Ferrari, Entrepreneur

The whole family went to see the move ‘Ferrari’ on opening day, and it was quite good.

I lived in Italy around the time the movie covers and worked at Ford during the negotiations between Ford and Ferrari, so I have an interest in the subject.

I think Ferrari was accurately portrayed, with all of his flaws, but all Italian married men used to have mistresses; it’s part of the national psyche.

What wasn’t brought out much was that after Ferrari retired from racing himself, in the late 1920’s he opened a machine shop, specializing in racing parts. And it was apparently successful. During the Facist years in Italy, running a business wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

And, once Ferrari’s business was successful, he organized Scuderia Ferrari, which is the Ferrari race them which continues to this day. And he was a successful team owner, even breaking even, apparently.

And his long-suffering wife, who managed his occasionally chaotic finances, backed him with her personal guarantee when he decided (based on market demand) to expand from producing 100 cars a year to 400 a year. He got a bank loan of $500,000 (at least as portrayed in the film) to do it.

Ferrari car roduction these days is many times the 400 they had in the movie, and the company now employs 4500 people and is again independent of any car companies.

So, like most entrepreneurs, Ferrari was in hock up to his eyeballs, but he found the money to have a nice villa for his mistress, as well as his Modena home. A bit unusual, but not by Italian standards.

But he was an entrepreneurial success, no?