Enzo Ferrari gained fame in the mid-1920s as a racing driver for Alfa Romeo, driving an Alfa RL, the company’s first post-war sports model, to victory in the Coppa Acerbo in Pescara, Italy.
In 1929 he started his own racing team, still using Alfa Romeo vehicles but distinguishing his from the official factory team with an insignia that had a prancing horse on a yellow shield, a tribute to a pilot shot down during World War I.
Ferrari continued to race until 1932, when his son, Alfredo “Dino,” was born. In 1939 he opened his own business producing parts and tools for cars and airplanes. Ferrari cleared his name after the war and, with Gioachino Colombo, in 1947 built his first racing car, the Tipo 125S.
And the rest, as they say, is history and brings us to the Lyon Air Museum in California’s Orange County, where a special exhibit “Celebrazione Ferrari,” includes 13 examples of the legendary Italian automobiles positioned alongside historic WWII aircraft and other vehicles is a fantastic visual experience.
Maj. Gen. William Lyon (USAF-Ret.) founded the 30,000-square-foot Lyon Air Museum in 2009. It features aircraft and unique vehicles from World War II, including a Boeing B-17 “Flying Fortress” which once carried Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Douglas A-26 “Invader,” a“Mitchell” B-25 bomber and a 1943 Ford GPW Military Jeep which was hailed as “the savior of WWII.”
The Ferrari exhibit includes some of the most important and pristine examples on the planet. The “Celebrazione Ferrari” runs through September 2. For more information, visit the museum website.
(Special thanks to docent Dennis Arrobbio and marketing manager Jade Nguyen for arranging our visit and accommodating our photographic needs.)