In 1947 Enzo Ferrari pushed open the gates of his Maranello factory and revealed to the world his first true Ferrari: The V12 powered 125 S. The car was a statement of intent, built not to simply compete but to win, and it did just that on its second outing on May 20, 1947, at the Rome Grand Prix.
Piloted by Franco Cortese, the 125 S completed 40 laps of the Terme di Caracalla circuit, covering 137.6 kilometres at an average speed of 88.5 km/hr, giving Ferrari the first of six wins that year.
And yet, arguably, it was not this win, but rather the maiden race, nine days earlier at the Piacenza Circuit, that put the Scuderia on course to achieve more Formula One victories than any other team in history. Because there, the 125 S suffered a pump failure and failed to finish.
Watch the new film that celebrates the continuing legacy and innovative spirit of Enzo Ferrari
For many, the notion of a car, freshly presented to the world as the one to beat, then breaking down on its first race, would be too much to bear. But for Enzo Ferrari, this was not a moment of despair, but simply, a ‘promising failure’. It was a learning curve, just another small chapter in his desire to always evolve in the unwavering quest for performance. The best Ferrari ever built was indeed the next one, and the repaired 125 S did the job at Rome.
Today, that DNA is evident everywhere you find a Prancing Horse badge. It is the spirit of limitless achievement that flows from the Maranello Factory floor out to the Fiorano Circuit, within which Enzo’s house still stands, and into the world beyond. The spirit of self-belief, the desire to innovate and the need to question everything without compromise is as strong today at Ferrari as it was 75 years ago when Enzo founded his company.
This month, to celebrate Enzo’s birthday on February 18, Ferrari have delivered a new film that pays tribute to founder’s indominable and innovative vision that still resonates today. It is supported by an Instagram campaign that taps into the quotes and moments that started the journey all those years ago, when a 125 S race car emerged from the factory, ready and willing to change the world.