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  Article Image gallery (13) 0808 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1962
Numbers built:1
Designed by:Fantuzzi
Predecessor:Ferrari 250 TRI61
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 22, 2010
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFerrari's 250 Testa Rossa (TR) dominated sports car racing between 1958 and 1961 with three wins in the World Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in four attempts. The three litre machines were rendered virtually obsolete for 1962 as the sport's governing body, the CSI, decided to run the World Championship for production based GT cars. Ferrari responded with the all-conquering 250 GTO, which featured a 250 TR derived engine. Le Mans organisers ACO were not at all happy to see the high performance sports racers go and added an experimental class with a four litre displacement limit for the 1962 race. Although Ferrari's sports car efforts had switched to the six and eight cylinder mid-engined prototypes, the new experimental class inspired the Italian manufacturer to produce the ultimate evolution of the Testa Rossa.

For Ferrari's engineers the development of the four litre racer was a relatively straightforward process; they took the latest independently sprung TRI chassis and combined it with the engine that powered the ferocious 400 SuperAmerica road car. This was the latest version of the 'long block' V12 engine that had originally been developed by Aurelio Lampredi in the early 1950s. At the end of the decade it had grown in size to five litre but that was lowered to four litre for the 400 SuperAmerica that was introduced in 1959. In road trim the 'Tipo 163' engine was officially good for 340 bhp. Still fitted with only three double Weber carburettors, it produced around 360 bhp at the official Le Mans Test Day in April of 1962. Ahead of the race in June, the engine was fitted with Testa Rossa heads, which featured 12 separate intake ports and six double Webers. In this guise, the V12 developed a hefty 390 bhp.

As the earlier Testa Rossas were all powered by the 'short block' V12, the chassis had to be stretched to fit the longer Tipo 163 engine. Although the engine was over 10 mm longer, Ferrari's engineers managed to shoehorn the engine in a chassis that was less than 7 mm longer. At 2400 mm, the new four litre car had the same wheelbase as the 'short block' equipped 250 GTOs. It was long believed that an existing chassis (# 0780) was modified but recently discovered factory records revealed that the chassis (# 0808) was brand new. Like its immediate predecessor, the chassis design was a mix of the traditional ladder frame and the more sophisticated spaceframe. It still featured two large diameter longitudinal members with much of its rigidity provided by a web of smaller diameter tubes. Suspension was by double wishbones, coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers on all four corners. Dunlop sourced disc brakes provided the stopping power. The final piece of the mechanical puzzle was a beefed up version of the five-speed gearbox mounted in unit with the rear differential.

The rolling chassis was fitted with a body by Fantuzzi following the latest aerodynamic developments. Its design was an evolution of the shape used throughout 1961, which was created in part by the small wind tunnel installed by Ferrari in 1960. The most prominent features were the twin-nostril 'shark nose' and the high, cut-off 'Kamm' tail. The latter provided a considerable reduction in drag compared to the more conventional round tails used on earlier Testa Rossas. New for 1962 was an aerofoil mounted behind the the driver, which doubled a roll-over structure. Borrowed from the mid-engined prototypes, it served to smoothen out the turbulent air created by the cockpit aperture and increase high-speed stability. For the race, the familiar plexiglass windshield was replaced with a glass windshield that was mounted in a full frame. Through some experimentation Ferrari had figured that the dirt and grime that plagued drivers throughout the 24 Hours were a lot easier to remove from glass than plexiglass, which more than made up for the weight penalty.

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  Article Image gallery (13) 0808 Specifications