Gioacchino Colombo started even during the First World War with 14 years training as an engineer and a draftsman with Franco Tosi, who ran a small engineering office near Milan. Colombo made to drawings of motors and won the mid- 1920s, a design competition, the Nicola Romeo had donated. This success earned him a job with Alfa Romeo and he was an employee of Vittorio Jano. Together they developed the Alfa Romeo P2. In 1928, Colombo, head of the character and design department of Alfa Romeo. His most important task was to give the ideas of Jano a face.
When in 1933 the Scuderia Ferrari took over the racing activities of Alfa Romeo, Colombo became the technical liaison between the parent plant and the Scuderia. In this role he was responsible for the development and construction of the Alfa Romeo Monoposto racing cars of the 1930 's.
After the Second World War changed all Colombo to Ferrari. His first major work of Enzo Ferrari was one of his most important. He constructed the 1.5 -liter V12 engine, which became known as the Colombo engine in the history and served as the basis for the following higher-displacement engines, the long arrived in the sports car of Ferrari for over 15 years for use. Also in Formula 1 racing cars of the Scuderia, the unit should be used at first test drives the motor for this vehicle form but proved to be unsuitable. As Aurelio Lampredi designed a Formula 1 engine, Colombo left Ferrari and returned to Alfa Romeo. As technical director, he was responsible for the 1950 and 1951 World Cup successes of Giuseppe Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio.