Skip to main content

Ferrari Enzo

Ferrari Enzo Italian supercar

The Ferrari Enzo was technically a roadster ... though 'technically' is about as far as it went! Red-blooded racing ran in its veins. The name said it all. Founder of the myth that is 'Maranello', Enzo Ferrari's legacy is secure! 'The Professor', Alain Prost - French F1 legend - once said he did not know why racing drivers do what they do. Cars like the Enzo - with its 660bhp power rating - probably provide a few clues!

There were striking links between the Enzo and Ferrari's F1 car of the day. Its CFC/Nomex body panels, for example, bear a striking resemblance to those of the GP car. Beneath those panels sat a carbon-fibre monocoque - similar,again, to that of the F1 car. Even the Enzo's V12 engine was cut from the same GP cloth ... well, in terms of layout, at least! Huge venturis modelled 'ground-effect' - the set-up which 'glues' GP cars to the tarmac. And the Enzo was kitted out with 'active aerodynamics' - a system not too far removed from that of top-flight competition cars. Its brake discs were carbon-ceramic composites.

Matching all that tech spec, visually, might have been a challenge. Pinanfarina, though, spared Ferrari's blushes. The great Italian design house had long been associated with the 'prancing horse' marque. They fulfilled Ferrari's brief to perfection - supplying carbon-fibre solutions, inside and out. Ferrari had problems, though, when the Enzo went on sale. Not because of any problems with the product. The car was so sought-after - even with its £425,000 price tag - that all 349 Enzos sold out within hours! In an attempt to placate frustrated buyers, Ferrari scaled up to 400. One of the most finely-wrought supercars ever made, the Ferrari 'Enzo' was a fitting tribute to the man who inspired it.


Popular posts from this blog

FN Four

In terms of breakthroughs in the history of motorcycling, there cannot be many to rival the first in-line four engine. Belgium was the birthplace of this landmark layout. FN was the much-to-be-thanked manufacturer.The FN Four first hit the highway in 1911. It produced 4bhp. That, from a 491 cc capacity. At the time, such figures described state-of-the-art technology. Top speed for the FN Four was 40mph. Not bad - for an 8-valve inlet-over-exhaust set-up. Oh, it was air-cooled.The FN Four was light - tipping the scales at 165lb dry. Not only the motor, but the chassis, too, was avant-garde. It featured an early form of telescopic forks. A new-fangled clutch - and 2-speed 'box - only added to the FN Four's slick box of tricks. Solid shaft-drive output the power. Who, then, designed this visionary vintage? You will not hear the name Paul Kelekom shouted from motorcycling's rooftops. But, you should - for it was he who fashioned the FN Four. In so doing, he ki…

Gilera Saturno

Gilera was a big player in the realm of 1950s motorbike manufacturing. After that, the firm met with mixed fortunes. Gilera's Fifties flagship - the Saturno - was launched in '46. Rolled out in 'Sport', 'Touring', and 'Competition' modes, the Saturno would sell well for years.The Saturno 'production racer' was a hit both on road and track. Competitive for many seasons, it remained so for some time after its production run finished - at the fag-end of the '50s.In road-going form, the Saturno stayed tethered to the tarmac - thanks to its telescopic forks, and vertical rear shocks. Indeed, it would gain a reputation as a 'performance bike' of its day. Towards the end, Gilera was linked with Piaggio, Vespa - and the scooter scene, generally. Illustrious though those names still were, Gilera's glory days were behind it. Bikes like the Saturno, though, still shone a light for past success.

NSU Ro80

The styling of the NSU Ro80 was ahead of its time. At first glance, masses of glass were straight out of science-fiction. Closer inspection revealed the gently rising line of its profile - giving it a low front, high back stance - which would influence automotive design for years to come. The 5-seater body was supremely aerodynamic for a saloon car - making cruising at speed a breeze. So flawless was it outwardly that it was hardly touched in ten years of production. Just the tail-lights were modified, on later versions.The Ro80's handling was equally impressive. FWD - and precision power-steering - kept it perfectly pointed. The long-travel strut suspension soaked up bumps. High-efficiency disc brakes were fitted all round. The 3-speed semi-automatic transmission swept through the gears with aplomb. Top speed was a sound 112mph.But, of course, nothing is perfect. The Ro80 was powered by a twin-rotor Wankel engine. Unfortunately - in a rush to get the car into showroom…