The road to making
his first cars was not an easy one for Enzo Ferrari. World War II had
The Ferrari 166 Sport Corsa bodywork was not considered a standout in the crowd.
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Still, after securing the services of engineer Gioachino Colombo in the summer of 1945, Ferrari used his charisma and contacts to get the materials he needed and kept his cadre of men focused on the task of automaking. Haunting the team working on that first car were poorly machined components from suppliers, ignition problems, and myriad other maladies.
“I had to be ruthless
in order to pull the 125 through its childhood illnesses, which were neither
few, nor insignificant,” wrote Giuseppe Busso in Ferrari Tipo 166. Busso was a talented technician who took over
Ferrari’s first 125
ran under its own power on March 12, 1947. In early May, it raced in
The Ferrari 125 S model was one of the earliest Ferraris.
These first Ferraris were mostly homely looking machines with crude bodywork formed into a torpedo-shaped fuselage with cycle fenders. Exceptions included the very first 125 and its two-seat roadster body, and the 1948 Mille Miglia winning Allemano coupe.
The 125 designation represented the swept volume in cubic centimeters of one cylinder of the all-aluminum V-12. Only the earliest Ferraris were 125s. Enzo’s men quickly increased bore and stroke to create the 159. By early 1948, engine capacity grew to 2.0-liters so the V-12 could be used in Formula 2; the resulting 166 Sport won the Mille Miglia and numerous other races.
Even though victories were mounting, Ferrari’s cars were just faces in the crowd. They looked much like everyone else’s machines. It wouldn’t be until the 166 MM “Barchetta” that Ferrari gained an identity.
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