Events of the Month
Daytona 500 Rarely does the Daytona 500 provide much in the way of predictions about…
A complex man, few were ever allowed much more than a glimpse into the inner persona of the enigmatic Enzo Ferrari. But to understand his character properly, it is rarely necessary to look further than the nosecone of one his cars, and essentially from behind the steering wheel. For Ferrari the car was and remains Ferrari the man.
An automotive legend both enjoyed and burdened by the evocative Cavallino emblem, Enzo Ferrari was famous as a custodian of every human emotion, most being usually expressed in the stereotypical Italian manner. An incurable polemicist who really enjoyed the art of-agitation — his relationship with the world’s press proved a perpetually turbulent affair — his zest for producing fast, beautiful motor cars, whether for road or track, never left him for a minute.
A man of extremes, who in contrast with the extravagance of his cars led a frugal life, Enzo Ferrari never took holidays, ate and drank modestly and spent most of his time in his Maranello office, where he protected the dynasty he created with the resolve of a totalitarian dictator, relentlessly pursuing anyone, anywhere — through courts of law if necessary — who sought to misuse his name.
Fiery, temperamental, stunning, all-conquering, selfish, long-lived, peerlessly charismatic — all adjectives which apply equally to both the man and his machines. The cars are an inherent extension of Ferrari’s personality, his alter ego, the metallic part of his metabolism. And there is little doubt that the cars, like their creator, have caused more heartache and soul-searching than almost anything or anyone else in the automotive world.
The sheer beauty of the cars — many are considered to be works of art rather than craft — has influenced generations of designers, and continues to fire the imagination of old and young alike, remaining a benchmark by which aesthetic automotive appeal is measured. Among motoring and motor racing enthusiasts, Ferrari ownership is a powerful ambition and one that eludes most of us; but for the lucky few it provides an unimpeded route to the ultimate driving experience. Or, for those who don’t enjoy driving, a thing of tangible beauty that lasts for ever, to be viewed as an icon, the very pinnacle of the motor manufacturer’s art. This is simply because all Ferraris are great; not all were good — far from it — but all are truly magnificent in one way or another.
What follows, therefore, is a selective guide to the classic Grand Prix, sports racing and road cars, products of Maranello magic spanning nearly half a century. Lack of space precludes the inclusion of every model and variant, but it is hoped that many of those featured will recapture the golden days of Ferrari, which remains so clearly printed on the memories of fully paid-up members of the fibs/ the world over.
At present, Maranello’s Grand Prix effort, spear-headed by Michael Schumacher, has come under severe attack for a run of unfathomable mechanical failures, despite consistently out qualifying every team on the grid except Williams. This criticism, however superficially irrational, is perfectly understandable; the Ferrari name means so much to so many, that the only acceptable position of the car that carries the number one, is at the front — winning. And winning is, above all else, what the Ferrari name stands for.
Third place in the Turin GP on its first outing with Sommer driving set the scene for future Ferrari success. The Colombo-designed V12 1.5litre supercharged engine had a chain-driven single OHC and was reasonably reliable to 7500rpm. The bodywork, above, was uncharacteristically ugly, but Farina scored the new car’s first victory at Garda on its second outing. The 125s were developed throughout 1949, highlight of the season being Ascari’s win at the Silverstone Daily Express meeting, right
4.5-litre V12 (1950)
Debuted at the Italian GP where Ascari finished second, the unsupercharged V12 effectively ended the GP supremacy of the supercharged Alfas. Producing 330bhp — raised to 370bhp with twin ignition — these cars were fast and reliable, but it wasn’t until 1951 that they really showed their pace, Ascari winning the British, German and Italian GPs and finishing second in the Driver’s Championship to Fangio in the Alfa. Alfa then withdrew from racing, and the GP rules changed for 1952 in favour of F2 cars.
F2 500 (1952)
A switch from 12 cylinders to a 2-litre four-pot for the F2 ‘GP Championship paid dividends. A relatively simple car that was light, gave good fuel consumption (12mpg), and excellent handling helped Ascari to victory in the Drivers’ Championship with six wins. Ferrari won every Championship round except Indianapolis. And it was the same in 1953 with this car, Ascari winning five GPs, the only non-Ferrari victories of the season being Indianapolis again and Monza, where Fangio won in a Maserati.
The first ‘spaceframe Ferrari, nicknamed the Squalo (Shark) because of its wide, pannier carrying body. A Lampredi-designed 2-litre fourcylinder engine (later increased to 2.5-litres), was fitted in a neat overall package, but most drivers preferred the earlier car, as the Squalo was far from reliable. Two Ferrari victories in 1954 were the British GP (Gonzalez) and the Spanish GP (Hawthorn),
Similar to the 1953 two-litre car, the 625 was prepared for the new 2 1/2-litre Formula of 1954. On Weber 50 DCOA3 carbs, it produced up to 250bhp, but it wasn’t sufficient to keep pace with Mercedes-Benz or Maserati who were dominant throughout the season.
555 Supersqualo (1955)
A modified Squalo with a new chassis frame that continued with pannier fuel tanks but much lower bodywork up front. Farina, Taruffi, Schell, Trintignant and Ferere expressed doubts about the car, Farina preferring the aged 625. Trintignant won at Monaco — the only nonMercedes victory of the season — but it was an otherwise barren year for Uncle Enzo’s Grand Prix team.
Lancia’s ailing fortunes saw Ferrari running the beautiful D50s at the end of 1955 in practice for Monza. The Supersqualo came good towards the end of that season, but it was too late; so for 1956 Enzo concentrated the team’s efforts on the V8-engined Lancia-designed cars, which carried Prancing Horse badges. The Jano 2 1/2-litre V8 was a gem and the bodywork handsome — another car with unusual side-mounted fuel tanks. The handling, however, was said by some to be tricky, but Ferrari’s masterstroke for 1956 was in employing Fangio as Squadron Leader after Mercedes withdrew at the end of 1955. The maestro won three championship rounds and clinched his fourth driver’s title.
Lancia-Ferrari 801 (1957)
The Lancia was redesigned with a stronger chassis, tail-mounted fuel tank and a variety of spec changes for Hawthorn and Collins including rear swing-axles and De Dion tubes. Bodywork was also revised and resembled earlier Ferraris more closely. Ferrari had a mixed season with the 801 as it was no great improvement on the 1956 version. Despite the talent of the British drivers, Fangio had joined Maserati and it showed, the Argentine genius scoring four wins and his fifth Drivers’ Championship. For the last race at Casablanca, Ferrari appeared with the V6 Dino, signalling the end for the V8-engined cars.
A new spaceframe chassis. Chiti-designed 180bhp V6 1.5-litre and a slim, ultra-smooth body were combined to produce a winner for 1961, not to mention a strong driver line-up which included Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and ‘Taffy’ von Trips. The ‘shark-nose’ car as it was dubbed also happened to be exceptionally beautiful, even by Ferrari standards. Around Monaco, the car proved inferior to Moss in Rob Walker’s Lotus (the Englishman’s greatest drive?) but, after the tragic death of von Trips at Monza, Phil Hill clinched the Drivers’ Championship and Ferrari convincingly took the Constructors’ title with five victories.
Apart from a new 6-speed gearbox, the 156 was almost unaltered for the 1962 season, and a number of drivers all had a go including Phil Hill, Bandini, Baghetti, Mairesse and Rodriguez. But the biggest problem for the team was Sir Alfred Owen’s threat to pull the financial plug on BRM if the British company’s dismal performances of the previous years continued. This was a powerful incentive and Graham Hill saved the day for BRM by duly winning his and BRM’s first championship.
Ferrari built Dinos (so called in memory of his son) in F1 and F2 guises with 2 1/2-litre and 1 1/2-litre V6 engines respectively. In many ways they were fabulous archetypal Fifties singleseaters — seductively beautiful, fast and well engineered — but Tony Vandervell, who hated Enzo’s “bloody red cars”, had got his Vanwalls working properly at last and Moss and Brooks gave the Ferrari drivers a hard time. The Drivers’ Championship, which was ultimately between Moss (Vanwall) and Hawthorn (Dino) went to the wire, the outcome depending upon the last race of the season at Casablanca. Moss won, but Hawthorn finished second, sufficient for the dashing Hawthorn to clinch the title by just one point from Stirling.
A more efficient exhaust system, revised bodywork by Fantuzzi, all-round Dunlop disc brakes and rear coil springs with Koni shocks all improved the Dino, but to no avail, as it was obvious from Jack Brabham’s performance in the little mid-engined Cooper that the writing was on the wall for the front-engined dinosaurs, Brooks won for Ferrari at the fast circuits of Reims and Avus, but superior power alone was not sufficient to stave off the British cars elsewhere.
As Ferrari didn’t really imagine that the future lay in mid-engined cars, the team stayed with the Dino for the final year of the 2 1/2-litre Formula. The rear suspension was modified from De Dion to wishbones but little else was revised and the Scuderia had a predictably miserable season, with just one win in the form of Phil Hill’s victory at Monza. Dinos were the glorious, glamorous Ferraris but, happily for Enzo, a new era was about to dawn…
A new car, a new driver in the form of brilliant Big John Surtees; and a new threat. . . the Lotus 25 monocoque car. Despite suspension modifications, a more compact chassis frame, Bosch high-pressure fuel injection and bodywork revisions, this was to be Jim Clark and Colin Chapman’s year with a car that took GP technology several steps further. Best result of the season was Surtees’ win at the Nurburgring, but Lotus won 7 out of the 10 rounds.
A switch from six to eight cylinders and from spaceframe to semi-monocoque was a smart move, as was the retention of John Surtees’ services, the ex-motorcycle champion winning the Drivers’ title from Graham Hill in the BRM by just one point. And this despite three victories from Clark (Lotus) and two apiece for Hill and Surtees. With 210bhp at 11,000rpm, the 158 had a choice of five-, six-, or seven-speed gearboxes but Ferrari also had a flat-12 engine in the wings.
Not a good year for the tifosi as the V8 wasn’t sufficiently powerful and the flat-12 in Bandini’s hands wasn’t a great deal better. Surtees was injured in a Can-Am accident in Canada, which didn’t help matters, and Jimmy Clark wrapped the Championship up with six outright victories in the Lotus. No Ferrari victories in 1965, and the team wound up fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, an ignominious end to the 1 1/2-litre Formula for Enzo.
312 V12 (1966)
A new semi-rnonocoque and a Forghieri-designed 60-degree V12 developing 360bhp at 10,000rpm for the new three-litre Formula. The original two-valve cylinder heads were eventually developed into three and four-valvers. Surtees and Bandini made for a strong driver line-up, but this was an era in which British “kit-cars would dominate GP racing for a very long time. Best result was Scarfiotti’s victory In the Italian GP.
312 V12 (1967)
A sour year for the Scuderia. Surtees had left for Honda and relatively minor modifications to the cars did little to improve their performance. Results didn’t come and poor Bandini perished after a fiery accident at Monaco, Chris Amon’s fine third place in this event being virtually forgotten today. A pretty Ferrari but not good enough against the Brabhams and Lotuses, Hulme taking the Championship in the Brab.
312 V12 (1968)
The year in which new-fangled devices called aerofoils were fitted, and they worked too as drivers suddenly found hitherto unknown levels of grip and stability. Forghieri experimented with different positions for the rear wings throughout the season but 1968 was another unsuccessful year for Ferrari. Despite employing the services of the Belgian genius Jacky Ickx, who scored the only victory of the season at the French GP, the Scuderia finished fourth in the Constructors Championship.
312 V12 (1969)
One of Ferrari’s worst ever seasons; now at the end of its development, the V12 became unreliable and even when the cars were actually going they were well off the pace. The great Italian team was made to look like an ‘also-ran’ as the Cosworth-powered cars got better and better. Best result for Ferrari was Pedro Rodriguez’s fifith place in the US GP. Enough said.
A wholly new car, right, with a brand new 12-cylinder ‘boxer’ engine developing 480bhp at 11,500rpm, and Jacky lckx, reinstated as number-one driver after a season with Brabham, saw Ferrari’s fortunes change dramatically. lckx won three and Regga won one GP, finishing second and third respectively in the Championship to Rindt’s posthumous victory. The new 312 was a great car, and. along with Dan Gurney’s Eagle, was arguably one of the best looking of the 3-litre Formula.
Modified suspension, inboard rear brakes and a new wedge-shaped body, right, (a la Lotus 72), and a good start to the season with victory for number-three driver Andretti in the South African GP, Ferrari’s 50th F1 win. And a further victory for lckx at Zandvoort. But Uncle Ken Tyrrell’s kit-car proved too much for everyone except Jackie Stewart, who took six victories and the Championship. A good year for Ferrari nevertheless.
A revised car with a longer wheelbase, suspension changes and more power — 480bhp at 12,500rpm — but it was all to little avail. Not even the natural talent of Jacky lckx (the world’s best ever all-round racing driver?) and the ever-determined Regazzoni could do much about the season-long Lotus/Tyrrell battle, lckx, however, set pole at the Nurburgring and showed his true skill on the demanding track by scoring the team’s only Championship win of the season.
A brand new design, above, and Ferrari’s first true monocoque chassis, which debuted at the fourth round in Spain fitted with a 485bhp version of the 12-cylinder boxer engine. A 312B3S version with a different shape to the monocoque appeared in time for Austria, but neither version was competitive even in lckx’s hands. A miserable year in which lckx became a freelance driver and temporarily switched to McLaren for the German GP where he finished third.
Further development included a revised monocoque, the driver located further forward, suspension changes and almost 500bhp from the flat-12. But it was Luca di Montezemolo and Niki Lauda who made the big difference to Ferrari’s fortunes. The new car debuted in Spain where Lauda won. He also won the Dutch, and Regga, who finished second in the drivers’ championship, bagged the German GP. The ‘big time was returning.
The great days of Ferrari were back and they were exciting days too. A new car with a transverse gearbox to help concentrate mass between the wheelbase, revised suspension and bodywork and a most determined, plain-speaking Austrian in the number one tub with Regga in the other. Six victories (Lauda 5, Regga 1) was good enough for the Austrian’s first championship title and a return of the constructors’ trophy to Modena.
A narrower car with attractive ‘nostril air intakes at the front of the cockpit to replace the large airbox behind the driver’s head, the ’76 car was extremely pretty and effective. Lauda won the opening two rounds (Brazil and South Africa), Regga taking the third at Long Beach. Niki went on to win three more rounds before the Nurburgring crash which so very nearly claimed his life. A year of controversy and a championship win for James Hunt in the McLaren, but Ferrari retained the constructors’ pot. Lauda would return. . .
… and with a vengeance! Not that Ferrari had things all its own way. Opposition from Scheckter (Wolf), Andretti (Lotus), and Hunt (McLaren) was always lurking. Lauda won three rounds (South Africa, Germany and Holland), and took the drivers’ title which, with Reutemann’s win in Brazil, also gave Ferrari the constructors’ championship… yet again.
Apart from Jody Scheckter’s Championship victory in the T4 Ferrari in 1979, Ferrari’s future years would be lean indeed, despite the genius and charisma of Villeneuve (Snr), supreme talent of Alain Prost, dogged determination of ‘our Nige’ and more recently, the extraordinary talent of Michael Schumacher. But be assured, it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens and the Scarlet Ferraris (as Murray Walker loves to call them) are back on top.
The Sports Racing Cars
Bored out to two litres (166cc per cylinder), the 166’s engine was initially placed in the 125’s chassis, and then on a shorter chassis, which was used in conjunction with a variety of power units. Bodies had cycle wings but some were converted to ‘full-width’ bodies. A very successful little car, its most notable victory was on the 1948 Mille Miglia in the hands of Biondetti/Navone.
The first V12 displaced just 1498cc, gave 118bhp at 6500rpm and scored seven wins in Italian events in its first season. A tubular steel chassis formed the basis, front suspension was independent by double wishbones and transverse leaf spring, the rear by semi-elliptic leaf springs and the two-seater bodywork was painted red and as ugly as sin. But it was from this car that future legends grew.
More power and further victories including the Le Mans 24 Hours, Spa 24 Hours, Taiga Florio/Tour of Sicily and the Mille Miglia. Barchetta-bodied cars were beautiful –just one reason why they still command high prices today — and monotonously successful. Developed into the 2.3-litre 195 Sport with 180bhp, but few examples were built and the car wasn’t a great success.
212 Sport (1951)
Similar to previous cars but with a 2.6-litre engine developing 150bhp. Modifications were under-the-skin and included different gearing and a smaller fuel tank. In 212 Inter guise with revised bodywork and rear suspension, Taruffi and Chinetti won the 1951 Mexican road race at the spritely average speed of 88mph.
225 Sport (1952)
Engine capacity was again increased (up to 2.7 litres) and, with triple 36 DCF Webers, there was a respectable 210bhp on tap. A team of three 2.7-litre cars was entered for the ‘Targa Florio’ along with a new 3-litre engined car (a bored out 2.7-litre). And it was Bracco’s legendary outing with the latter that made the headlines as he thrashed the well-rehearsed Mercedes assault on the race. Five 2.7-litre cars were also entered for the GP of Monaco and filled the first five places when the chequered flag fell. Quite a car.
250 Sport/250MM (1953)
Fitted with the 3-litre V12 engine developing 250bhp on three 36DCF Webers, the Sport was eventually modified with different carbs, revised front suspension, a four-speed ‘box instead of the previous five-speeder and was called the 250 Mille Miglia after Bracco’s victory in the prototype coupe. The 250MM had coupe bodies by Pininfarina and Spider bodies by Vignale. A successful car in Europe and America.
375 Mille Miglia (1953)
Similar to the 340MM in most respects, except fitted with the 4.5-litre engine developing around 340bhp. Vignale made the first body with Pininfarina taking over thereafter. A hugely successful car and a very driveable machine, notable wins included the Spa 24 Hours and Pescara 12 Hours.
375 Plus (1954)
A 4.9-litre V12 with 345bhp and a De Dion rear axle. Three 4.9-litres were entered for Le Mans and went immediately to the fore with the Jaguars in hot pursuit. The Gonzalez/Trintignant car emerged victorious making it a truly ‘golden’ year for Ferrari with the Nurburgring, Buenos Aires and Agadir also under its belt. However, it was Le Mans that proved the sweetest win as the Scuderia had been beaten by Talbot, Jaguar and Mercedes since 1950.
340 Mille Miglia (1953)
The big 4.1-litre car built tor the 1953 Mille Miglia with Touring bodies for the factory cars and Vignale bodies for private customers. Pininfarina also produced a coupe for Le Mans. With 300bhp, these monsters were fast and furious, Giannino Mazotto winning the 1953 Mille Miglia with a Vignale-bodied car. Otherwise, successes were few as the 340 was a difficult car to master.
750 Monza (1954)
The most successful of the ‘alternative’ fourcylinder Ferraris, the 3-litre 250bhp Monza debuted in 1954 at Monza, where it won. Similar to the 500 Mondial, four-cylinder Ferraris enjoyed a long career with many victories to their credit including Marrakech, Imola and the GP Supercorternaggiore, not forgetting the 1956 World Manufacturers’ Championship.
290Mille Miglia (1956)
As Mercedes had interrupted Ferrari’s supremacy in the World Manufacturers’ Championship in 1955, Enzo brought out the 3.5-litre 320bhp V12 290 and later the 315 (3.7litre) and 335 (4-litre). The 290 basically replaced the 860 four-cylinder Monza and was successful straight out of the bag, with Castellotti winning the Mille Miglia and a number of other top events. Taruffi also won the 1957 Mille Miglia, an event marred by the death of de Portago in the 335 Sport, which brought the great race to an end.
Dino 206 (1958)
Although the TR formed the mainstay of the factory’s efforts in 1958, the 206 (based on the F2 car) appeared with a V6 2-litre engine developing around 225bhp. Peter Collins won with this car at Goodwood on the car’s debut. A further Dino, the 296, was also raced in 1958 at Silverstone, where Hawthorn brought it home in third place. Dinos were also raced during 1959.
A fresh design and Ferrari’s second car to have the engine — a 2.4-litre V6 developing 275bhp — positioned behind the driver. The chassis was the familiar tubular framework and there was all-round independent suspension. The 246 was run concurrently with the Testa Rossa, but results were comparatively poor in 1961, the highlight of the SP’s career coming in 1962 with victory on the Targa Florio. A V8 248 also appeared in 1962.
The last front-engined Ferrari racer, which came into being as a result of a rule change allowing GT cars into the World Championship. There were 3 and 4-litre V 12s in three body styles, the original Pininfarina-designed, Scaglietti bodied car forming what many regard as the most beautiful Ferrari ever. And it was one of the most successful, notching up dozens of victories and three manufacturers’ championships on the trot. A legendary motor car, and one that regularly appears at historic events today, despite airliner values, exorbitant running and restoration costs and crowds of adoring fans. The definitive classic GT?
Ferrari also ran prototype sports cars through 1962 including the 246SP, 248SP, 330GT and the experimental 4-litre car in which Hill/Gendebien won Le Mans.
Two new cars, the rear-engined three-litre V12 and the 4-litre 330LMB GT coupe. A good start to the season at Sebring saw Ferraris in the top six places, Surtees/Scarfiotti winning in the 250P. Surtees made a repeat victory at Nurburgring and Scarfiotti/Bandini won at Le Mans. This was a golden period for Ferrari, the glorious red cars making sonorous tones and scoring victories on both sides of the Atlantic with regular monotony. Enzo was on top, and a certain Henry didn’t like it. . .
The ‘tin-top’ version of the 250P with the 300bhp 3.3-litre V12, gorgeous Pininfanna bodywork and a shroud of controversy over homologation which ensured a long and distinguished career without a single works entry ever being made. The 250LM’s greatest victory came at Le Mans in 1965 with Rindt/Gregory at the wheel, despite considerably more powerful opposition from Ferrari prototypes and Fords. A car that never outstayed its welcome, soldiering on in private hands until the late 1960s.
Enzo’s new prototype sports cars with a 4-litre for the 330 and the 3.3-litre in the 275, both types with revised, more aerodynamically efficient bodywork. Mike Parkes won the season opener at Sebring in the 330, Scarfiotti cleaned up in the 275 at Nurburgring and Guichet/ Vaccarella won at Le Mans. It was another super season’s racing from Ferrari, but Ford was about to spend megabucks to change the tables.
Another beautiful Ferrari sports prototype with a multi-tube chassis, but with alloy panels riveted directly to it. New four-cam engines were built in 3.3-litre and 4-litre guises and fitted to the 275P2 and 330P2 respectively. Ford won the opening round of the new season at Daytona as the Ferraris experienced a number of problems. . . The writing was on the wall. Honour was saved on the Targa Florio with a win by Vaccarella, Le Mans went to the 250LM and Nurburgring went to Surtees/Scarfiotti in the 4-litre car.
A sensational new body by Drogo and a new, lightened fuel-injected version of the 420bhp 4-litre engine instead of the 5-litre that had been expected. Ferrari also had the delightful new 2-litre V6 206S for selected events. The P3 debuted at Sebring in the hands of Parkes and Bondurant and proved quick. But Gurney’s Ford was quicker, and the Ferrari eventually retired with a broken gearbox. Surtees/Parkes won at Monza, Porsche took the Targa and Le Mans was a walkover, at last, for the big Fords. The winning McLaren/Amon Ford effectively ended the Cornmendatore’s long held domination over the sport. Not that the old man was about to give up, of course.
Ferrari took the year off in response to a rule change which limited prototypes to a maximum 3-litre capacity.
Another wickedly exciting and beautiful racer, which was mechanically similar to Ferrari’s 3-litre GP machines. But 1969 turned out to be a dismal year for Ferrari and, at the end of the season, the results table made depressing reading for the tifosi. The season opener at Daytona was won by a Lola and Sebring was won by Ford; for the other eight rounds it was Porsche all the way, the Stuttgart concern winding up the constructors’ championship a full 15 points ahead of nearest contenders Ford.
A brand new 4-litre V12 developing 450bhp on Lucas fuel injection and a new semi-monocoque construction chassis with a slightly revised body, which gave the world a breathtakingly beautiful car and, arguably, Ferrari’s best-looking mid-engined sports car. P4s filled the first three places in the season opener at Daytona, which was encouraging, but the ‘big one’, Le Mans, went to Ford again, the Gurney/Foyt 7-litre demolishing everything in its wake. The Targa fell to Porsche and Brands Hatch was won by a Chaparral but, despite the upsets, Ferrari won the constructors’ championship. . . by just one point.
A’big banger’ for the new season with a 5-litre V12 developing 550bhp at 8500rpm, and a body that neither looked right nor was right from an aerodynamic point of view. But the biggest threat to the team wasn’t from poor drag figures, but from Stuttgart, where Porsche had almost perfected their totally outrageous, fabulous 917. The Rodriguez Porsche won the opening round at Daytona while the Andretti/Vaccarella/Giunti 512 took the second round at Sebring, but from then on Porsche had it all its own way. Le Mans proved to be farce of the year for Ferrari with four cars eliminated in one incident and lckx spinning out in another. Not a good year.
Enzo was right. The 512S was: “An absurdity demanded by anachronistic international regulations,” so the team ditched it and concentrated on the new 312P, which was fitted with the beautiful 3-litre flat-12 developing 440bhp. The chassis was a conventional tubular spaceframe with alloy panels riveted to it. The factory continued to support privately-entered 512s, but the 312P debuted at Sebring and led before retiring. The car proved to be fast but fragile in another season dominated by Porsche.
After a winter of development Ferrari’s fortunes changed dramatically. It was a brilliant year with Ferrari winning every race except Le Mans, which fell to the Matra-Simca of Hill/Pescarolo. The brilliant Jacky lckx was in the winning 312 on no fewer than six occasions during the year, which partially made up for his frustration with the GP cars.
A treat for sports car fans, the 1973 season involved a year-long battle between the revised 312P (longer wheelbase and an increase in power to 460bhp), and the ultra-competitive Matra-Simcas. It was a battle that Enzo eventually lost, but not before a glorious win at Monza — the Ferrari highlight — for Ickx/Redman, who swapped the lead several times with the Matras until the French cars developed mechanical problems. As a bonus the Reutemann/Schenken Ferrari placed second. Matra finished the season with 124 points to Ferrari’s 115.
The serious business of sports car racing was put on the back-burner while the factory’s efforts were concentrated on the GP programme, and the Ferrari flag was flown in major events by privateers with lightweight, modified versions of the Daytona road car. With their 4.4-litre V12 engines, Daytonas were powerful sloggers and put up creditable performances, the Grandet/Bardini car finishing fifth overall at Le Mans 1974. Daytonas finished 13th and 14th at Le Mans the following year, and continued to be used, mostly for fun, through to 1978.
Boxer Berlinetta (1977)
The raucous mid-engined supercar that made a greater impression in road trim than it did when prepared for racing, the NART entered team car of Migault/Guitteny finishing in an ignominious 16th place at Le Mans in 1977 and a similar car finishing in the same position a year later in the French classic. Five Boxers ran at Le Mans in 1979 with highly modified bodywork, but the effort came to nothing and, although Boxers appeared in a number of events in the ensuing years, their record was hardly distinguished by the end of 1982 it was all over for Ferrari competition sports cars, although the astonishingly fast Group C Lancias were powered by Ferrari V8 engines, and there have been recent efforts with the 333SP. But the Stuttgart steamroller has proved overwhelming in recent years and shows little sign of abating.
The Road Cars
Colombo-designed 2-litre V12 with fabulous sports and coupe bodies but in different chassis typified Ferrari roadholding for the next 15 years or so. Enzo’s first road car (less than 100 were made all told), is historically significant, and desirable for this reason, but there are better 2-litre sports cars for the money.
More power from classic Colombo V12 pushed out to 2563cc and 150bhp maximum plus a five-speed gearbox for fun. Again, less than 100 built. Styling was an improvement over the 166 and showed promise of greater things to come. Strong engine is usually reliable, but the rest of the drivetrain is a delicacy to be savoured on special occasions. Wonderful.
342/375 America (1951-1954)
Gargantuan 4.1 or 4.5-litre V12s; both make noises to inspire Ferrari addicts. Most made in coupe form and just 18 examples sold worldwide. Around 190bhp available in road guise, and ‘muscle’ styling an acquired taste, but an icon worthy of worship nevertheless.
410 Superamerica (1955-1960)
Just a baker’s dozen of these magnificent, outrageous chariots found their way into the hands of the mega-rich, who enjoyed the delights of the 5-litre V12 and nearly 350bhp at the expense of 10mpg (if they were lucky), and an ever-decreasing bank balance. Coupe and drophead bodies are elegant but hardly pretty.
Same 3-litre V12 pushed out to nearly 300bhp, the famous Scaglietti SWB body. Still looks fabulous. Steel and alloy bodies, the latter fetching the big money today, this is the car that many rated as the most beautiful Ferrari. . . until the GTO, of course. Disc brakes help to harness 160mph-plus performance. A good investment, but better to drive.
A Ferrari for the people with various body styles by Pininfanna including a 2 + 2 for the family man. The 3-litre V12 offered torque and performance, and there was coil-spring independent front suspension, which helped handling, but the rear end was conventional. Lots made and good value today. Available in the 1970s for less than the cost of a new Rover.
250 California (1959-1963)
Superb ragtop two-seater with most going to the sunnier parts of the United States. Based on GTB mechanicals but wind-in-the-hair aerodynamics keep top speed to around 145mph, and only then if you can fend off the flies. A styling masterpiece and rarely bettered, even by Italians.
400 Superamerica (1960-1962)
Another show of ultimate power with a 4-litre V12 and a choice of coupe, cabriolet or spider bodies. Up to 400bhp available and close on 170mph was impressive, but, mercifully, all round disc brakes were capable of hauling this heavyweight back to sensible speeds. Not a car to chuck around but a great inter-city express.
Outrageous car and beautiful despite elephantine proportions. A dozen made, all with 5-litre 400bhp V12, which means nigh-on 180mph performance on an autobahn if you’re brave enough to try. Luxurious, beautifully appointed cabin with delicate Ferrari touches all the way through, but in no way a car for wimps, or the impecunious.
SIngle OHC per bank for the 3.3-litre V12 in an evocative two-seater coupe body. Ferrari’s first road car with IRS and the first, therefore, to handle ‘properly’. Less than 500 made and rust has consumed a good many. Engine oil leaks are a pain, but you won’t notice at 155mph. Cast alloy wheels are different.
‘Ragtop’ version of the GTB with altered Pininfarina styling and wire wheels instead of alloys. Arguably not as pretty as the 250 California, but much better to drive. Only 200 made and all are at a premium today. Check restoration work carefully before buying to avoid ‘cruising with corrosion’…
A big car with a big feel, 4-litre V12 sits in large 2 + 2 body, but no IRS and gearbox mated to engine rather than rear transaxle a la 275GTB. A Grand Tourer with a lot of style, but almost forgotten today except by those who appreciate real comfort and luxury.
365 California (1966-1967)
Long wheelbase two-seater ‘ragtop’ with 4.4litre V12 with typical Pininfarina styling of beautiful proportions and expert penmanship. Retractable foglamps were novel and power steering a bonus but, just 14 examples made — all with five-speed gearboxes — and purchase prices and running costs are in keeping with rarity and usual Ferrari complexities.
330GTC and GTS (1966-1968)
Choice of pretty Pininfarina coupe or ‘ragtop’ bodies, these lithe two-seater are good alternatives to the 275GTB, with 4-litre V12 and IRS. Luxuries abound, inspiring exhaust note and good, useable performance, but few seen ‘outside Ferrari concours today. Which is a pity because there used to be plenty in the car parks at VSCC events 25 years ago.
Glorious 4-cam version of the 3-litre V12 with half a dozen Webers, 300bhp and revised, much prettier two-seater coupe bodywork. The definitive 1960s Ferrari and the most beautiful of the road cars. Fanciable, practical and driveable. 165mph performance and they look great in red or yellow. Some spider versions too, but coupes are best for torsional rigidity. A real driver’s car.
365GT 2+2 (1968-1970)
Handsome Grand Tourer with large 2 + 2 bodywork, the California’s 4.4-litre engine and IRS. Fitted with air-con and power steering, both of which are most appreciated when they cease to function. Wire wheels an option but alloys are more in keeping with the late 1960s, A great car but underrated as a Ferrari.
Another pretty coupe or ‘ragtop’ body on SWB 330 chassis with triple carb 4.4-litre V12 and IRS. The front-engined rear-drive theme was beginning to run out of development at this stage — or so everyone thought — but was still most definitely in vogue for those who didn’t fancy the mid-engined ‘seat-of-the-pants’ Dino, A handsome GT that still looks stunning today.
Dino 206/246 (1968-1974)
wickedly cute styling, Ferrari’s first midengined road car with the 2-litre V6 quickly being dropped in favour of the 2.4litre, 150bhp top speed, five-speed transaxle and superb handling saw the Dino run rings around big V 12s through the twisty bits. Spider version with removable roof panel from 1972. An intellectually superior Ferrari.
365GTB4 ‘Daytona’ (1968-1974)
Genuine ‘supercar’ and last of the great front-engined Ferraris with the possible exception of the recently launched 456GT. Around 360bhp from all-alloy 4.4-litre V12, genuine 174mph top speed and 0-60mph in 4.7sec. Gorgeous styling by Pininfarina with perspex headlamp covers until 1971, when replaced by less pretty retractable headlamps. Some Spider versions but just seven with RHD. The harder you drive ’em, the better they are, and Daytonas have a good reliability record too.
The ‘sensible’ Daytona alternative with 4.4litre V12, but less power and gearbox up front instead of transaxle arrangement. A handsome body with Daytona similarities, but ugly retractable headlamps as standard. 155mph performance with 15mpg and a good size boot. Prices are reasonable today and compare well with the Dino 246. A Ferrari that looks right irrespective of body colour.
365GT4 2+2 (1972-1976)
Handsome and almost a full four-seater with 4.4-litre V12 good for 150mph. But fitted with all ‘mod-cons’ this is no lightweight, and in any colour other than red, it could be mistaken for virtually any other large car of the period. Many were neglected during the 1980s and some sad, unrestored cars can be had for very little money today. Usual Ferrari running costs, though.
Revised 365GT with 4.8-litre V12 and General Motors automatic gearbox as an extra cost option, which caused a few cries of “heresy” among Ferrari purists. Auto shifting, however, made sense in view of torque available. A grand refined car in every respect; loves autoroutes, less happy with city life.
Boxer Berlinetta (1973-1984)
Mid-engined flat-12 with wonderful Pininfarina styling and very different from the Daytona if replaced; it was 10mph slower for a start, although 165mph is sufficient for most folk. Full 5-litre engine replaced the 4.4-litre version from 1976. A raucous two-seater (strictly) that appears to go like stink… until you try an F40. A great car with hidden talent, the Boxer’s appeal will live for ever.
Dino 308GT4 (1973-1980)
A practical mid-engined 3-litre V8 with four seats and unusual ‘wedge’ styling by Bertone. A versatile Ferrari but the aesthetics didn’t appeal to all, which is why this 160mph ‘baby’ is usually good value today. A 2-litre version appeared in 1975, but solely for the home market.
One of the most popular Ferraris ever and deservedly so for its perfect, timeless styling alone. Original glass-fibre bodies replaced by steel panelling in 1977. Transverse, 3-litre, quad-cam V8 mounted amidships works with watch-like efficiency — a real gem. Superlative handling, 160mph performance and cheaper to buy than you think. Spider with detachable roof panel launched in 1978 is desirable, but real voltage comes with foot hard down in top gear in either version.
The same two-seater coupe and spider bodies as before, but the 3-litre V8 gained Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection to reduce emissions, which saw a massive drop in power from 250bhp to 214bhp. This problem was solved later when the 4-valve heads were introduced on the quattrovalvole model, when power output was quoted at 240bhp. Such is progress in the engineering world.
Final incarnation of the 308 theme but fitted with a 3.2-litre version of the transverse 4-valve V8 developing a sizzling 270bhp. These cars are good for around 165mph and acceleration in virtually any gear is simply astonishing. Allied to its good looks and obedient road manners, this has to be one of the all-time great Ferraris.
The racing ‘homologation special’ produced to compete in Group B with cars like Porsche’s 959. But competition entries were thin on the ground, and the majority of the 273 produced were sold to private customers for road use. The longitudinally mounted twin turbo 2.8-litre V8 produced a whopping 400bhp which gave the car a top speed of over 190mph. Distinguishable from normal 308GTB by three louvres behind the rear wheel arches. Rare, and they don’t often appear in the small ads.
According to Walter Brun the ‘standard’ F40 was almost quick enough to compete with the Porsche 962 Group C racers. Built to celebrate 40 years of Ferrari, this stunning machine was fitted with the twin turbo V8 quad-cam developing around 480bhp, which was good enough for over 200mph. Fast, furious, expensive, noisy, exotic, the F40 still stands for everything that is great about Ferrari. Quite out of this world.
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