Tag Archives: Lamperdi

Burgandy & Cream – Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé Pininfarina #0305EU

After a meeting between Batista Farina, in 1961 to become Batista Pininfarina, and Enzo Ferrari at a restaurant in Tortona, a small town halfway between Turin and Modena, Batista drove home an told his son Sergio “From now on you’ll be looking after Ferrari, from A to Z. Design, engineering, technology, construction—the lot!”. Sergia says he was over the moon with happiness and one of the fruits of that conversation is today’s featured Ferrari 250 Europa Coupé chassis #0305EU delivered in late September 1953.

Ferrari 250 PF Europa Coupé, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

According to the blurb about this car seen at Goodwood, #0305EU was originally commissioned by a friend of Batista Farina called Latino Magnolfi, given the PF job number 12531 chassis #0305EU features unique to the 250 Europa Coupé model 3/4 windows a shorter windscreen and larger grill than the other 250 Europa’s. Magnolfi used to enter the car in Concours d’Elegance events before he sold the car.

Ferrari 250 PF Europa Coupé, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

The exact history of the #0305EU after the sale is not known to me but it ended up in the USA and after the repair of the 3 litre / 183 cui V12 motor became uneconomic the motor and gearbox was swapped for a Chevrolet V8 and and associated transmission.

Ferrari 250 PF Europa Coupé, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 2006 current owner Jan de Reu acquired the car which has been fully restored to its white wall tyre two tone Burgundy and Cream splendor, with a correct Colombo designed Ferrari V12 motor, by Ferrari Classiche.

Ferrari 250 PF Europa Coupé, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

As some of my regular readers may remember the Ferrari 250 Europa is closely related to the Ferrari 375 America, the later of which is powered by a larger 4.5 litre 274 cui Aurelio Lambredi designed long block V12.

Thanks for joining me on this “Burgandy & Cream” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I be looking at Dan Gurney’s Can Am McLeagle. Don’t forget to come back now !


When is a Ferrari a FIAT ? – FIAT Dino Spider

For 1966 the second tier open wheel Formula 2 regulations called for an engine size of up to 2 litres / 122 cui with a maximum of 6 cylinders based on a stock block of which at least 5,000 copies had been manufactured.

FIAT Dino, Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival

Ferrari had an engine of the requisite size and number of cylinders, known as the Dino V6 which had been evolving through sports car and formula one racing since 1957 to win the 1958 and 1961 World Drivers Championships and even the 1965 European Hillclimb Championship.

FIAT Dino, Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival

However Ferrari had not come close to manufacturing 5000 of any model at the time and so a deal was struck with FIAT to manufacture the FIAT Dino in sufficient quantities to meet the 5000 unit regulation required for Formula 2 homologation. In 1966 the FIAT Dino was launched as an open top spider with bodywork by Pininfarina, using a 158 hp 2 litre / 122 cui Dino V6 to power it. A coupé version was launched in 1967. Interestingly FIAT insisted on producing the Dino V6 engines in Turin to ensure there were no breaks in the supply, which was against plans envisaged by Enzo Ferrari who hoped to build the engines at Maranello.

FIAT Dino, Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival

The 1967 model, seen here at last years Bristol Italian Auto Moto Festival, has belonged to the same owner since 1979, it’s motor was rebuilt in 2007 and according to it’s owner last year it had it’s distributor rebuilt and water pump replaced. Production of the 2 litre FIAT Dino was halted in 1969 and replaced by a larger variation which I’ll be featuring in two weeks.

Thanks for joining me on this “When is a Ferrari a FIAT ?” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


African Adventurer – Ferrari 340 America #0122A Touring Coupé

Today’s featured car is the 340 America, seen here at Gooodwood Festival of Speed, a bye product of Ferrari’s Lamperdi V12 powered Grand Prix programme. With the failure of Ferrari’s Colombo designed 1.5 litre / 122 cui supercharged V12 Grand prix cars to make any impression on the pre war Colombo designed straight 8 supercharged 1.5 litre / 122cui Grand Prix cars thanks to poor fuel economy, Enzo Ferrari asked Lamperdi to design what has become known as the all alloy 4.5 litre / 274 cui long block V12 which was to run in Grand Prix racing without a super charger.

Ferrari 340 America Touring Coupé, Goodwood, FoS

The new V12 was first built in a 3.3 litre / 201 cui guise and then in a 4.1 litre / 250 cui configuration before being stretched to a full 4.5 litre / 274 cui specification. No sooner had the new motor been developed into a winner, in the 375 chassis, than it was made redundant for World Championship Grand Prix racing thanks to a lack of competition which led to an immediate rule change.

Ferrari 340 America Touring Coupé, Goodwood, FoS

As the 375 Grand Prix programme was in progress in 1950 Ferrari started to build a series of 23 340 America sports car chassis fitted with the 200 hp 4.1 litre / 250 cui spec motor. Only 2 of these chassis were fitted with a Coupé body by Touring, a model fitted with a Vignale Barchetta body won the 1951 Mille Miglia with Luigi Villoresi at the wheel and Pierro Cassani doing the co driving.

Ferrari 340 America Touring Coupé, Goodwood, FoS

So far as I can establish this car might be chassis #0122A which was sent to the 1951 Brussels Motor Show and sold to a Belgian. I believe this is the same car as entered by Equipe Nationale Belge for Alain de Changy in the 1958 Grand Prix Leopodville now known as Kinshasa in Belgian Congo where it did not finish. Two weeks later the car was entered in the Angolan Grand Prix for Yves Tassin who finished 10th behind a far more modern D type Jaguar, a Riley Special, unspecified Triumph and Austin Healey amongst others.

Ferrari 340 America Touring Coupé, Goodwood, FoS

As seen here at Goodwood Festival of Speed Councour’s d’Elegance the car won the best in show Award.

Thanks for joining me on this ‘African Adventurer’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Chinese Whispers – Ferrari 375MM Vignale #0286AM

Today we are looking at a one off Ferrari 375MM Vignale chassis #0286AM, seen here at the recent Phil Hill Tribute at the Peterson Museum, that for 35 years was reported as being buried in a hole in the ground.

The Vignale bodied chassis 0286AM started life as one of four from a total of 10 340 MM’s with a 4.1 litre 250 cui Lamperdi V12. However before #0286AM left the factory it’s motor was upgraded first with a 4.5 litre / 274 cui V12 which had it’s origins in the Ferrari 375 Grand Prix Car, bringing the erstwhile Vignale bodied 340 MM up to 375 MM spec, in fact today’s car is seen as the prototype 375 MM. The motor was then bored out to 4.9 litres / 299 cui to the so called 375 plus spec.

Ferrari 375 MM Vignale, Peterson Museum

#0286AM appeared at four events in 1953, Luigi Villoresi qualified on pole for a sports car race at Spa but the car was withdrawn before the start due to engine problems. Villoresi set fastest lap in the Circuito di Senigallia Race but again retired with engine problems.

Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina drove #0286AM to victory at the 1953 Nurburgring 1000 kms after the engine had been changed from one of the other team cars before the start of the race. Somewhere around this time #0286AM was scheduled to transfer to the ownership of Tony Parravano however the engine problems at the Nurburgring meant this transaction never took place and Tony was given another 375 MM chassis #0362AM.

US Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti then bought #0286AM painted it black added a full width screen and entered it for himself and Alfonso de Portago in the 1900 mile 1953 Carrera Panamericana where engine problems prevented the car from completing the race. The car was then sold to Carlos Braniff in Mexico City.

Ferrari 375 MM Vignale, Peterson Museum

Braniff had the car prepared for the 1954 Carrera Panemericana with a standard 4.5 litre / 274 cui motor he had a second spare wheel fitted in the tail and added the distinctive head rest and fin as well as adding cooling vents for the wheels. Carlos drove the car to a second place finish at the The Lone Star National Sports Car Race held at Bergstrom and Phil Hill came second in the Orange Empire National Races held at March AFB prior to the Carrera Panemericana for which Hill was teamed up with Richie Ginther.

Hill & Ginther were in contention for the 1954 Carrera Panemericana win when they ran out of fuel on the 7th of 8 stages, on which they only managed a forth place finish. Hill & Ginther made up for the disappointment by completing the 572 mile final stage of the event, held on open roads remember, at a blistering 137 mph average to recover a 2nd place finish overall. That 137 mph average for the eighth stage of the Carrera Panamericana has never been beaten.

In 1955 Lou Buero became the owner of the car now repainted dark red / brown during the 1955 season Carrol Shelby drove the car to a victory at Torrey Pines. Lou Buero then had the head cylinder heads crack at the end of season races at Nassau and #0286AM would then go unseen in public for 39 years.

Ferrari 375 MM Vignale, Peterson Museum

It turns out that the reports of the car being buried in the earth were just a tad far of the mark, after Lou Buero Snr passed away his son had tried to revive #0286AM by attempting to fit a Jaguar motor and gearbox, however having failed he entombed the car in a 20ft trailer barricading it in so that no one could steal it in 1956. The myth of the car being buried in the ground stemming perhaps the inevitable Chinese Whispers over the ensuing 39 years owing to the dark red / colour of the car when it was last seen and the fact that it had been entombed in a trailer.

#0286AM was in need of a ground up restoration after spending 35 years in less than ideal conditions in Arcata, California, galvanic corrosion of the steering wheel had been so bad the wood rim of the steering wheel had dropped off ! The process began in 1994 and by 1997 Phil Hill was reunited with #0286AM and he promptly drove it to victory at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races. That same year #0286AM also won the Pebble Beach Cup at the Concours d’Elegance.

My thanks to Mark Savory who was partly responsible for restoring #0286AM who’s website gives a more complete history and further photo’s of the car.

Thanks for joining me on this 137 mph edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

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Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

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1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


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Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

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Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !


Two Time World Champ – Ferrari 500 #005

In 1951 there was a close fought contest for the World Drivers Championship between the Alfa Romeo drivers in old pre war 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui supercharged cars and Ferrari drivers in new 4.5 litre / 274.5 cui normally aspirated cars. Juan Manuel Fangio won the title but a run of three straight victories by Ferrari drivers González and Ascari was enough to convince Alfa Romeo that they could not hope to be so competitive with their old cars and so with no money to fund the building and development of new machines they quit Grand Prix racing as two time champions.

Ferrari 500, Donington

Alfa Romeo’s withdrawal left the FIA, organisers of World Championship Grand Prix Racing, with a shortage of entrants for the 1952 season only the up and coming Ferrari and brand new BRM team, who had built a beautiful sounding, but hideously complicated and unreliable 1.5 litre 91.5 cui supercharged V16 vehicle being prepared to enter events run to the existent formula one regulations.

Ferrari 500, Donington

The FIA decided that they would run the 1952 and 1953 World Championship for cars built to Formula 2 regulations with normally aspirated 2 litre / 122 cui engines while new formula one regulations would be introduced in 1954. Ferrari had all the bases covered for 1952 as he had coincidentally just instructed Aurelio Lamperdi to design a 4 cylinder 2 litre / 122 cui engine that was powerful and extremely efficient.

Ferrari 500, Donington

For 1952 Ferrari built six type ‘500’ Formula 2 Cars cars to compete in the World Championship and they won all of seven races into which they were entered missing the Indy 500, run to different regulations in which Alberto Ascari competed with a Ferrari 375.

On his return from the 1952 Indy 500 Alberto Ascari won the six remaining World Championship races with the car, seen here at Donington Park, on his way to capturing the 1952 World Championship. Ascari retained the title using the same chassis in 1953 with another 5 victories.

The Ferrari ‘500’ design is one of the most successful of all time only the McLaren MP4/4 which won 15 races out of 16 in 1988 as against 7 out of 8 eligible events in 1952 for the ‘500’ is statistically more successful, though it could be argued that since the Indy 500 was not run to the same regulations as the rest of the 1952 World Championship the Ferrari ‘500’ has a 100 % winning record for the 1952 season.

This particular #005 chassis won an unequalled 7 straight World Championship Grand Prix races from 1952 to 1953, and 9 straight world championship races entered again the 1953 Indy 500 counted as a World Championship Grand Prix in 1953, and is credited with a total of 11 World Championship Grand Prix wins in total. As the highly regarded Doug Nye says of chassis #005 “Possibly the most successful chassis in Grand Prix history.”

The 4 cylinder engine went on to have a hugely successful career in sports car racing when installed in the 500 Mondial and 500 Testa Rossa’s.

Thanks for joining me on this Ferrari Friday edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Outlaw Racer – Ferrari 365 GTB/4

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Launched in 1968 the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 replaced the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and to this writers mind represents the pinnacle of front engine rear wheel drive fastback GT cars. Until outlawed by US legislation in 1971 the 365 GTB/4 came with headlights mounted behind acrylic glass covers.

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This most stylish of vehicles is powered by a 347 hp Lamperdi inspired twin overhead cam 60º V12 stretched to 4390 cc / 268 cui motor, each cylinder with a volume of 365 cc from which the model gets its name.

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To optimise the weight balance and handling the gearbox is mounted as part of a transaxle just in front of the rear wheels.

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As one would of expect of a vehicle this cool to look at it has performance to match being capable of reaching 60 mph from rest in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 174 mph.

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Competition versions of the 365 GTB/4 run by privateers with up to 450 hp counted amongst their successes a GT class winning 5th overall at Le Mans in 1971 along with GT Class wins in the same race in ’72, ’73, and ’74 scoring 1st to 5th in class in ’72, and five years after production of the model had ceased an amazing 2nd overall in the Daytona 24 hour race.

Dan Gurney and Brock Yates also drove a 365 GTB/4 2,876 miles from New York to Los Angeles averaging 80.1 mph to win the inaugural Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash in 1971.

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It is thought just 1,406 of these cars designed by Leonardo Fiorvanti of Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti including 122 Spiders and 15 lightweight competition vehicles. The high desirability of the rare Spiders has led to several Berlinetta models being converted and several companies have made Spider replicas with a variety of engines.

The 365GTB/4 was replaced by the rear engined 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Outlaw Racer edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Grant Piston Ring Special – Ferrari 375 No: 2

For Ferrari Friday I hope readers of my Indianapolis series will forgive me getting a little out of sequence by a year or two in order to present the 1952 Grant Piston Ring Special, a Ferrari 375 captured in these photographs by my Nostalgia Forum acquaintance B² from Indiana who saw this vehicle in a Holiday Inn car park Dearborn, MI around 1971.

Ferrari 375, Holiday Inn, Dearborn, MI

The Ferrari 375 was originally conceived as a Formula One car to take advantage of the normally aspirated engine regulations that allowed for engines up to 4.5 litres / 274.6 cui as opposed to the maximum 1.5 litres /91.5 cui maximum capacity allowed for supercharged engines.

The 375 evolved through three stages, the first stage was the 275 which featured a new Lampredi designed 3322cc / 202 cui V12 which made its debut in Jume 1950, in July 1950 the 340 made its debut with a longer wheel base de Dion rear suspension and a 4101cc / 240 cui version of the Lambredi V12.

Finally in September 1950 the 375 with a 335 hp 4493 cc / 274 cui made its debut at Monza, by 1951 Jose Froilan Gonzalez driving a 375 scored Ferrari’s first formula one Grand Prix victory in Britain to begin cementing Ferrari’s place in the top echelon of motor racing.

There were so few contenders in races run to formula one regulations that in 1952 and 1953 the World Drivers Championship was run to Formula 2, 2 litre / 122 cui regulations both won by Alberto Ascari driving a nine race winning streak for Ferrari, making the 375 essentially obsolete. When the World Championship returned to a championship for drivers of formula one regulations the maximum mandated 2.5 litre 152 cui normally aspirated engines and the large Lamperdi V12’s were consigned to being
used in sports cars only.

Ferrari 375, Holiday Inn, Dearborn, MI

With the Ferrari 375 being obsolete in the top echelon of European racing allegedly US importer Luigi Chinetti convinced Enzo Ferrari to develop the car further with a stronger longer chassis.

Ferrari was represented at the 1952 ‘Indy 500’ by four cars 1 works and 3 customers, No: 1 ‘Ferrari Special’ for his works driver Alberto Ascari, No: 2 Grant Piston Ring Special for drivers Jonnie Parsons and Danny Oakes, No: 3 ‘Kennedy Tank Special’ for driver Johnny Mauro, and No: 4 ‘Mobil Special’ for driver Bobby Ball.

Outwardly the Ferraris appearance at Indianapolis in 1952 showed Ferrari lacking finesse preparing their cars for oval racing and that the ‘Yanks’ had little idea of how to coax the most out of what was essentially a beefed up road course car at Indianapolis.

However in his description of the 1952 race (scroll half way down), fuel injection manufacturer Stuart Hilborn shows that at the very least Ferraris disdain of many things American and his legendary machiavellian gamesmanship had come into play.

In brief Hilborn discovered that the #38 Mobil Specials cylinder head fuel inlet ports had been tampered with resulting in the ports being undersize, thus reducing the power output and it was found that the power output had been further reduced by Ferrari not fitting the high compression pistons which had been specified by Hilborn during a meeting at the Ferrari factory and presumably paid for owner Howard Keck ! (Note only one Ferrari qualified for the 1952 race not two as Hilborn asserts.)

The four 375’s were around 200 lbs over weight in part due to the drum brakes being too large and more suited to road course racing.

Despite these problems Ascari drove some of the smoothest and most consistent qualifying laps ever seen at Indianapolis, which unusually possibly due to incorrect gearing, included changing down a gear for both the first and third corners to secure 19th place on the grid.

Parsons in the second 375, even after trying magnesium wheels, opted for a more powerful Offy powered vehicle and well known midget racer Danny Oakes also failed to qualify the Grant Piston Ring Special.

Mauro allegedly really only wanted his 375 for the Pikes Peak hill climb and did not take the ‘500’ seriously and never got near a qualifying time, his car today resides in the IMS Hall of Fame now painted red.

Bobby Ball like Parsons also opted for an Offy powered machine after he had tried the forth car with Hilbourn fuel injection in place of the usual Weber carburetion. This car was restored in the 80’s destroying it’s original patina and is now thought to be in the care of a New York collector.

Ascari fancied his chances in the race switching, pre race, from a one stop strategy to a three stop strategy to accommodate higher than expected tyre wear. During the race Ascari planned to keep the revs low for the first two segments in order to benefit from the tendency of his US competitors ‘win or bust’ strategies.

Due to his weight handicap Ascari got a slow start but rose from 21st to 7th when on lap 41 the right rear wire wheel collapsed causing his instant retirement. Ascari is generally acknowledged to have given a good account of himself with a possible race contending performance up to the point of his retirement.

The No: 1 375 appeared at the 1953 ‘500’ with a 3 litre 183 cui engine, new body and side tanks but was withdrawn from the race. In 1954 it appeared again with original body and 4.5 litre 274 cui engine but failed to qualify. Ascaris 375 is currently thought to reside in Hong Kong.

Which brings us back to the car in the photograph which is thought to be the No.2 Grant Piston Ring Special unsuccessfully qualified by Parsons and Oakes,

This car was seen around 1970 on former owner Lindley Bothwell’s estate in 1970. By 1998 this 375 belonged to a Brazilian Carlos Monteverde who allowed Ludovic Lindsey to demonstrate it at Imola in Italy. During the demonstration the car suffered heavy broadside impact with a track side wall which wrote off two Borani wheels, smashed the respective brake drums, and destroyed the differential casing.

Ferrari 375, Goodwood, Festival of Speed

In August 2000 the No.2 375 now repaired was purchased by a Dutch owner and has been displayed in it’s white 1952 #6 Grant Piston Ring livery in the Netherlands at the Louwiman Museum and at festivals, above at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006, ever since.

My thanks to B² for todays photographs, and to everyone on the Ferrari 375 Indycar thread at Ferrari Chat for additional information.

There is some mystery alluding to the chameleon nature of the paint work of the Grant King Piston Ring website shows period photo’s of this car in white with cockpit wrap around screen with Johnny Parsons at the wheel and also a photo of Danny Oakes at the wheel of a red car with small screen,
if you know the correct sequence of colours and dates this car has appeared in, when it left the factory, ran in the hands of Parsons and Oakes and when it was returned to it’s current livery please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Hope you have enjoyed Ferrari Friday Indy Special edition of Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !