best in the world. And now the car is here."  The F40, built to commemorate Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, was the last Ferrari approved for production by Enzo himself. It had no radio, no electric windows or power seats, and certainly no cup holder. What the no frills Ferrari did have was sleek lines and a whole lot of speed. Topping out at an unofficial 201 mph (321 km/h), it was the first production car to break the 200 mph mark. Between 1987 and 1992, when production of non-racing models was halted, approximately 1,315 Ferrari F40s left ...
July 11, 1899 – Fiat is founded
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July 11, 1899 – Fiat is founded

Count Emanuele Cacherano of Bricherasio was seeking investors in a horseless carriage project and Giovanni Agnelli wanted in. Agnelli paid $400 to buy into the founding of Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, which occurred on this day in 1899. Translated to English, Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin, or FIAT, as it is known, opened its first factory in 1900 with Agnelli appointed as managing director. He oversaw a staff of 35 who produced 24 cars that year. Production grew to 135 per year cars by 1904 and 1149 cars in 1906, by which time FIAT had opened a dealership in New York City. Pictured is a 1911 Fiat.
June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded
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June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA ) was founded on this day in 1910, the predecessor to Alfa Romeo. Born out of the French Darracq car company that was founded four years prior, ALFA got its start after Italian Giuseppe Merosi was hired by the French company to design more appealing cars for the Italian market. Upon finding success in Italy, ALFA broke away from Darracq in 1910, officially becoming its own entity.  Above: 1906 Darracq Italian, the precursor to ALFATop: c.1910 ALFA 24 hp The next year ALFA made its racing debut at the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. From then on, racing would always be a part of Alfa Romeo. The company name was officially changed to Alfa Romeo after Nicola Romeo took over as director in 1920. In 1925 Alfa Romeo would win the in...
May 18,1958 – Maria Teresa de Filippis becomes first female F1 driver
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May 18,1958 – Maria Teresa de Filippis becomes first female F1 driver

Born to a wealthy Italian family in 1926, Maria Teresa de Filippis grew up an avid equestrian. The sport taught her how to handle horsepower at an early age. When she took up an interest in auto racing in her early 20s, two of her older brothers claimed she’d never be fast. She set out to prove them wrong, and did so in proper fashion. Shortly thereafter she entered her first race, a 10km drive between Salemo and Cava de’ Tirreni. She drove her Fiat 500 to victory, leaving her brothers wide-eyed and slack jawed. Maria Teresa de Filippis at the Salemo and Cava de’ Tirreni, in her Fiat 500 Maria kept the pedal to the metal. By the early 1950s she would be racing at high levels of autosports. After finishing second overall in the 1954 Italian sports car championship, she was approache...
April 28, 1916 – Ferruccio Lamborghini is born
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April 28, 1916 – Ferruccio Lamborghini is born

Today you can say happy birthday to a man who reinvented the wheel, or at least doors. Ferruccio Lamborghini was born on this day in 1916 in Renazzo, a small Italian town, to grape farmer parents. After studying at a technical institute, he received a draft notice for the Italian Royal Air Force during World War II. Lamborghini served as a mechanic on the Island of Rhodes, but wound up a British prisoner by the end of the war. He finally returned home in 1947, and with his refined set of skills he founded Lamborghini Trattori the next year. At the same time he was customizing a Fiat Topolino, which he eventually entered into the 1948 Mille Miglia. He did not finish the race due to a wreck 680 miles in. Above: 1963 Lamborghini 350 GTV prototype. By Craig Howell from San Carlos, CA. CC ...
January 8, 2016 – Maria Teresa de Filippis, first female F1 driver, passes away
This Day

January 8, 2016 – Maria Teresa de Filippis, first female F1 driver, passes away

Born to a wealthy Italian family in 1926, Maria Teresa de Filippis grew up an avid equestrian. The sport taught her how to handle horsepower at an early age. When she took up an interest in auto racing in her early 20s, two of her older brothers claimed she’d never be fast. She set out to prove them wrong, and did so in proper fashion. Shortly thereafter she entered her first race, a 10km drive between Salemo and Cava de’ Tirreni. She drove her Fiat 500 to victory, leaving her brothers wide-eyed and slack jawed. Maria Teresa de Filippis at the Salemo and Cava de’ Tirreni, in her Fiat 500 Maria kept the pedal to the metal. By the early 1950s she would be racing at high levels of autosports. After finishing second overall in the 1954 Italian sports car championship, she was approache...
October 30, 1963 – The first Lamborghini
This Day

October 30, 1963 – The first Lamborghini

When Enzo Ferrari refused to see a wealthy customer who had some concerns about his recently purchased Ferrari, that customer pledged to build his own sports car out of spite. The dissed customer, Ferruccio Lamborghini, stood by his word, sparking one of the greatest rivalries in automotive history. Ferruccio's revenge became tangible when he debuted the Lamborghini 350 GTV on this day in 1963 at the Turin Motor Show. While the car appeared whole from the outside, its internals were rather lacking. Had one popped the bonnet of the Lamborghini at the show they'd discover a pile of bricks. Unsatisfied with the engine the ex-Ferrari engineers Ferruccio hired had created, stating it was too similar to those in Ferraris, he instead weighed the car down to give it an appropriate stance. New...
August 15, 1938 – Nicola Romeo of ALFA Romeo dies
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August 15, 1938 – Nicola Romeo of ALFA Romeo dies

In 1911 Italian Nicola Romeo started a company that manufactured mining machines called Ing. Nicola Romeo e Co. The company became quite successful relatively quickly. This allowed Romeo to make furtherer entrepreneurial investments. In 1915 he purchased a majority share in Milan based A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) and three years later owned it outright. Upon taking ownership he changed the name to Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili Romeo. Another three years after that the first Alfa Romeo badged vehicle rolled off the assembly line, a 1921 Torpedo 20/30 HP. Above: Nicola Romeo (with cane,) pictured with Alfa Romeo driver Enzo Ferrari. Monza 1923. Top: Antonio Ascari in his Alfa Romeo 20-30 ES at the 1922 Targa Florio In the early 1920s, Alfa Romeo earned a ...
June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded
This Day

June 24, 1910 – Alfa Romeo is founded

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA ) was founded on this day in 1910, the predecessor to Alfa Romeo. Born out of the French Darracq car company that was founded four years prior, ALFA got its start after Italian Giuseppe Merosi was hired by the French company to design more appealing cars for the Italian market. Upon finding success in Italy, ALFA broke away from Darracq in 1910, officially becoming its own entity.  Above: 1906 Darracq Italian, the precursor to ALFATop: c.1910 ALFA 24 hp The next year ALFA made its racing debut at the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. From then on, racing would always be a part of Alfa Romeo. The company name was officially changed to Alfa Romeo after Nicola Romeo took over as director in 1920. In 1925 Alfa Romeo would win the inaugur...
December 9 1920 – Italian moto champion Bruno Ruffo is born
This Day

December 9 1920 – Italian moto champion Bruno Ruffo is born

Italian motorcycle racer Bruno Ruffo was born on this day in 1920. In 1949 he would win the innaugural 250cc World Championship while riding for Moto Guzzi. The next year he would take third in the class, but he claimed the factory asked him to let his teammate win. The same year, atop a Mondial, he won the 125cc World Championship. In 1951, again riding for Moto Guzzi, he reclaimed the 250cc championship. The three championships were enough for Ruffo, who retired following an accident in 1952.