14 August 2013
Enzo Ferrari: 25 years on
On the anniversary of the death of one of F1's most legendary figures, Ferrari remembers its founder...
A quarter of a century has passed since the day Enzo Ferrari passed away.
That Sunday, 14 August 1988, is a whole generation ago, and the Scuderia is quick to point out that it has employees who were not even born when Il Commentadore died. Yet, his memory lives on - and strongly so.
For those who knew him, for those who barely heard him talk, for those lucky enough to own - or even to have simply driven - a car that bears his name, or were overjoyed at a victory or cried at a defeat for a red car bearing an emblem of a prancing horse on a yellow background, there is a certain aura about the man inextricably linked to the most famous F1 team of all time.
“It's impossible to sum up in a few words what Enzo Ferrari has meant to me,” current president Luca di Montezemolo told the official Ferrari website, “I owe so much to him, to his courage, to his ability to always look ahead, even at the most difficult moments, both on a personal and a professional level.
“Very often, I think back to how lucky I was to have known him and to have worked with men like him and the Avvocato Agnelli - truly exceptional people who have made our country shine all over the world. Next to my desk in Maranello, I have a photo of 'the founder' and, at times, when I have to take an important decision, I instinctively find myself looking at it and asking myself what he would have done.
“The example set by Enzo Ferrari is always kept in mind. He managed to realise 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. Now, 25 years on, he would be happy to see what Ferrari has become today, a unique industrial and racing institution, which represents Italian excellence and continues to enchant the millions and millions of fans of the marque, all over the world.”
Unsurprisingly, Piero Ferrari has also been asked for memories of his father in recent days.
“Tough and demanding, as a father and as a boss, but also capable of gestures of great generosity and unexpected affection, aspects that he would tend to deny,” he reflected, Courageous and innovative and always looking to the future: one only has to think of the decision to set up the Scuderia in 1929, the year of the Great Crisis and the project of creating a car factory in an Italy still living in the ruins of the Second World War.
“It's precisely because of this total determination to look ahead and his saying that the best Ferrari was yet to come that my father would have liked what the company has become today: always with the future and innovation in mind, not allowing itself to be lured by the market - just as he would have wished.”
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