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  Article Image gallery (49) 125-C-04 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1950
Numbers built:1
Successor:Ferrari 375 F1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 13, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAll of Ferrari's earliest road and racing cars were built around a version of the same small displacement V12 engine. Among them was the Italian manufacturer's first Grand Prix racer, which was powered by the smallest, 1.5-litre version of the V12, equipped with a supercharger. During the 1949 season, Enzo Ferrari grew increasingly impressed of the performance of the naturally aspirated, 4.5-litre engined Talbot Lagos. Although down on power compared to the supercharged Ferraris and Alfa Romeos, the French cars at times made up for it by needing less fuel stops and tyre changes.

Enzo Ferrari had seen enough during 1949 and commissioned new chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi to develop an altogether larger V12 engine. To distinguish it from Ferrari's original V12, designed by Gioacchino Colombo, the new Lampredi V12 has since been referred to as the 'long-block' engine. At the time, Lampredi was already working on a new larger displacement sports car engine, which initially displaced 3.3 litres and during the inaugural, 1950 Formula 1 season grew in size to 4.1 litres and ultimately to the displacement limit for naturally aspirated engines of 4.5 litres.

Like the short-block V12, Lampredi's new engine featured an alloy block and cylinder heads. A single overhead camshaft in each head, driven by gears from the crankshaft, operated two valves per cylinder. The long-block V12 was equipped with three, twin-choke Weber carburettors. Still under development as the season got under way, Ferrari ran experimental Lampredi engined cars alongside the existing supercharged 125 F1. Sharing the same basic chassis design, these interim cars were referred to as the 275 F1 (3.3-litre) and the 340 F1 (4.1-litre). The new 4.5-litre, 375 F1 was not ready until the Italian Grand Prix in September.

Like the first purpose-built Ferrari Grand Prix cars, used during the 1949 season, the Lampredi-engined cars featured a steel tubular frame constructed around two large diameter side members. Suspension at the front was through double wishbones, a transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring and Houdaille shock absorbers. The transverse leaf spring and Houdaille shock absorbers were also used at the rear but this time combined with a sophisticated DeDion axle. Large, hydraulic drum brakes were used on all four corners. It is believed that the 275 F1 and 340 F1 were built on existing cars, while the pair of 375 F1s used at Monza were all-new.

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  Article Image gallery (49) 125-C-04 Specifications