“The saga of Enzo Ferrari’s wartime double-game, keeping the Nazis guessing, and his undercover secret missions. This is about history, mystery, at least two brutal murders, a wartime romance and the desirable high-performance automobiles from Italy. Linking them all is Enzo Ferrari’s determination and skills, his tenacity and his high risk role-playing under pressure.
The dangerous secret role was a gamble which enabled his company to grow and, after the war, make global automotive and motorsport history. This book will change perceptions of the Ferrari story. The company’s growth over more than half a century is linked to five years of war and Enzo Ferrari’s secret life. Also revealed is the involvement of New Zealand soldiers fighting in Italy, their role in the Ferrari story, and Ferrari’s impact on New Zealand motorsport after the war.
The intriguing story of a motoring legend’s hidden life emerges after decades of silence. His double-game deception remained undiscovered by both Nazis and Fascists during the last years of World War Two and many details of his undercover existence appear for the first time.
The risks were huge as Ferrari’s factory workers and Partisans operated at night, manufacturing and repairing weapons for Italy’s Resistance fighters. While Ferrari was outwardly cooperating with the German Army and the Fascists, he was secretly assisting both Communist and Partisan guerilla units and also undertaking covert assignments. One of these dangerous missions required him to smuggle a senior political official out of Modena to safety, avoiding roadblocks and a probable firing squad if they had been discovered.
Ferrari called this time “Judgment by Gunshot” after his former boss was machine-gunned in the street and, only weeks later, a business partner and close friend was kidnapped – and never seen again. Alarmed by these executions, Ferrari realised he could be next. His survival during those violent years allowed him to develop the business he created during the war into an automotive success – and to achieve global motorsport history. The growth of his company also involved a small number of other charismatic, high-achieving individuals. These included Colombo, Chinetti, Pininfarina, Scaglietti and also Pat Hoare, a little-known New Zealand soldier serving in Italy. Hoare’s actions probably saved a key engineer’s life and helped shape the Ferrari company’s future. This is the story of those individuals and one attractive young woman.
The book also describes the resulting Italian influence, anecdotes and memories from New Zealand motorsport during the postwar years. This followed Pat Hoare’s return from Italy and what Enzo Ferrari’s considered was the personal debt he owed to New Zealand.