Enzo Ferrari

Brock Yates, Author Doubleday Books $22 (465p) ISBN 978-0-385-26319-1
To his legion of admirers, Italian auto titan Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) was a genius who personally created marvelous cars of advanced design. But as Car and Driver columnist Yates points out in this captivating, demythologizing biography, none of Ferrari's racing cars ``was a glittering example of daring technology,'' and he had almost no hand in the making of the later road cars that bore his name. Revealed as a hot-tempered megalomaniac given to loud belching and countless amorous conquests, Ferrari fathered an illegitimate child and led a shadowy second life as a respite from the ``simmering hatred'' of his marriage. He portrayed himself as a loyal ``motorized knight-errant,'' defending Italy's national honor, but in Yates's esimate he was interested solely in winning races and sometimes pushed his drivers to dangerous extremes. Yates deftly records the carnage of major races, business wheeling and dealing, and the political dimensions of motor racing from the pre-WW II Rome-Berlin Axis to today's ribbon-waving nationalism. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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