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Thread: Legendary quotes from "Il Commendatore" Enzo Ferrari

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Legendary quotes from "Il Commendatore" Enzo Ferrari

    "I want to build a car that’s faster than all of them…"

    "To build a car… that flies without leaving the ground…"

    "Aerodynamics is for those who cannot manufacture good engines."

    "I married the 12 cylinder engine and I never divorced it."

    "I have always loved the sound of the engine…"

    "The demands of mass production are contrary to my temperament…"

    "I should like to put something new into my cars every morning – an inclination that terrifies my staff."

    "Bad luck does not exist."

    "A man has no need of entertainment. Entertainment only distracts from his duty. If a man has his duty, that is enough."

    [After serving in World War I] "No money, no experience, limited education. All I had was a passion to get somewhere."

    [On the most important race victory the team had achieved] "That which is yet to be won.
    The one which I have not yet achieved."

    [On which Ferrari model he liked the most] "That which is yet to be built.
    The car which I have not yet created."

    "My cars must be beautiful."

    "The Ferrari is a dream - people dream of owning this special vehicle and for most people it will remain a dream apart from for those lucky few."

    "If you see what a competitor is doing and it is better than what you are doing, you have to surpass them to ensure your cars are better."

    "I am convinced, that when a man tells a woman he loves her, he only means that he desires her; and that the only total love in this world is that of a father for his son."

    "It is… not so much inventions which are needed as conscientious elaboration."

    "All the innovations learnt from racing experience can find practical application in the normal production models…"

    "If I am unable to see the defects in the machines I create myself, how can I see properly into myself?"

    "I think of myself as constantly realizing a childhood dream."

    "If they are good ideas, then they will work."

    "The client is not always right."

    [To Ferruccio Lamborghini] "I build sports cars, you build tractors. You should stick to building tractors."

    "When I see a car which uses one litre or 1.2 litres of fuel for every kilometre it travels, I ask myself, ‘Is this a racing car or is it a tank wagon?’ "

    [On what has been his philosophy in designing his machines] "I should say rather that I remember the first impression I had in 1919 of an American car which had raced at Indianapolis. It was a 12 cylinder Packard. From that moment I married the 12 cylinder engine and I never divorced it."

    [On John Surtees who turns up in his much-loved BMW] "Beh, macchina tedesco – no, you must drive a Ferrari."

    [On Peppino not being at his side one day a year at Easter] "When you need him, he’s never here."

    "If you like this car, we’ll make it. If you don’t, we won’t."

    [As a young man] "Who am I in this world?"

    [His motto ‘Divide et imperare’] "Divide and reign."

    "You have to have courage to stand up to your critics."

    "I am not the designer. Other people do that. I am an agitator of men."

    [As a child sharing a bedroom with his brother over his father’s workshop] "We were awakened in the morning by the ringing of hammers. My father… acted as the manager, the designer, the salesman and the typist of his firm all at the same time."

    [On the pink marble staircase in his parents house] "The only luxury."

    [On his childhood ambitions – To be] "an opera singer, a sports writer, and lastly a racing driver."

    "I was alone. My father and my brother were no more…"

    "We found ourselves in a blizzard, and we were chased by wolves. They were put to flight, however, by shots from the revolver I always kept under the seat cushion, and by the arrival of a group of road gangers armed with torches and guns."

    [On being introduced to the mother of the late fighter ace in whose squadron his brother Dino had served] Countess Paolina [Baracca]. "It was she who told me one day, ‘Ferrari, put the prancing horse of my son on your racing car. It will bring you luck.’ I still keep the photograph of Baracca with the dedication by the parents in which they entrusted me with the emblem. The horse was, and has remained, black, but I myself added the yellow background, this being the colour of Modena."

    "What has instructed all of the world’s builders of safe, efficient cars? Auto racing. Any theory, any laboratory experiment needs practical support, and only the race can offer it because during the race the driver submits the car and its parts to intense, unpredictable, unthinkable testing."

    "I picked up the torch laid down by Alfa Romeo in 1937."

    "Equally valuable lessons are learned in defeat and victory."

    [On rejecting a corporate merger between Ferrari and Ford] "My rights, my integrity, my very being as a manufacturer, as an entrepreneur, as the leader of the Ferrari works, cannot work under the enormous machine, the suffocating bureaucracy of the Ford Motor Company!"

    [On his legendary 1962 red racing car] "Gran Turismo Omologato."

    "I remember with how much insistence, with which arguments and how much competent attention Dino observed and discussed all the memorandums that I took home to him every day from Maranello. Finally, a selection was made in favour of a V6 for reasons of mechanical yield and bulk. That is how the famous 156 was born…"

    [On his cars] "They have more horsepower, and they don’t break down."

    "A man builds something, a beautiful machine. He puts all of himself into it. And then he goes to races and see his machines, this part of himself, being maltreated, and… [Putting his hand over his heart] And so I do not go to races because it hurts me – here."

    [‘You mean you suffer for the car, not the driver?’] "The driver too, of course."

    [On why he didn’t demonstrate emotion if one of his race drivers was killed] "My teacher Antonio Ascari [A great racing driver], told me that he didn’t show any sentiment with his wife and son because he didn’t want them to feel so badly when he was gone."

    [On giving credit to the drivers for Ferrari being what it is today] "It’s because of you, because of what you’ve risked, because of what you have created for us that we are what we are."

    [In 1965] "My loyalty to Shell springs from my experience with automobiles. 14 world championships have resulted from this happy association with Shell."

    [In 1952] "The victory of Alberto Ascari in one of our Ferrari cars in the 22nd Grand Prix of Italy at 115.547 miles per hour average, established new all-time records for the Monza track, and also established the highest speed attained in European circuits."

    [In 1952] "We attribute a great deal of the merit of our success in the Grand Prix of England, Grand Prix of Italy and the Mexican Pan-American Race to the magnificent performance and unfailing dependability of Champion Spark Plugs."

    "What life means to a young man who is leaving it?"

    [On his son Dino Ferrari passing away] "The match is lost. I have lost my son… The only thing I can say is: God, help me to be a good man."

    "All we wanted to do was to build a conventional engine, the only one that would be outstanding."

    [On the Mille Miglia race in 1957] "It is the race of the people. One may say that the whole of Italy leans forward with her eyes on the tarred strip of road somewhere along the course on Mille Miglia day. It is a day when I feel my life is useful."

    [In 1957 on being served court papers on a Ferrari driver racing death in the Mille Miglia race] "Why should I continue in an activity whose only reward is being branded a murderer?"

    "It does not seem to me that I have ever committed a bad act."

    "I have regretted often, but repented never. Is this a good thing?"

    "It is my opinion that there are innate gifts that are a peculiarity of certain regions and that, transferred into industry, these propensities may at times acquire an exceptional importance… In Modena, where I was born and set up my own works, there is a species with psychosis for racing cars."

    [On being a passenger with Tazio Nuvolari (‘The Flying Mantuan’) during pre-race practice] "At the first bend, I had the clear sensation that we would end up in a ditch; I felt myself stiffen as I waited for the crunch. Instead, we found ourselves on the next straight with the car in a perfect position. I looked at Nuvolari. His rugged face was calm, just as it always was, and certainly not the face of someone who had just escaped a hair-raising spin."

    "I want to build a car that’s faster than all of them, and then I want to die."

    "The dream became bigger, much bigger, to build a car, that doesn’t slow in the curves, that flies without leaving the ground…"

    "I don't sell cars; I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free since something has to hold the engines in."

    [In 1980] "I asked myself, why can’t I myself become a great racing driver one day? And all my acts after that were merely the consequence of an adolescent dream."

    [When he wanted to eulogise his driver Gilles Villeneuve] "I see a little of [Tazio] Nuvolari in you."

    [On his first Ferrari Grand Prix] "If it had gone badly, I had decided I would stop this type of activity with a Grand Prix car, which revealed itself an ambition that was too demanding for my means."

    "If it goes badly, I’m not going to spend money on this kind of motor sport any more."

    "In Maranello, I created a factory that made cars known all over the world. Fiat turned it into a real industrial concern."

    "Ever since I built the first 1500, I had had ambitious plans for launching out into the manufacture of high quality cars. I remembered that I had joined Alfa Romeo when they were endeavouring to produce a car per day, and I too had hopes of achieving this same target."

    "The demands of mass production are contrary to my temperament, for I am mainly interested in promoting new developments. I should like to put something new into my cars every morning – an inclination that terrifies my staff. Were my wishes in this respect to be indulged, there would be no production of standard models at all, but only a succession of prototypes."

    [In 1963] "There is little that I try out in today’s cars which has not already been tried in the past – perhaps in a hurried or summary manner – and discarded before its real possibilities were full ascertained. It is consequently not so much inventions which are needed as conscientious elaboration."

    "I underestimated the importance of the chassis. I have always given great importance to the engine and much less to the chassis, endeavouring to squeeze out as much power as possible in the conviction that it is engine power which is – not 50% but 80% responsible for success on the track."

    "Just as many people had predicted our 12 cylinder turned out to be the crowning glory of my ambitions, the basis of all Ferrari engines."

    "I gave the 4, 6 and 8 cylinder a chance. We even built a bi-cylinder. But the classical 12 cylinder engine remains my trademark and certainly the most popular of my engines."

    "When one has this extra power, chassis deficiencies are not a handicap, but when competitors have engines of a power approaching one’s own and as reliable as one’s own, then they suddenly become important."

    "Most of my life, I have concealed myself."

    "Most people think I’m hard, but that is because I don’t want people to know me. I consider myself weak and so I put on a kind of mask. I put it on to hide."

    "I live a life of constant self-examination. Consideration of the hallucinating fragility of life has taught me to question everything about myself."

    "I go every morning to the cemetery to see my son who died 25 years ago. Knowing that a man is nothing without death. It is death which gives him personality."

    [At the age of 80] "I don’t believe there is such a thing as happiness. Happiness is never unmixed."

    "I have always given the public the least possible about myself."

    "I never tell a lie. Liars lead very complex lives and I am simply afraid of getting caught out. So people conclude that I am cunning."

    "If I go to see people, they have an opinion of me, ready-made. But if they come here, what they see is also about what I have created."

    "Our proverb runs: ‘He who has his health is rich and doesn’t know it.’ You consider the essential fragility of life."

    "It is the little things that get me angry. The great traumas are easier: you can always work your way through to reason."

    "What we do at Ferrari is elite work."

    "I am a promoter of ideas: I have to sell ideas which will then be realized by others."

    "I don’t think there’s a car in the world that hasn’t yet been improved by competition, a car which hasn’t been influenced by others."

    "There are superb designers working today, but the basic idea, the working out of that idea, the construction of the machine, the finishing of a new idea, is always the work of a team. It is a compendium. A collaborative effort."

    "A car maker need be neither an engineer nor a technician. He must be someone who loves his passion for cars and he must be someone who knows a lot about human beings. His job is to harmonize the ambitions of his collaborators."

    "I give my collaborators a great trust. Complete trust. That is the only way to see if they merit it. If they are good, they’ll do everything they can to show their gratitude; if they’re not what better way to bring on their mistakes?"

    "The real Gran Turismo Ferrari is an offshoot of my racing cars."

    "The racing cars are our most effective way of making the Ferrari way known, and selling what we produce."

    "Of course I have some regrets about my career: I am bitter at my stupidity in not keeping at least one example of all the models we have built since 1940!"

    "The greatest drivers were distinguished by their supreme ability to handle any kind of situation, any car, any driving condition, any kind of race."

    "Nuvolari lived a life of passionate risk, yet he died, humiliated, in hospital: humiliated because he was unable to die in a race."

    "A driver today is an athlete out for hire, his mind is on profit."

    "The world creates idols only to destroy them. Why? Because the public is avid for emotion."

    "I think fundamentally I belong to another time…"

    "Fear is the ultimate leverage of power."

    "Because the constructor remembers all his errors; he knows the paths which have lead nowhere. It takes endless time. It is like a Kafka story: there is this long corridor and all the doors are shut, yet you have to find a way out."

    "I am a man who has lived an adventure."

    "Don’t let it get you down. Things always right themselves if you only give them time." -quote from Dino Ferrari (Enzo's son)
    Last edited by Nero Horse; 6th December 2013 at 23:02.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Nice article Nero Horse :xmasbiggrin:
    Maurizio Arrivabene

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Garden of England
    Trying to be less angry..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Villaz, France
    Le Macchine sono fate di cervelo, di sudore, di sangue note bianche.

    The machines are made of brains, sweat, blood and sleepless nights
    scuse ma bad inglish


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