At the recent Siracusa Grand Prix the Scuderia Ferrari raced their 1964 Formula One cars for the first time, using the brand-new V8-cylinder car and the development of last year’s V6-cylinder car, the even newer 12-cylinder horizontally-opposed car having yet to make its debut. The general principles of the chassis design follow those introduced at Monza last year and raced successfully at Watkins Glen, Mexico, etc., but much re-designing has taken place. The chassis frame is composed of a cockpit section made from riveted sheet metal to form two stressed skin compartments containing rubber fuel tanks, with the driver reclining between them, as on the Lotus 25, but of much deeper section, and these are joined together by an undertray and bulkheads front and back. The front bulkhead contains the inboard-mounted coil-springs, the rack-and-pinion steering gear, and the pedal mechanism. Basically, on both the 6-cylinder and the 8-cylinder cars the engine/gearbox unit is attached to the bulkhead behind the driver, but instead of attaching the rear suspension and springs to the bell housing, as on the 1963 Monza cars, there is now a fabricated bulkhead surrounding the bell-housing and clutch assembly, and this is attached to the main chassis section by longerons running under the engine, so that the engine joins the top of this to the top of the centre bulkhead. The coil-springs and wishbones of the rear suspension are attached to this rear bulkhead, there being a low-mounted wishbone pivoted on the chassis at its apex, a short transverse top link and two radius arms on each side. The inboard-mounted front coil-springs are operated by rocker-arm top suspension arms as on Lotus and B.R.M. cars, and the inner portion of these arms is of very finely forged H-section. A wide-base lower wishbone is used on each side and the front uprights are castings which include the short forward-facing steering arms. Ferrari-built cast-alloy 5-spoke bolt-on wheels of 13 in. diameter are used all round, to take the latest pattern wide-tread Dunlop tyres, and the wheel and cast hub carriers, back and front, are painted duck-egg blue.
The two 6-cylinder cars at Siracusa were using 120-degree engines, with Bosch high-pressure fuel-injection, as last year injecting directly into the cylinders, the downdraught air intakes having horizontal slide throttles. Both were fitted with the latest 5-speed gearbox, projecting out of the back of the car, and now with the clutch and flywheel in the orthodox position between the engine and gearbox, and not exposed behind the gearbox as used on the earlier V6-cylinder cars before Monza last year. On the spare V6 which Surtees only used for the second practice, a new system of transistor ignition by Magneti-Marelli was being used, the other car using Bosch coil ignition.
The 8-cylinder car was so brand new that it was still being finished late on the Tuesday night before the race and had to set off in the transporter on the long drive down to Sicily without being given any testing. Even on the morning of the first practice it was still not complete, and Surtees himself was seen helping with the painting of the sketchy bodywork, the portion over the engine being only temporary. The chassis follows the lines of the 6-cylinder cars but is quite a lot narrower, and whereas on the V6 cars the driver’s seat is actually an aluminium fuel tank, on the V8 all the fuel is in the side caissons. There are minor differences in the suspension of the V8, notably in the attaching of the front rocker-arm members, and the Koni coil-spring/damper units have external adjusters. The V8-cylinder engine first appeared in testing for Monza 1963 but since then has undergone a major re-design, notably in the cylinder head, for now the inlet ports enter the cylinder heads between the two camshafts, down amongst the twin sparking plugs per cylinder. Horizontal slide throttles are used on these inlet pipes, pulled rearwards by a linkage system coupled to the throttle pedal and the Bosch high-pressure fuel-injection unit that fills the vee between the cylinder heads. The injectors screw into the cylinder block and inject directly into the cylinders near the top of the piston stroke. The injection pump unit is driven by an exposed internally-toothed rubber belt from a pulley on the rear of the right-hand bank inlet camshaft. Ignition is by Bosch with coils mounted on top of the engine. The exhaust ports are on the outside of the cylinder heads and each set of four pipes merges into a long tail-pipe with slender megaphone end. Power outputs for this engine naturally vary but it is reasonable to expect in excess of 200 b.h.p., and even 210 b.h.p., while maximum power is developed at 11,000 r.p.m. After the Siracusa race the tell-tale needle on the V8 was well past 12,000 r.p.m., while that on Bandini’s V6 was just under 12,000 r.p.m.—D. S. J.