On this day in auto history - August 14th

Sat 14th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1988 that legendary Italian racing driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari died of kidney failure. He was 90 years old.

Born in Modena, Ferrari grew up with little formal education but made his name as a racing driver with Alfa Romeo in the 1920’s before founding his own company, Ferrari, just after the second World War.

Though not an engineer or designer of any repute himself, Ferrari’s visionary personality, attention to detail and talent-spotting abilities helped him take Ferrari from the racetrack to the road and make the marque one of the world’s most recognisable brands on the planet. 

In 1969 Ferrari solidified a personal fortune of billions when selling 50% of his company to Fiat in a move which would see him step down as managing director of its road car division and concentrate 100% on racing activities.

Rarely interviewed and often branded ‘reclusive’ by the motoring press, Ferrari saw his first son ‘Dino’ die young of muscular dystrophy but he later acknowledged a second son to a mistress, Piero, in the late 1970’s and it was he who inherited the bulk of the Ferrari fortune. Today Piero is vice-president of Ferrari with a 10% ownership share.