Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari died from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy 60 years ago. Alfredo Ferrari (1932-1956) was an Italian automotive engineer and the first son of automaker Enzo Ferrari. Alfredo was nicknamed Dino. He had Duchenne muscular dystrophy and died at the age of 24. After his death the Ferrari ‘Dino’ was fitted with the engine that Alfredo was working on and Enzo Ferrari named the car in honour of his son.
From an early age Enzo groomed Alfredo to be his successor. Alfredo studied economics in Bologna before moving to mechanical engineering in Switzerland. Over time, it became clear that something was wrong. Doctors had no idea what was afflicting him and he only managed to complete two years of his engineering education before returning to Modena.
In his short career at Ferrari, Alfredo was credited for the 750 Monza racing car and to a limited extent a 1.5-litre V6 that would later see action in Ferrari’s early Formula racers. Alfredo suggested to his father the development of a 1.5 L DOHC V6 engine for F2 at the end of 1955. Twelve years later, to honour his son, Enzo named the Dino series of road and racing Ferraris using this V-6 engine after him. Alfredo had Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In the final days of his life, while hospitalized, he discussed technical details of the 1.5-litre V6 with fellow engineer Vittorio Jano. Alfredo would never see the engine, he died in Modena on 30 June 1956 at the age of 24.
The death of Alfredo took a toll on his parents’ marriage. Enzo had another son, Piero, with another woman, Lina Lardi. As divorce was illegal in Italy until 1975, Piero was officially acknowledged as Enzo’s son after Laura died in 1978. Piero Ferrari is a 10% owner of the Ferrari company of which he is the vice chairman.
The Autodromo Dino Ferrari in Italy is also named in Alfredo’s honour, with his father’s name added after Enzo Ferrari’s death in 1988.
This weekend the Dino theme brings awareness to Duchenne muscular dystrophy through a display of Ferrari Dino’s at the Concours d'Elegance Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn (The Netherlands).
On Sunday July 3rd there shall be a special “Dino 60 years display” (parking area):
- Dino 206/246 GT and 246 GTS
- Ferrari 208 GT4 and 308 GT4
- Fiat Dino Coupé and Dino Spider
- Lancia Stratos