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Ferrari house museum opens in Modena

'Will complement Maranello's,' says Montezemolo

18 February, 19:02
Ferrari house museum opens in Modena (ANSA) - Modena, February 18 - The transformation of the house where Italian motor racing legend Enzo Ferrari was born has become a museum devoted to his life and work.

After more than five years of work, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Enzo's son Piero opened the Museo Enzo Ferrari to the public in Modena Tuesday, on the very day the man the Italians call 'The Drake' was born in 1898.

"Today is a very important day for us at Ferrari," said Montezemolo, calling the museum "a great example of collaboration between the public and private sectors".

The new museum "will not clash or overlap" with the Ferrari Museum at its race-car home at nearby Maranello, Montezemolo said. "They complement one another: one tells the life story of Enzo Ferrari from his birth to the foundation of Ferrari and the other, in Maranello, focuses on the last 30 years of the firm's history". Future Systems of London, which beat seven top international rivals to the prestigious contract, led the 15-million-euro project - funded by Ferrari and local government - for the house where the young Enzo grew up next to his father Alfredo's forge.

The innovative London architectural studio covered the old house in a bright-yellow casing resembling a vintage car bonnet, in the hope, they said, that it would become an "iconic" local landmark.

Officials have said they expect the new museum, which will be linked to broader plans to turn the area into a 'Motor Valley', to attract some 200,000 visitors a year.

The exhibition space includes cars, engines, machines, documents, film footage and miscellaneous articles from the daily life of the Ferrari family.

The long-awaited exhibition space charts the life of Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) from his childhood through his career as a racing driver and on to the birth of the Ferrari Formula 1 team.

Enzo's father, Alfredo, ran a local metal foundry. When his son was 10, he took the boy and his brother Alfredo Jr.

to an automobile race in Bologna.

There they saw legendary drivers Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazarro battling it out in the 1908 Circuito di Bologna. After attending a number of other races Enzo decided that he too wanted to become a racing car driver.

He started in about 1919 and for many years drove for the Alfa Romeo team, achieving some success but not becoming an out-and-out racing great.

In 1929 Ferrari started his own car-making firm, Scuderia Ferrari, which had a large racing team attached. The team scored eight victories in its first year.

Enzo Ferrari gradually established himself as one of the most successful car builders in history. Prized for their speed, elegant design, and handcrafted quality, Ferrari automobiles have been elevated to legendary status.

According to fans, Enzo Ferrari's success evolved from his competitive spirit, his imagination, and his ability to recognize potential in others.

But behind the glamour and accolades was a no-nonsense man who embraced hard work throughout his long life, which was marked by illness and personal tragedy as well as the numerous victories.

Ferrari died aged 90 in 1988, a decade before his team embarked on the greatest period of domination in its history.

At the museum to Ferrari at the team's HQ at Maranello, statues of Ferrari and the company's famed prancing horse mark the entrance to the memorabilia-filled collection, which charts the team's success.

Ferrari's symbol came from the squadron badge of Italian WWI flying ace Francesco Baracca, who was killed in a dogfight during the war.

Baracca's parents gave it to Enzo Ferrari in 1923 and the symbol of a black horse on a yellow shield became the Ferrari logo when the carmaker started up six years later.