Auto Avio Costruzioni 815

The Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 was the first car to be fully designed and built by Enzo Ferrari. Legal issues with former associates Alfa Romeo prevented Ferrari from creating the Ferrari marque. The 815 raced at the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix, where both entries failed to finish due to engine problems. One of the cars was later scrapped, while the other is currently in a car collection in Italy.

Auto Avio Costruzioni 815
Car Musée Enzo Ferrari 0063
ManufacturerAuto Avio Costruzioni
2 produced
AssemblyModena, Italy
Body and chassis
ClassSports car
Body style2-seat barchetta
Engine1.5 L (1496 cc) OHV I8
Wheelbase2,420 mm (95.3 in)
Curb weight625 kg (1,378 lb)
SuccessorFerrari 125 S


In 1938, Ferrari left Alfa Romeo after running Scuderia Ferrari as their racing division. The agreement ending their association forbade Ferrari from restarting Scuderia Ferrari within the next four years. Ferrari then founded Auto Avio Costruzioni (AAC) in Modena to manufacture aircraft parts for the Italian government.[1]

In December 1939, AAC was commissioned by Lotario, Marquis di Modena, to build and prepare two racing cars for him and Alberto Ascari to drive in the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix. The race, a successor to the Mille Miglia, was to be run in April 1940.[1] The resulting car was named the AAC Tipo 815.[2]


The 815 was designed and developed by ex-Alfa Romeo engineers Alberto Massimino and Vittorio Bellentani and by Enrico Nardi.[1] The designation "815" was based on the car's eight-cylinder, 1.5 L engine.[1][2] This engine was largely based on the four-cylinder, 1.1 L engine of the Fiat 508 C Balilla 1100.[1][3] In concept, it was two 508C engines placed end to end, but it used a specially designed aluminium block built by Fonderia Calzoni in Bologna for integrity and light weight and a five-bearing crankshaft and a camshaft designed and built by AAC to get the traditional straight-8 timing and balance. The engine used Fiat valve gear, cylinder heads (two 508C heads per engine), and connecting rods.[1] The engine was high-tech for the time, with a single camshaft in block, two valves per cylinder, and a semi-dry sump lubrication system.[3] Four Weber 30DR2 carburettors were specified[1][3] for a total output of 75 hp (56 kW) at 5500 rpm.[1]

The 815 used a Fiat four-speed transmission with the Fiat gears replaced by gears made in-house by AAC.[1] The transmission was integral to the engine block.[3] The car had independent Dubonnet suspension with integral shock absorber at front, with a live axle on semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear.[1]

The bodywork was done by Carrozzeria Touring using Itallumag 35, an aluminium/magnesium alloy,[1] and was done in long, flowing forms with integrated wings.[3] The bodywork weighed 119 lb (54 kg).[1] The complete car weighed 625 kg (1,378 lb) and attained a maximum speed close to 170 km/h (110 mph).[3]

Performance at 1940 Brescia Grand Prix

Two 815s, numbers 020 and 021, were completed and entered in the 1940 Brescia Grand Prix, which ran nine laps of a 103 miles (166 km) street circuit. Rangoni and Nardi raced in 020, while Ascari and Giuseppe Minozzi raced in 021. After leading the 1500 cc class in the first lap, Ascari's car developed valve problems and broke down. Rangoni then took the lead, set the lap record for the class, and had a lead of more than half an hour when his engine failed after seven laps.[1]

After the Second World War

Lotario Rangoni died during the Second World War and his brother, Rolando, inherited car no. 020. The car was scrapped in 1958.[1][3]

Ascari's car, no. 021, was sold to racer Enrico Beltracchini[1][3] who raced it in 1947.[1] After selling the car to a museum and then buying it back, Beltracchini sold it again to Mario Righini.[1] As of 2006, Type 815 no. 021 was still in Righini's collection.[3]

AAC 815 side view

AAC tipo 815 at the Panzano Castle 2009

AAC 815 engine

Fiat-based engine in the AAC tipo 815.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Hill, Phil (January 1992). Bryant, Thos. L (ed.). "Salon: The First Ferrari". Road & Track. Newport Beach, CA USA: Hachette Magazines. 43 (5): 96–99.
  2. ^ a b Yates, Brock (1991). Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-26319-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Acerbi, Leonardo (2012). Ferrari: All The Cars. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 978 1 84425 581 8.
  • Acerbi, Leonardo (2012). Ferrari: All The Cars. Haynes Publishing. ISBN 978 1 84425 581 8.

External links

Alberto Ascari

Alberto Ascari (Italian pronunciation: [alˈbɛrto ˈaskari]; 13 July 1918 – 26 May 1955) was an Italian racing driver and twice Formula One World Champion. He was a multitalented racer who competed in motorcycle racing before switching to cars. Ascari won consecutive world titles in 1952 and 1953 for Scuderia Ferrari. He was the team's first World Champion and the last Italian to date to win the title. This was sandwiched an appearance in the Indianapolis 500 in 1952. Ascari also won the Mille Miglia in 1954. Ascari was noted for the careful precision and finely-judged accuracy that made him one of the safest drivers in a most dangerous era. Ascari remains along with Michael Schumacher Ferrari's only back-to-back World Champions, and he is also Ferrari's sole Italian champion.

When Alberto was a young child, his father, Antonio, who was also a famous racing driver, died in an accident at the 1925 French Grand Prix. Alberto once admitted that he warned his children not to become extremely close to him because of the risk involved in his profession. So this proved when he was killed during a test session for Scuderia Ferrari at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Ascari was notoriously superstitious and took great pains to avoid tempting fate. His unexplained fatal accident – at the same age as his father's, on the same day of the month and in eerily similar circumstances – remains one of Formula One racing's great tragic coincidences.

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera

Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is an Italian automobile coachbuilder. Originally established in Milan in 1925, Carrozzeria Touring became well known for both the beauty of its designs and patented superleggera construction methods. The business folded in 1966. In 2006 its brands and trademarks were purchased and a new firm established nearby to provide automotive design, engineering, coachbuilding, homologation services, non-automotive industrial design, and restoration of historic vehicles.

Carrozzeria Touring was established on 25 March 1926 by Felice Bianchi Anderloni (1882–1948) and Gaetano Ponzoni. After achieving success through the middle of the 20th century, the business began to decline as automobile manufacturers replaced body-on-frame automobile construction with monocoque design and increasingly took coachbuilding in-house.

After the original firm ceased production in 1966, Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni and Carrozzeria Marazzi preserved the "Touring Superleggera" trademark and used it on several occasions to support the company's heritage. The trademark was acquired by the current owner, a family business, which began conducting its activities in 2006 under the name Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera S.r.l.; the new firm is headquartered nearby Milan, its hometown.

Enrico Nardi

Enrico Nardi (1907 in Bologna – 23 August 1966) was an Italian racing car driver, engineer and designer.He worked at Lancia between 1929 and 1937 as a truck engineer, racing car driver, and later, advisor to Vincenzo Lancia. He was moderately successful as a driver by 1932, when, with Augusto Monaco, he created the Nardi-Monaco Chichibio.

Nardi himself also competed in Mille Miglia, sharing a Fiat 508 Balilla with J. McCain in 1935 and with M. Trivero in 1936, as well as a Lancia Augusta Berlina with Vittorio Mazzonis in 1937, and a Lancia Aprilia speciale in 1938 with Pier Ugo Gobbato (1918–2008), the son of Alfa Romeo CEO Ugo Gobbato.Working at Scuderia Ferrari from 1937 until 1946, Nardi became known for setting up the Fiat 508 (chassis for the 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815), and doing the development work following Massimino's design; he also co-drove an 815 with owner Lotario Rangoni in the 1940 Mille Miglia.

Ferrari 125 S

See also the Ferrari 125 F1, a Formula One race car sharing the same engineThe Ferrari 125 S (commonly 125 or 125 Sport) was the first vehicle produced and built by automaker Ferrari of Modena, Italy. Although preceded by Enzo Ferrari's Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 of 1940, the 125 S was the first vehicle to bear the Ferrari name when it debuted on May 11, 1947 at the Piacenza racing circuit. Like the 815, it was a race sports car, but unlike its 8 cylinders in-line predecessor, partly developed from Fiat engine components, the 125 S featured the first true Ferrari power unit, a V12 engine (the "125"), a trait it shared with most Ferrari cars of the following decades. The 125 S was replaced by the 159 S later in 1947.

Ferrari Colombo engine

The Ferrari Colombo Engine was a petrol fueled, water cooled, carburetted 60° V12 engine designed by Gioacchino Colombo and produced in numerous iterations by Italian automaker Ferrari between 1947 and 1988. The design team also included Giuseppe Busso and Luigi Bazzi.Colombo had formerly designed Alfa Romeos for Enzo Ferrari. These V12 powerplants ranged from the diminutive 1,497 cc (1.5 L; 91.4 cu in) unit fitted to the 125S to the 4,943 cc (4.9 L; 301.6 cu in) unit in the 1986 412i. Colombo designed bore centres at 90 mm apart. Significant updates were made in 1963 for the 330 series featuring a redesigned block with wider, 94 mm, bore spacing.Enzo Ferrari had long admired the V12 engines of Packard, Auto Union, and Alfa Romeo

(where he was long employed), but his first car, the 1940 Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, used a Fiat straight-8. Ferrari's first homegrown engine was a V12 designed by Colombo, with development continuing long after original designer Colombo had been replaced by Aurelio Lampredi as the company's marquee engine designer. Although Lampredi's engines were a real force for the company, it was Colombo's V12 which would be the primary motivator for the company's consumer products through the 1950s and 1960s.

Grand tourer

A grand tourer (GT) is a car that is designed for high speed and long-distance driving, due to a combination of performance and luxury attributes. The most common format is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

The term derives from the Italian language phrase gran turismo which became popular in the English language from the 1950s, evolving from fast touring cars and streamlined closed sports cars during the 1930s.

History of Ferrari

Ferrari is an Italian company which has produced sports cars since 1947, but traces its roots back to 1929 when Enzo Ferrari formed the Scuderia Ferrari racing team.

Unlike many similar yet independent companies, Fiat Group-owned Ferrari continued to thrive after the death of its charismatic founder and is today one of the most successful sports car companies in the world. In January 2016, Ferrari officially split off from its former parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

List of Ferrari competition cars

The following is a complete list of racing cars manufactured by Ferrari.

Nardi (carmaker)

Officine Nardi was an Italian automobile and racing car maker, named for their creator.

Enrico Nardi was a racing mechanic, engineer, and driver who got his start with Lancia. He test drove the first car built by Auto Avio Costruzione in Modena, where many ex-Lancia colleagues joined him.In 1932, Nardi joined with Augusto Monaco to create the Nardi-Monaco Chichibio. It used an air-cooled 998 cc 61 c JAP of 65 bhp (48 kW), 10 bhp (7.5 kW) more than the 1750 cc (107 in3) Alfa Romeos of its competition, transversely mounted and coupled to a five-speed gearbox, but unusually, driving the front wheels. Weighing only

672 lb (305 kg), it proved capable of 180 km/h (110 mph). This was enough to win several Italian hillclimbs, including by Giulio Aymini in 1932.

Beginning in 1948, Nardi joined with and Renato Danese and established a workshop in Via Vincenzo Lancia, Torino, building racing cars, prototypes, and small-series special designs.

Vittorio Bellentani

Vittorio Bellentani (1906 – 26 March 1968) was an Italian automobile engineer and racing driver.



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