The 1975 Ferrari 312 B3(T)

The 1975 Ferrari 312 B3(T)

THE 1975 version of the 312/1 (Boxer) fiat-12 cylinder Ferrari Grand Prix car has been one of the most successful cars to come from the Maranello stable of the Prancing Horse. While the general conception of the car follows previous practice, inasmuch as the flatz a cylinder engine is amidships and the monocoque chassis is of the bath-type, tapering towards the front, the 1975 cars were new designs, especially as regards details. The gearbox was moved from a position out the back of the car on the previous 3128 models, to a position between the engine and rear-axle centre-line, and the gearbox shafts were arranged to lie across the centre line of the car instead of the more normal position along the centre-line. This transverse gearbox layout was used in 1954 by Maserati on the 25oF and results in a very compact transmission, with bevel gears on

the input side and the final drive through spur gears. The 1975 Ferraris were known colloquially as Transversale. Although the cars looked superficially like the earlier models, at every point there was new design and a lot of new thinking by the Ferrari engineers. After a hesitant start in the South African GP, where Niki Lauda finished a poor fifth and Regazzoni retired with throttle linkage trouble, the cars got into their stride when Lauda won the non-Championship Daily Express international Trophy at Silverstone. From then on the T-series of 312B3 Ferraris set the pace throughout the season, with Lauda being nine times fastest overall in practice and winning five Grand Prix races. Regazzoni won one major Grand Prix and the small non-Championship Swiss Grand Prix and between them the two Ferrari drivers won

the Formula One Manufacturers' Championship for Enzo Ferrari. Throughout the season the two works driven have used a total of five cars between them, with countless engines and transmission aggregates. The engines were designed with a very limited life, the complete unit invariably being changed between practice and race, as was the gearbox and final drive, nothing being left to chance in the quest of victory. The horizontally-opposed 12-cylinder engine with two camshafts to each bank and fuel injection develops in the region of 475 b.h.p. at t 1,5oo r.p.m. and has a good torque range, while the weight distribution of the

complete car is very advantageous for the transmitting of the power to the road.

The road holding of the Transversale with its low Polar Moment of Inertia is very neutral and It was not the normal thing to see I,auda or Regazzoni with the tail hanging out in a poweroversteer stance. The cars could be driven through the corners with similar cornering forces being generated front and rear. lite accompanying cut-away drawing shows car number 112133/023, the fourth in the T-serics, and is the car Lauda used to win in Monaco, Belgium, Sweden and Watkins Glen in the United States. In the illustration can be seen the glass-fibre air ducts to the front brakes, Which feed air to the centre of the hub, from Where it is centrifuged radially through the drilled disc. The front hubs are mounted on very large diameter ball races on hollow stub axles

and the magnesium alloy wheels are located by pegs and retained by very large single nuts, tightened with a pneumatically ‘.;riven socket spanner. The front suspension is by fabricated steel rocker arms compressing an inboardmounted coil spring/damper unit and the base of this unit sits on an alloy casting bolted to the front bulkhead of the monocoque chassis. A very short anti-roll bar is located on this casting as well. In the sides of the monocoque chassis are the rubber-bag fuel tanks and at the forward end of this side member there is a water-radiator, one on each side. The water pipes from the engine to the radiator run along the top of the monocoque, inside the double skin of the cockpit surround and a sunken duct ahead of the cockpit feeds cooling air into this space. Engine oil radiators are located at the rear of the monocoque sides, lust ahead of the rear wheels. The gearbox has its own oiling system with a cooler incorporated in the support for the rear aerofoil; on this support can be seen the regulation red light, for use in bad weather conditions, and also the master-switch for the entire electrical system. Immediately behind the final-drive casing can be seen the t 2-volt battery. The transversely mounted gearbox between the engine and rear-axle centre-line is clearly

shown, with the inboard-mounted rear disc brakes and their glass-fibre cooling units. The air intake, above and behind the cockpit, divides inside to take air to the six gauze-covered intakes on each side of the engine. The exhaust pipes come out under the engine, feeding into megaphone tail pipes in groups of three. In the cockpit the small thick-rimmed steering wheel has an ignition cut-out switch on one of the spokes and the short stubby gear-lever on the right operates in a gear-gate of almost vintage conception, giving a very clear-cut and positive movement to the lever. Directly in front of the driver is the tachometer, indicating engine revolutions per minute, the dial being calibrated from 4,000 to 14,000 with numbers at every thousand.

Enzo Ferrari steadfastly maintains that as long as he lives his cars will be red (with splashes of white and yellow), and that they will never be painted like a packet of cigarettes or washing-up powder or contraceptives, or any other nonmotoring commodity. He is happy to let his cars carry advertising for Goodyear tyres and Agip petrol and oil, with smaller decals for other suppliers such as shock-absorbers and sparking plugs. D.S. .1.

Specifiation: Bore & Stroke: 80 x 49.6 mm. Capacity: 2991 c.c. Wheelbase: 2518 mm. Track front: 1510 mm. Track rear: 1530 mm.