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The first V12

Ferrari 125 S V twelve cylinder (60°), 1.496 cm3, 52,0 mm * 58,8 mm, 2 * SOHC, ca. 8,5 : 1 (petrol), 3 Weber twin carburetors, 53 - 87 kW (72 - 118 hp), 5600 - 6800 rpm, Front engine, rear wheel drive, single disc dry clutch, five-speed, unsynchronized, 3,69/2,32/1,40/1,03 m, wishbone leaf springs at the front, rigid axle leaf springs at the rear, telescopic dampers f/r, hydraulic drum brakes f/r, frame made of elliptical tube cross section/aluminium, 5.50 - 15, tank capacity from 75 litres, 720 kg (dry), ca. 170 - 190 km/h, 1947.

Actually, Italy as a state entity no longer existed, as did Enzo Ferrari's connections to Alfa Romeo. His company seemed to have been bled dry in terms of personnel, but not really badly hit by the American bombs, like the country as a whole. His twelve-year-old son Dino was showing the first signs of a long-lasting illness that eventually lead to death. His girlfriend is pregnant.

The illegitimate child was born towards the end of the Second World War. It was only made known to the public about 16 years later as Pietro Ferrari. Ferrari lost good technicians to Maserati, but at the same time obtained some from Alfa Romeo, where it took a little longer to come up with a strategy again. From there he wooed away, at least in part, Gioacchino Colombo with the order to develop a new twelve-cylinder.

It will probably remain unclear forever whether the twelve-cylinder was Ferrari's idea alone or from both. The total displacement of 1.5 liters will be incomprehensible to us, but that is what was known from the old racing formula and expected from a new one. And although DOHC engines had been around for a very long time, Colombo chose a design with only one overhead camshaft per row of cylinders, which was also designed as a short-stroke engine.

Even at this early stage, the type designation that had been retained for a long time came into its own, namely the individual displacement in cubic centimetres. What one had not expected like this, it took a full two years from the initial idea to the realization of this car. Colombo had long since been ordered back to Alfa. Newly recruited engineers modified his design. First test runs produced only 44 - 48 kW (60 - 65 hp).

In the meantime, Ferrari had given up the manufacture of machine tools, so put everything on the new production division. Two 125S took part in a first, rather insignificant race in Piacenza in May 1947, basically noncompetitive. After all, the one in the lead dropped out not before only three laps before the end due to a lack of fuel. Class victories were achieved in further races, but again they did not reach the finish line in the Mille Miglia.

The first overall victory was in Rome in the race around the Baths of Caracalla. One got the aging and ailing Nuvolari, Ferrari's favorite driver, for a lot of money, but it was worth it with a class and an overall win each. The engine became more and more powerful through further engineering efforts, e.g. by replacing the needle bearings on the crankshaft with plain bearings. They even tackled the version with compressor.

No, in comparison with the Maseratis and the Alfa 159 (see chapter Scuderia 3) the new one still had no chance. The Cisitalias also seemed to be superior. The showdown came when Ferrari and Maserati met in Modena of all places. Maserati won in a superior manner also thanks to the outstanding drivers Ascari and Villoresi. Nuvolari had long since returned to Team Cisitalia. The only Ferrari to finish was fifth.

But then there was also good news, because Colombo had decided to take up a permanent position at Ferrari after leaving Alfa for good. Formula 1 races didn't exist yet, so next year's Mille Miglia was important, especially in terms of sales. Ferrari had long since been able to win over the carburetor manufacturer Weber. The only thing missing, besides the lack of power, was to eliminate the treacherous driving behavior of the 125S.

And then there is the race in Turin worth mentioning. Apart from Ascari and Villoresi, there were no strong rivals again and these two did not reach the finish line. For Ferrari, Turin was the town of his former greatest failure, namely when he was rebuffed at Fiat and, sitting on a park bench, watching his life fly by. He is said to have visited the bench again and thus celebrated his triumph twice over.

In business terms, it must have been the breakthrough, meaning the slowly beginning sale of Ferraris to private individuals, which was an increasingly important factor in financing the racing department. In the course of this, the bodies received more variance, which means that hardly any early Ferrari resembles the other. There was even a coupé from Alemano. Luigi Chinetti, who lived in the USA, had long since pointed out to Ferrari the possibility of exporting to the country with the strong dollar.

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