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  Ferrari 340/375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta

  Article Image gallery (50) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1953
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Pinin Farina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 02, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWhen Enzo Ferrari set up shop for himself he was joined by engineer Gioachino Colombo, with whom he had also worked in his final years as an independent contractor for Alfa Romeo. Never lacking ambition, Ferrari wanted to perform on the highest level, which meant he would have to take on his old employer in Grand Prix racing and more specifically the 158 'Alfetta' racer, which he had Colombo design at the end of the 1930s. The regulations dictated a maximum displaced of 1.5 litre with forced induction or 4.5 litre Naturally Aspirated. Like he did for Alfa Romeo, Colombo opted for the forced induction route for Ferrari's first engine.

Other than sharing its displacement, there was very little in common between Alfa Romeo's straight eight and Ferrari's V12. With a multi purpose application in mind the Ferrari engine was designed with natural aspiration first. Colombo also penned the first chassis for Ferrari, but he jumped ship before either was completed. His replacement was former Fiat employee Aurelio Lampredi, who continued the development of Colombo's V12. The natural aspirated version was installed in sportscar chassis and quickly grew in size to two, and eventually three litres. Equipped with a blower the V12 was fitted in the first Ferrari Grand Prix cars, but failed to match the performance of the Alfettas.

Disappointed with the gas-guzzling supercharged V12's performance, Enzo Ferrari had Lampredi start working on a much larger V12 engine to power his second generation of Grand Prix racers. Although it was not expected that the output of the Alfa Romeo's could be matched, the engineer was confident that a better fuel economy and longer tyre life would result in far less pit-stops. Today known as the 'long-block' V12, Lampredi's new engine first saw the light of day early in 1950 with a displacement of just over 3.3 litres. Other than being larger in every aspect, the engine was actually fairly similar to Colombo's, using a light alloy construction, single overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder and three twin-choke Webers.

The new engine was installed in Ferrari's conventional tubular ladder frame chassis consisting of two elliptical side members. From its conception in 1946, the basic chassis design would serve for almost two decades, of course with detail changes here and there. Suspension was by double wishbones at the front with a transverse leaf spring and a live axle at the rear. Two examples were constructed and bodied by Touring for the 1950 Mille Miglia and known as the 275 S. The racing debut of the Lampredi V12 was not a happy one with both cars being forced to retire with a mix of gearbox and tyre problems. Development continued throughout the year, and obviously the engine was further increased in size to reach the 4.5 litre required for Grand Prix racing.

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  Article Image gallery (50) Chassis (2) Specifications