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Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena on February 18 1898. Forced to leave school when his father died, he started work as a turning instructor in the Modena Fire Brigade'workshop. Having served in World War I he found work as a test driver in Turin in late 1918. He then moved to CMN (Costruzioni Meccaniche Nazionali) in Milan to work as a racing car driver and test driver.
His racing debut came in the 1919 Parma-Berceto race and he entered the Targa Florio that same year. In 1920, he moved to Alfa Romeo establishing a relationship that lasted two decades and a career that took him from test driver to race driver to sales assistant and finally to the post of Director of the Alfa Racing Division until November 1939.

In 1929 he founded the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, with the prime purpose of organising racing for its members. That was the start of an intensive involvement in motor racing which led to the creation of an official team and ultimately transformed the Scuderia into an engineering-racing division of Alfa Romeo, taking over the racing function entirely in 1933. In 1940 the Scuderia abandoned the Alfa Romeo connection and transformed itself into an independent company "Auto Avio Costruzioni Ferrari" which worked for the national aviation company in Rome, for Piaggio and for RIV.

In 1943, during World War II, the Ferrari workshop moved from Modena to Maranello and began making powered grinding machines for ball bearings. The workshop was bombed out in 1944 and rebuilt in 1946 the year in which it started designing and building the very first Ferrari. In 1960 the business was turned into a joint stock company in which FIAT became a 50-50 partner in 1969. (FIAT became the majority shareholder in 1988).
 

In 1963 Enzo Ferrari built his Istituto Professionale per l'Industria e l'Artgianato, a training school in Maranello. In 1972 he built the Fiorano test track.Enzo Ferrari was given the Italian award of Cavaliere for sporting merit in 1924 and went on to receive further honours from the nation: Commendatore in 1927, Cavaliere del Lavoro in 1952. In 1960 he received an honorary degree in mechanical engineering from Bologna University. In 1988 Modena University gave him in Physics. He was awarded the Hammerskjold Prize by the UN in 1962, the Columbus Prize in 1965, the Gold Medal from the Italian School of Art and Culture in 1970, the De Gasperi Award in 1987.

Under his leadership (1947-88) Ferrari won over 5,000 races all over the world and earned 25 world titles.

Enzo Ferrari died in Modena on August 14 1988.