Ferrari wins! This was not always so for Ferrari in the beginning. After a career building and racing cars for other people, Enzo Ferrari, at age 49, when most men would start looking towards retirement, built and ran the first racecar with his name badge proudly placed on the front cowl: The Ferrari 125 Sport. The 125’s completed chassis [01C] was rolled out on March 12, 1947 into the courtyard at Maranello, a photo was taken with Enzo and his proud staff. It was with this car and a lot of his past history that the 12-cylinder Ferrari formula began. The body builder, Peiretti, directed sheet metal workers in enveloping the chassis with a roadster body. Chassis 02C was an open wheeled car with cycle fenders. The very first race for chassis 01C, driven by Franco Cortese, a house driver, was on the Piacenza circuit on May 11, 1947. The car’s fuel system gave out before the race could be completed. Looking back, it seems that the car was rushed into entering too quickly and that it needed further development to be competitive.
Two weeks later with a bit more fine tuning, Cortese at the Caracella Baths Circuit on May 25 in Rome gave Ferrari his first victory. There was some effort early on for Cortese to get past the 1100cc Stanguelli driven by Ferdinando Righetti, but Cortese fought to make him run wide around a corner. This tactic secured a place in history for Cortese and Ferrari. This painting shows a focused Cortese coming out of the hairpin, Turn One, on his way to complete the race.