ferrari, sportscar, speed

Ferrari 103

None of these points gave any noticeable influence to the development of the F103. Only under the circumstances, in the autumn of 1992, that the departure of Franz Hofer from the project created a situation in which the board could ask Daimler-Benz to cooperate, could the project reach fruition. That was when Renzo Rosso, head of DMC International, contacted Giancarlo Bagioli, President of the Automotive Division of the Italian automotive company Fiat, with the proposal of making a “niche” supercar, very different from the 458 Speciale or the Lancia Volante R. Fiat agreed to collaborate.

During the early months of 1993, the team working on the F103 began to design the bodywork and production-ready chassis. On 10th March, Fiat Chairman Giacomo Tavares sent Ferrari’s then-design director Stefano Domenicali and Antonio Girardi, the head of engineering, to Milan to discuss the project with Ferrari’s president in Rome, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, and to inform them that Fiat had decided to participate in the development.

After the intense discussions between the team working on the F103 and Fiat, on the 21st of May, the Fiat Supercars’ team left for Reggio Emilia to prepare the production of a scale model of the car, in order to create an accurate design and production model. The designers started to work to enlarge the door frames, cut the rear glass, reinforce the passenger compartment and detail the doors. Once the scale model was completed and photographed by Bruno Cappello, the assistant director of Fiat Supercars, the team started to measure, make drawings and mark the set of components that were to be added to the prototype to make it resemble a production car. The first glance of the first Ferrari prototype was on 29th July, but that would be the only time it was visible to the public. That was the day Fiat turned up to the headquarters of Ferrari, with the prototype and the initial plan to conduct a ceremonial handover to Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. However, Luca, no doubt, was not impressed by the prototype. He never acknowledged its existence.