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Enzo Ferrari Net Worth

Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria FerrariCavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (Italian: [ˈɛntso anˈsɛlmo ferˈraːri]; 20 February 1898 – 14 August 1988) was an Italian motor racing driver and entrepreneur, the founder of the Scuderia FerrariGrand Prix motor racing team, and subsequently of the Ferrari automobile marque. He was widely known as Il Commendatore or Il Drake. In his final years he was often referred to as L’Ingegnere (“The Engineer”) or Il Grande Vecchio (“The Grand Old Man”).

What is Enzo Ferrari’s Net Worth?

Enzo Ferrari was an Italian motor racing driver, manager, and entrepreneur who had a net worth equal to $50 million at the time of his death in 1969, after adjusting for inflation. Enzo Ferrari is best known for founding his eponymous racing team and luxury sports car company. Nicknamed “Il Commendatore,” Ferrari was notorious for his aggressive, autocratic style of management, often pitting his drivers against each other with the aim of improving their performances.

Enzo’s net worth at the time of his death is extremely hard to pin down. Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14, 1988 at 90 years old. Despite being the founder of one of the most famous luxury car companies in history that today has a market cap north of $50 billion, Enzo was never “rich” during his lifetime. In fact, Ferrari was always operated basically at a loss to fund his beloved racing team. In 1969, at a time when the company was struggling deeply, Enzo sold 50% of Ferrari to Fiat, which was controlled by the Agnelli family, for $11 million. Upon his death, the Agnelli family exercised an option to buy an additional 40% of the company for $13.6 million. The remaining 10% stake was inherited by his only surviving son, Piero, who was born to Enzo’s mistress in 1945. When Ferrari was spun off as its own public company in October 2015, Piero Ferrari’s 10% stake was worth $2 billion. Today his stake is worth more than $5 billion.

Furthermore, how do you value Enzo’s personal collection of Ferraris which during his life were valuable, but not to the insane degree they would eventually become. For example, if Enzo kept ONE 250 GTO in his own personal stable, it was worth less than $100,000 at the time of his death in 1984. Today that car would be worth $70 million. And that’s just one car.

Early life

Enzo Ferrari was said to have been born on 18 February 1898 in Modena, Italy and that his birth was recorded on 20 February because a heavy snowstorm had prevented his father from reporting the birth at the local registry office; in reality, his birth certificate states he was born on 20 February 1898, while the birth’s registration took place on 24 February 1898 and was reported by the midwife, whose name was Jacqueline D’Amico. He was the younger of two children to Alfredo Ferrari and Adalgisa Bisbini, after his elder sibling Alfredo Junior (Dino). Alfredo Senior was the son of a grocer from Carpi, and started a workshop fabricating metal parts at the family home. Enzo grew up with little formal education. At the age of 10 he witnessed Felice Nazzaro‘s win at the 1908 Circuito di Bologna, an event that inspired him to become a racing driver. During World War I he served in the 3rd Mountain Artillery Regiment of the Italian Army. His father Alfredo, and his older brother, Alfredo Jr., died in 1916 as a result of a widespread Italian flu outbreak. Ferrari became severely sick himself during the 1918 flu pandemic and was consequently discharged from the Italian service.

Racing career

Following the family’s carpentry business collapse, Ferrari started searching for a job in the car industry. He unsuccessfully volunteered his services to Fiat in Turin, eventually settling for a job as test-driver for C.M.N. (Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali), a car manufacturer in Milan which rebuilt used truck bodies into small passenger cars. He was later promoted to race car driver and made his competitive debut in the 1919 Parma-Poggio di Berceto hillclimb race, where he finished fourth in the three-litre category at the wheel of a 2.3-litre 4-cylinder C.M.N. 15/20. On 23 November of the same year, he took part in the Targa Florio but had to retire after his car’s fuel tank developed a leak. Due to the large number of retirements, he finished 9th.

In 1920, Ferrari joined the racing department of Alfa Romeo as a driver. Ferrari won his first Grand Prix in 1923 in Ravenna on the Savio Circuit. 1924 was his best season, with three wins, including RavennaPolesine and the Coppa Acerbo in Pescara. Deeply shocked by the death of Ugo Sivocci in 1923 and Antonio Ascari in 1925, Ferrari, by his own admission, continued to race half-heartedly. At the same time, he developed a taste for the organisational aspects of Grand Prix racing. Following the birth of his son Alfredo (Dino) in 1932, Ferrari decided to retire and to focus instead on the management and development of the factory Alfa race cars, eventually building up a raceteam of superstar drivers, including Giuseppe Campari and Tazio Nuvolari. This team was called Scuderia Ferrari (founded by Enzo in 1929) and acted as a racing division for Alfa Romeo. The team was very successful, thanks to excellent cars like the Alfa Romeo P3 and to the talented drivers, like Nuvolari. Ferrari retired from competitive driving having participated in 41 Grands Prix with a record of 11 wins.

In this period the prancing horse emblem began to show up on his team’s cars. The emblem had been created and sported by Italian fighter plane pilot Francesco Baracca. During World War I, Baracca’s mother gave her son a necklace with the prancing horse on it prior to takeoff. Baracca was shot down and killed by an Austrian aeroplane in 1918. In memory of his death, Ferrari used the prancing horse to create the emblem that would become the world-famous Ferrari shield. Initially displayed on Alfa Romeos, the shield was first seen on a Ferrari in 1947.

Success as a Racing Driver

In 1920, Ferrari became a driver in Alfa Romeo’s racing department. He won his first Grand Prix three years later in Ravenna on the Savio Circuit. Ferrari had his best season in 1924, winning races in Ravenna, Polesine, and Pescara. His performances declined after that, in part due to his distress over the deaths of fellow racers Ugo Sivocci and Antonio Ascari. Following the birth of his son Alfredo in 1932, Ferrari chose to retire from competitive racing and focus instead on race car management and development. He finished his racing career having claimed 11 wins in 41 Grands Prix appearances.

Building Ferrari

Alfa Romeo agreed to partner Ferrari’s racing team until 1933, when financial constraints forced them to withdraw their support – a decision subsequently retracted thanks to the intervention of Pirelli. Despite the quality of the Scuderia drivers, the team struggled to compete with Auto Union and Mercedes. Although the German manufacturers dominated the era, Ferrari’s team achieved a notable victory in 1935 when Tazio Nuvolari beat Rudolf Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer on their home turf at the German Grand Prix.

In 1937 Scuderia Ferrari was dissolved and Ferrari returned to Alfa’s racing team, named “Alfa Corse“. Alfa Romeo decided to regain full control of its racing division, retaining Ferrari as Sporting Director. After a disagreement with Alfa’s managing director Ugo Gobbato, Ferrari left in 1939 and founded Auto-Avio Costruzioni, a company supplying parts to other racing teams. Although a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing cars for four years, Ferrari managed to manufacture two cars for the 1940 Mille Miglia, which were driven by Alberto Ascari and Lotario Rangoni. With the outbreak of World War II, Ferrari’s factory was forced to undertake war production for Mussolini’s fascist government. Following Allied bombing of the factory, Ferrari relocated from Modena to Maranello. At the end of the war, Ferrari decided to start making cars bearing his name, and founded Ferrari S.p.A. in 1947.

Enzo decided to battle the dominating Alfa Romeos and race with his own team. The team’s open-wheel debut took place in Turin in 1948 and the first win came later in the year in Lago di Garda. The first major victory came at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a Ferrari 166 MM driven by Luigi Chinetti and (Baron Selsdon of Scotland) Peter Mitchell-Thomson. In 1950 Ferrari enrolled in the newly born Drivers World Championship and is the only team to remain continuously present since its introduction. Ferrari won his first world championship Grand Prix with José Froilán González at Silverstone in 1951. Apocryphally, Enzo cried like a baby when his team finally defeated the mighty Alfetta 159. The first championship came in 1952, with Alberto Ascari, a task that was repeated one year later. In 1953 Ferrari made his only attempt at the Indianapolis 500. In order to finance his racing endeavours in Formula One as well as in other events such as the Mille Miglia and Le Mans, the company started selling sports cars.

Ferrari’s decision to continue racing in the Mille Miglia brought the company new victories and greatly increased public recognition. However, increasing speeds, poor roads, and nonexistent crowd protection eventually spelled disaster for both the race and Ferrari. During the 1957 Mille Miglia, near the town of Guidizzolo, a 4.0-litre Ferrari 335 S driven by Alfonso de Portago was traveling at 250 km/h when it blew a tyre and crashed into the roadside crowd, killing de Portago, his co-driver and nine spectators, five of whom were children. In response, Enzo Ferrari and Englebert, the tyre manufacturer, were charged with manslaughter in a lengthy criminal prosecution that was finally dismissed in 1961.

Deeply unsatisfied with the way motorsports were covered in the Italian press, in 1961 Ferrari supported Bologna-based publisher Luciano Conti’s decision to start a new publication, Autosprint. Ferrari himself regularly contributed to the magazine for a few years.

Many of Ferrari’s greatest victories came at Le Mans (nine victories, including six in a row in 1960–1965) and in Formula One during the 1950s and 1960s, with the successes of Juan Manuel Fangio (1956), Mike Hawthorn (1958), and Phil Hill (1961).

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