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Passion doesn’t take a day off

A new short film celebrates Enzo’s life and his dedication to being the best, even if that did mean never taking a holiday
Words – Ross Brown

It’s hard to think of a man more closely aligned with his work than Enzo Ferrari and his world famous cars.

The man they affectionately called l'Ingegnere (The Engineer) was devoted to both his factory and his workshop, arguably preferring the sound of machined steel components to casual conversations with the humans around him.
His work ethic wasn’t a matter of not trusting his workers – Enzo surrounded himself with some of the finest engineering and design talent the world had ever seen – but more a case of the desire for continuous innovation, an innate sense that when he turned off the workshop lights at night and headed home, there would always be more to do as soon as the sun rose the next day. “I should like to put something new into my cars every morning – an inclination that terrifies my staff,” he once said, and he was right: How could Ferrari be the very best if Enzo himself wasn’t paying attention all the time?

For Enzo Ferrari, sunshine was for shining light on machines and trophies, nothing more, nothing less

Somewhat humorously, holidays were a particular source of irritation for the man. For Enzo, entertainment was something one did at the track, watching another Prancing Horse creation thunder across the finish line far ahead of the competition. Anything else was a distraction from his first and foremost passion in life: to be the very best. “A man has no need for entertainment, Entertainment only distracts from his duty. If a man has duty, that is enough.”

In truth, it’s hard to imagine Enzo Ferrari on holiday, or the potential ramifications involved. Would he have made automotive history at the September 1948 Turin Motor Show with the 166 MM if he had spent that summer under a parasol on the beach? Would Ferrari have claimed three world titles in the season of 1961 (Drivers and Constructors Championship in F1, and the World Sportscar Championship) if Enzo had left Maranello more often to explore the wider world?

Watch the new short film that celebrate's Enzo Ferrari's life and his dedication to being the best 

For Enzo Ferrari, the sun existed to shine light on engines and trophies, not to tan the body or melt an ice cream. That’s not to say of course he didn’t enjoy the holiday season, but that was because the factory closed for the summer, allowing him complete peace in his workshop for weeks on end. Maranello was his home, his holiday, his family, his everything and for that, we are grateful.

To some, it may seem a lonely life, but without such passion, self-belief and focus, the Ferrari story could have been very different. And so, thirty-three years after his passing, we remember Enzo Ferrari with a small film to celebrate a vision that put excellence and quality first, a vision infused in all the people that have crossed the threshold of the gates of Maranello, working to preserve its legacy. Thank you Enzo.

Truly happiest when with his beloved machines, Enzo's dedication to motoring resulted in ground-breaking moments, such as the introduction of the 166 MM in 1948