Enzo Ferrari’s 1st Vehicle
The 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni is the first vehicle designed and built by Enzo Ferrari in Modena, Italy. In 1938 Ferrari left his position at Alfa Romeo running the Scuderia Ferrari racing division. From here, he decided it was time for him to begin his own automotive manufacturer. Unfortunately, his contract with Alfa Romeo forbade him from reviving the Scuderia Ferrari racing team for 4 years. So, Enzo Ferrari went forward by creating a business titled Auto Avio Costruzioni (AAC).
The 1940 Brescia Grand Prix
Although his business’s purposes was to build aircraft parts for the Italian government, this is where he built his first car. In December of 1939, AAC was commissioned by Lotario, Marquis of Modena, to build two race cars for the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix. The race cars he built for Lotario would become the AAC Tipo 815. Enzo Ferrari’s first vehicle was able to participate in the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix. Unfortunately, both models didn’t finish due to engine problems. One of these vehicles was scrapped by Lotario’s brother while the other one was sold to a car collector in Italy.
2-Seat Barchetta with 1.5-Liter SOHC I8 Engine
The 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 is a 2-seat Barchetta with a 1.5-liter SOHC I8 engine. This motor has two valves per cylinder and a semi-dry sump lubrication system. Furthermore, this engine has 4 Weber 30DRZ carburetors. In addition, this engine produces 75 horsepower at its peak. At only 1,378 lbs., this power was adequate for racing at the time. Unfortunately, this engine is also the reason that the 815 didn’t complete the Grand Prix.
Bodywork by Carrozzeria Touring and Dubonnet Suspension
For the suspension system, the 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 has quite an interesting setup. First, the car features a Dubonnet suspension with an integral shock absorber at the front. On the rear, this car sports a live axle on semi-elliptical leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. For the bodywork, the work is by Carrozzeria Touring using Itallumag 35, an aluminum and magnesium alloy. Furthermore, this bodywork only weighs 119 lbs. which allows the vehicle to hit a top speed of around 110 mph.
The Beginning of the Ferrari Manufacturer Dream
Ferrari Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 startup at Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari – Andrea Manieri – YouTube
Overall, the 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 is Enzo Ferrari’s 1st vehicle. Although Alfa Romeo didn’t want Enzo to pursue a racing team, it was his dream and goal. Alfa Romeo may have prevented Enzo was labeling his first Ferrari but Auto Avio Costruzioni was the beginning. Thankfully, the marquis of Modena was kind enough to choose Enzo for his race car builds. In conclusion, without the AAC 815, Ferrari may have never built the brand that we know today.