The legend starts here, from the first Ferrari to the LeFerrari hypercar
Deep in the heart of Italy’s Modena is a modest home. It has unassuming tiles and ordinary guttering. Time has gnawed at the colouring of its bricks and the paint is slowly fading and chipping. Few things about this building are remarkable, and yet it serves as a place of worship. Here, the religion is speed and the deities are the cars born from Enzo Ferrari.
It is the home in which Enzo Ferrari was raised. Written on the outside fence, in both English and the native Italian tongue, is: “This house was sold by Enzo Ferrari when he was 20 years old to buy his first race car: the beginning of the Legend”.
The home and workshop have since been converted into a museum commemorating Enzo and his legacy. Not so long ago another building was built on the property. This one is radically designed and it strikes an intriguing juxtaposition against the 19th century home.
Inspiration has been sourced from the shape of a Ferrari’s bonnet. The roof and ceiling curve into one another just as the front- and rear-lines of Ferrari’s concept F100r. Yellow is the colour of this building because that is the colour behind the Prancing Horse.
The first building stands testament to Ferrari’s history. The second is where the company is going.
Inside tells a similar story. The museum displays cars poignant to Ferrari’s history. There’s everything from the first Ferrari ever made, the 125 S of 1947, right up until today’s LeFerrari. Stripped engines, Formula 1 cars and hydroplanes are found in between. All of the legends are present, coloured in iconic Ferrari red.
Upon his return many years later, founder Enzo Ferrari said: “I went back to see that place, sixty-two years later, moved by a sharp feeling of nostalgia. Only the canals have disappeared; the building is still there, with its bricks that show the insults of time, surrounded by modern cement. On the blackened and chipped front you can still make out the writing. ‘Officina Meccanica Alfredo Ferrari’.”
The following photos are joined by captions quoted directly from the museum and its exhibitions.
"This magical area was once the workshop that belonged to Alfredo Ferrari, Enzo’s father. At the far end, along with the machine tools used to shape the metalwork, there was a small stable with horses for the sulkies and carts. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the Ferrari family could finally have one of the first of the Modena cars, the DeDion Buton, similar to the one on display here loaned by the Car Museum in Turin."
"The cars on display represent the life of Enzo Ferrari: the Alfa Romeos he used as a driver and creator of the Ferrari Scuderia in the 1930s, the first Ferrari ever built, the first World champion winner with Ascari, the single seater that won immediately after his death and the Enzo. This rare item is a tribute by Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s successor at the head of the company, to the great man who was born within these very walls."
Another party trick makes the second building unique. The inside of the building is white – clinically white – like a canvas in which the cars can be viewed against. Then, in chunks of half an hour, the side and front walls serve as a projection screen to a movie documenting the life of Enzo Ferrari.
Ferrari's first Formula 1 car
Bare engines line Alfredo Ferrari's workshop.
A recreation of Enzo Ferrari's office.
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