The Italian Almanac

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Enzo Ferrai

Motor Valley

The first stone was symbolically set for the future Enzo Ferrari Museum which will center on the home where the man who built the Italian sporting legend was born in 1898. Aside from Ferrari`s restored birthplace, which includes his father`s machinist`s shop, a museum annex will be built on adjacent property, a 6000sqm area which previously hosted a cheese warehouse. Work is expected to be completed by the spring of 2011 at a cost of some 15 million euros.

Once completed the museum will be part of a greater project to create Motor Valley, a tourist attraction which highlights the various motor sports activities in the area around Modena. Aside from Enzo Ferrari Museum, the Motor Valley attraction will include the Galleria Ferrari at the company`s headquarters in nearby Maranello, which houses a vast collection of Ferrari race cars and memorabilia.

The area set to become Motor Valley is between Modena and Imola which, aside from Ferrari, is also home to such companies as De Tomaso, Lamborghini, Maserati, Minardi and Ducati, as well as garages specialised in the restoration of vintage cars, motorbike and engines. It also hosts a number of museums and private collections and the Imola Motor Racing Circuit. Once it becomes a reality, Motor Valley organizers, who include the Modena Chamber of Commerce, hope to arrange guided tours to all these places, while packages will be offered to the main motor racing events - Formula 1, Superbike and MotoGP - at the Imola track.

The Enzo Ferrari Museum will chart 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.

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