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Ferrari and Englebert - Why?

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#1 FerrariV12

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 15:20

I'll start off by saying I'm relatively new here, and a quick search of the BB didn't bring the exact answers I was looking for:)

Anyway, what is the story behind Ferrari constantly switching between Pirelli and Englebert tyres between 1950-54, and their eventual permanent switch in 1955?

Obviously Pirelli was an Italian manufacturer, and probably made the best tyres as well until Dunlop came good in 1958, so what is the logic behind Ferrari dabbling with inferior made tyres from a Belgian company? Especially in 1957 when Pirelli-shod Maserati and Vanwall handed Ferrari their arses quite comprehensively...

I'm especially interested in the constant swapping of suppliers 1950-54, because as well as confusing us F1 historians now (Forix and Pirelli's site both credit a number of Englebert-Ferrari wins to Pirelli), surely at the time this played havoc with the cars? I realise that car-tyre tolerances were probably a lot greater in those days than on a modern day Ferrari-Bridgestone "complete package", but I've heard a lot of problems that hit the Lancia-Ferraris (e.g. Monza '56) were due to the D50 being designed to run Pirellis when it was still a Lancia.

My point being that the 125, 375, 500, 625...surely would have been designed for a certain tyre, or would have at least suited one make better.

Did Enzo fall out with Pirelli or something? Or were Englebert offering heavy financial incentives to run their tyres? That's about the only thing I can think of!! :confused:

Any info much appreciated!


#2 ian senior

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 15:47

Weren't Englebert eventually taken over by Pirelli, therefore ending the story?

#3 Gary Davies

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 16:25

Originally posted by FerrariV12 Did Enzo fall out with Pirelli or something?

Yes! This thread covers the territory somewhat.

#4 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 17:00

There was also something written once about Ferrari, Englebert and some high placed Belgian customers at the time. Enzo may have swapped to Englebert for commercial reasons.

I have to look this up.

#5 Graham Gauld

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Posted 08 December 2004 - 17:54

Though I knew the Englebert competitions manager Maurice Ledard back in the mid 1950's we never went into any detail about the change but my belief is that Enzo Ferrari was told by Pirelli that the Corsa tyres were going to be supplied to the Alfa 158/159 cars only. But why the switch to Englebert I can only assume was that they were offered to him and presumably the price was right.


#6 Jack KdH

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 13:58

As far as I remember the Pirelli - Englebert story there was a problem indeed between Pirelli and Enzo.
Ecurie Francorchamps (Mr. Swaters) from Brussles, Ferrari driver/importer, offered help to Enzo with the Englebert tyres they used from time to time.
Rumors are that also the Belgian Royal family, important Ferrari customer, had some influence in the realization of the agreement between Ferrari and Englebert.

#7 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 December 2004 - 19:51

I don't think anybody has mentioned that Ferrari used Engleberts before the war.

Ater the war I understood that it was Pirelli's policy not to pay tems a retainer but to offer very good bonuses for a win. So it was good for the finances if you were winning but not otherwise. That may have had something to do with Ferrari's choice.