Ultimately it was the sound. Higher rpm delivered smoothly thanks to smaller, lighter reciprocating parts and an even firing order, plus the cachet of costly complexity, added to its appeal. But only when trusted engineering lieutenant Luigi Bazzi roared off did Enzo Ferrari break into a smile.
Just prior to holing his driving career by slinking from the 1924 French Grand Prix, Enzo was beguiled by Delage’s groundbreaking 2-litre; and though no match for the supercharged straight-eight Alfa Romeo P2 that he was meant to drive, that ‘song’ never left him.
Now, 23 years later, he had a V12 of his own. That it sat in a rudimentary chassis sans bodywork was of no importance. Only that beating heart mattered. With a chirrup on the cold cobbles of Maranello’s courtyard, he accelerated along the three-mile straight to Formigine, as his small team held its breath.