On March 12, 1947, Enzo Ferrari drove the first car to bear his name, the 125 S, out of the gates of his modest factory and onto the streets of Maranello, Italy. Seventy years later, on Sunday, March 12, 2017, the Ferrari company recreated that event to kick off the official celebration of the automaker’s milestone anniversary.
Ferrari also released a video (see below) to commemorate the debut. The video begins with the 125 S, a 12-cylinder engine beneath and the Cavallino Rampante on its bonnet, leaving the old factory gates on Via Abetone Inferione, and symbolically passing the baton to the 70th anniversary edition of the LaFerrari Aperta.
The first 125 S was designed by Gioacchino Colombo, with Giuseppe Busso and Luigi Bazzi contributing. The car “roared to life,” Ferrari said in a news release, for the first time on March 12, 1947, still an unbodied steel rolling chassis. Two months later, on Mary 11, 1947, the car debuted on the race track, at the Piacenza Circuit, with Franco Cortese driving.
“Enzo Ferrari dubbed this maiden outing as ‘a promising failure’ after the car was forced to pull up with a fuel-pump problem whilst leading the race,” the Ferrari news release notes. “However, that moment of failure was short-lived as just nine days later on May 20, Franco Cortese drove the 125 S to victory in the Rome Grand Prix, completing the 40 laps of the circuit and the 137 kilometres of the race at an average speed of 88.5 km/h.
“This was the first of six victories the 125 S delivered in 1947, the most notable of which was the Parma Grand Prix with Tazio Nuvolari doing the driving.”
Fast-forward 70 years and the special anniversary-edition LaFerrari Aperta is offered in spider form “to our most loyal clients,” Ferrari said.
“Maranello’s latest supercar effortlessly combines extraordinary performance with the unique exhilaration of open-top driving. It is equipped with the same hybrid power unit as the coupé: an 800 cv (790 horsepower) 6,262cc V12 engine (specific power output of 128 cv/l, compression ratio 13.5:1) coupled with a 120 kW electric motor for a total power output of a 963 cv (950 hp).”
The reenactment of the first drive of the 125 S marks the official launch of the anniversary celebration that culminates September 9-10 in Maranello with the inaugural “Cavalcade Classiche.”
For details, visit the special Ferrari anniversary website.
In the meantime, Ferrari shared this list of what it considers to be pivotal moments in the company’s history:
1947 – Ferrari is founded
1950 – Ferrari makes F1 debut
1958 – Mike Hawthorn becomes F1 World Champion in a Ferrari 246 F1
1962 – Unveiling of the 250 GTO, winner of the International Championship for GT Manufacturers in 1962, 1963 and 1964
1964 – John Surtees becomes Formula 1 World Champion with the 158 F1
1967 – Three Ferraris – two 330 P4s and a 412 P –deliver a spectacular 1-2-3 parade finish in the 24 Hours of Daytona
1968 – The 365 GTB4 (Daytona) is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show
1969 – Fiat becomes a Ferrari shareholder
1972 – The Fiorano Circuit, Ferrari’s test track, is officially opened
1975 – Niki Lauda takes the Formula 1 World Champion title in the 312 T
1981 – Gilles Villeneuve delivers first-ever victory in a turbocharged F1 car in the 126 K at Monaco
1984 – The Ferrari Testarossa is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show
1987 – The F40 debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show
1988 – 14 August: Enzo Ferrari passes away at the age of 90
1993 – The marque’s first single-make championship, the Ferrari Challenge, is launched
1998 – The new Renzo Piano-designed GES Wind Tunnel opens
2004 – Ferrari sets a new F1 record of 6 Constructors’ and 5 Drivers’ World titles in a row
2006 – The exclusive XX program, designed to deliver extreme performance to top clients, debuts
2007 – Kimi Räikkönen and the Scuderia Ferrari are World Champions
2013 – The Cavallino Rampante’s first hybrid model, the LaFerrari, goes into production
2015 – Ferrari is listed on the New York stock exchange
2016 – The LaFerrari Aperta, an iconic model celebrating the marque’s 70th anniversary, is launched at the Paris Motor Show
2017 – The latest addition to the Ferrari family, the 812 Superfast, debuts at Geneva.