Ferrari: 1st model ever

Ferrari logo
Ferrari logo 1947
by Eligio Gerosa
Name: "Auto Avio Costruzioni 815"

Category: Cars

Subcategory: Sports car

Designers: Alberto Massimino, Vittorio Bellentani

Producer: Auto Avio Costruzioni (founded by Enzo Ferrari on September 1, 1939, the company name changed to Auto Costruzioni Ferrari in 1957)

Production start: 1940 - Modena, Italy

Features: The engine was largely based on the four-cylinder, 1.1 L engine of the 508 C Balilla 1100. 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. The engine was high-tech for the time, with a single overhead camshaft, two valves per cylinder, and a semi-dry sump lubrication system. Four Weber 30DR2 carburettors were specified for a total output of 75 hp (56 kW) at 5500 rpm. The 815 used a Fiat four-speed transmission with the Fiat gears replaced by gears made in-house by AAC. The transmission was integral to the engine block. 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. The bodywork was done by Carrozzeria Touring using Itallumag 35, an aluminium/magnesium alloy, and was done in long, flowing forms with integrated wings. The bodywork weighed 119 lb (54 kg). The complete car weighed 625 kg (1,378 lb) and attained a maximum speed close to 170 km/h (110 mph).

Interesting facts: The AAC 815 was designed and developed in 1940 at Auto Avio Costruzioni, the company founded by Enzo Ferrari. Although a contract clause restricted him from racing or designing cars for four years, Ferrari managed to manufacture two cars for the 1940 Mille Miglia; however, legal issues with former associates Alfa Romeo prevented Ferrari from creating the Ferrari marque. One of the cars was later scrapped, while the other is currently in a car collection in Italy. The designation "815" was based on the car's 8-cylinder, 1.5 L engine.

Quote (Enzo Ferrari): «Bad luck does not exist».

Property: Ferrari S.p.A.

Producer website:

AAC 815 - Front
AAC 815 - Side
AAC 815 - Front zoom
AAC 815 - Back zoom
AAC 815 - Back
AAC 815 - Engine
Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, the first car designed by Ferrari (1940)

Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 - Alberto Ascari
Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 - Lotario Rangoni Machiavelli
Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, the only two models with their respective owners: the Italian racing drivers Alberto Ascari (top) and Lotario Rangoni Machiavelli.

Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 - Mille Miglia (1940)
Auto Avio Costruzioni 815 at the Mille Miglia (April 28, 1940)

Enzo Ferrari
Enzo Anselmo Ferrari (Modena, February 18, 1898 - Maranello, August 14, 1988), motor racing driver, entrepreneur and founder of the Ferrari S.p.A.

Ferrari SF15-T
Ferrari advanced models (2015): the Formula One racing car model SF15-T, and the sport car model 488 GTB (official video)