Banner Ferrari

Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver


Credit: Classic Driver

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Member Only / 1

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Tan Leather

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When Enzo left Alfa Romeo in 1939, he had to agree not to use the Ferrari name nor be involved in motor racing for four years. While the official line these days is that Enzo “quit… to set up his own company”, he was in fact fired. Enzo’s act of defiance was the result of a visit, in December 1939, from the young Alberto Ascari, who wanted Ferrari to build two sports cars for the 1940 Mille Miglia – one for himself, and one for his friend, Marchese Lotario Rangoni Macchiaveli di Modena. Enzo agreed; and his decision was a gesture aimed not only at Alfa, but also at Maserati – which thanks to the Orsi family’s cash injection was being shifted to Modena, Enzo’s home territory. Since the Mille Miglia was scheduled for 28 April, they had just four months to create two racing cars from scratch. For this reason – and also because the regulations demanded that a production car chassis form the basis of the racer – the new cars were based on the Fiat 508C Ballila. The main problem was that the Ballila’s engine was far too small. So Alberto Massimino, a highly experienced designer and another victim of the Alfa revolt, came up with the plan of building a straight-eight engine block and topping it with a pair of modified Fiat Ballila cylinder heads. The new car’s name, 815, refers to the engine’s 8 cylinders and 1.5-litre capacity. Meanwhile, the open-topped, large-grilled bodywork with its ultra-modern Plexiglas windscreen was styled by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, and the cars rode on Borrani wire wheels. The potential of the cars was proved in the Mille Miglia itself, as both led the 1500cc class in turn, before suffering mechanical problems that forced them to withdraw. They were clearly worthy of further development, but Italy’s rapid entry into the on-going war put paid to any such plans. By 1945, Enzo was free to develop cars with his own name – the first being the famous Ferrari 125 S. Only one of the two Auto Avio 815s still survives: the very first car, built for Ascari.

Additional details

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Owner Name

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Righini Collection

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Location History

Country FlagModena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy InfoResides here


1939 Ferrari-Auto Avio 815

Profile Seventhcomet

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This isn’t a Ferrari one off and shouldn’t be in this section and it should be it’s own separate model, either move or delete

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Level lmc


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