The “Father of the Ferrari F40” leaves behind quite the legacy…
Italian automotive engineer and the so-called “Father of the Ferrari F40” has died at the ripe age of 83. He passed away on August 23, leaving behind a legacy which should live on, even if he’s not exactly a household name.
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To say Materazzi lived a good and highly influential life would be the ultimate understatement. Not only did the man head up the Ferrari F40 project, creating one of the greatest supercars ever, he helped develop the Ferrari 280 GTO, Lancia Stratos, and Bugatti EB110.
Materazzi’s career as an automotive engineer started with Lancia after he graduated from the University of Naples. During his tenure he helped create the Stratos, am amazing performance vehicle made from 1973 to 1978. The man assisted with building Group 4 and Group 5 rally racing versions of the car, which pushed the envelope with crazy turbocharged powertrains.
Ferrari realized Materazzi was a valuable asset, swooning him away from Lancia in the 1980s. At first the man was working on the Formula One Scuderia team while also helping develop several road cars. He worked on the 288 GTO, which originally was going to be a Group B racecar, but with the series suddenly cancelled by FIA had to repurpose it as a road-legal machine. Of course, his crowning achievement was working as chief engineer of the venerable F40, a development process over which Enzo himself was heavily involved.
From there, Materazzi went to Cagiva, an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, helping with tis motorsports program. But in short order he was scooped up by Romano Artioli to help with the Bugatti EB110. Thanks to the automaker’s financial troubles, the man wasn’t with Bugatti long.
Afterward, Materazzi went to B Engineering, which tried to use the EB110 chassis leftover from Bugatti’s bankruptcy to create the Edonis after the turn of the century. That project didn’t make it far. Still, the influence of Materazzi on the automotive industry will be felt for some time.
Image via Speed Digital