Although Enzo Ferrari founded the Scuderia Ferrari as early as 1929, the company took nearly two decades to develop its first race car. After preparing and fielding Alfa Romeo race cars for amateur drivers, as well as heading up the brand’s racing division, Enzo Ferrari left the Italian company in 1939 and founded Auto Avio Costruzioni. The new company launched the Tipo 815 race car in 1940, but the vehicle saw little competition due to World War II. During the conflict, Ferrari’s factory was bombed by the Allies in 1944. Scuderia rebuilt it in 1946 and began development of the 125 S — the first vehicle to bear the Ferrari name.
Developed over two years from a clean sheet of paper, the 125 S had a unique design and received a naturally aspirated V-12 engine. Ferrari built only two cars. Chassis 01C, also known as the Piacenza roadster, had a conventional sports car body and it was used in various races throughout 1947. The second model, chassis 02C, featured cycle fenders and different bodywork. The 01C is arguably the more famous model of the two.
The 125 S was short-lived, but had an intense life. Although it was only used during Ferrari’s first year in business, chassis 01C took part in 13 races, while chassis 02C was fielded in six events. Both chassis were later fitted with larger engines and updated bodywork. In 2006, the 01C was restored with a Piacenza roadster body by Ferrari’s own Classiche program and displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1947 Ferrari 125 S.