The 1950s have seen five times a Jaguar as the winner of the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, the last victory had been in ’57 with the D-Type. Of course, the company wanted to continue with this successful tradition and developed the E-Type, a sports car, which was available as coupe and convertible.

Jaguar E-Type

As the car was presented in ’61, Enzo Ferrari called it: “The most beautiful car ever made.”[1] As he was an engineer and not a designer, his quote was not only based on the car’s esthetics, but also on its concept and potential possibilities to win races. The E-Type not only got Enzo’s attention, further Ferrari’s sales manager Girolamo Gardini saw its presentation at the Geneva Motor Show and came to the same conclusions. Back in the Ferrari plant he convinced Enzo to develop a car, which would be able to compete with the new Jaguar and beat it on the track. The 250 GTO project was born. It not started under favorable star, as due to internal disagreements not only Gardini, but also the responsible engineers Giotto Bizzarrini and Carlo Chiti left the Ferrari Company. Luckily Enzo had talented and well-prepared younger engineers in the company, who got promoted and let the GTO to its later success.

Without the Jaguar E-Type, the Ferrari GTO maybe never existed. Enzo Ferrari was clear about his philosophy: “I don’t think there’s a car in the world that hasn’t yet been improved by competition, a car which hasn’t been influenced by others.” Even if he was never a political person, he supported the freedom of the market, as this guaranteed the competition between the companies. Due to this philosophy, he never asked for governmental protection for his company. He understood well the idea of market and the participants, as even if the market is free, the participants are not. Competition follows the rules of the “game theory”. Similar to a game of chess, every move a partner makes, provokes a counter-move by the other side.

Sources

[1] Curtis, Sean: “Jaguar E-Type”

Henz, Patrick (2016): “Business Philosophy according to Enzo Ferrari”

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