VI Gran Premio del Valentino, April 1952: Ferrari 375…

Posted: November 10, 2014 in F1
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Wonderful Pirelli Ad showing Ascari and Farina in their Ferrari 375’s at Valentino Park, Turin on April 6 1952…

Luigi Villoresi won the race in another 375 from Piero Taruffi and Rudolf Fischer both in Ferrari 500’s. Ascari #34 was fifth having lead strongly but running short of fuel with a leak, and Farina #20 crashed on lap 31 having pushed too hard keeping up with Ascari.

Ascari and Farina were in the latest long wheelbase ‘Indianapolis’ Models bound for Indy that May, whilst the winning car was a normal SWB 375.

In those far-off days there were many non-championship F1 races, 1952 was a strange year as Formula 2, for 2 litre cars counted for the World Championship, and Formula 1 races were run but were non championship events…Alfa Romeo withdrew from Grand Prix racing at the end of 1951, BRM were still struggling with their V16, the FIA believed only having Ferrari as a title contender was contrary to the interests of the sport, so F2 became F1 if you will, where fields were of greater depth!

Mind you, Ferrari had the game covered, the Ferrari 500, Lampredi designed 4 cylinder DOHC cars absolutely dominant in 1952 and 1953.

This non-championship race in Italy was well supported with entries from Maserati, Talbot-Lago, Osca and of course Ferrari who entered their 1950/51 F1 375 V12 engined cars, as well as their Ferrari 500 F2, but for 1952/3 cars contesting the world championship. Moss, Fangio, and Ken Wharton were entered in their BRM V16’s but the cars failed to appear, still not being race ready.

Valentino Park, located in Turin on the west bank of the Po River was used for motor racing from 1935 to 1954, different layouts were used varying in length from 2.92 to 4.8 kilometres.



Farinas’ abandoned, crashed Ferrari 375, Valentino Park, Turin 1952.

These ‘LWB’ cars were being developed for Indianapolis in May, this chassis didn’t make the trip, it was too badly damaged to be repaired in time for shipping to the ‘States.

The shot below is of Nello Ugolini, Team Manager, Aurelio Lampredi, the 375’s Designer, Luigi Villoresi, Enzo Ferrari and Alberto Ascari gathered around a Ferrari 375 in 1952. Nice shot of the 4.5 litre SOHC V12, 3 Weber carbs and cold airbox also clear.

fazz team


The Ferrari 375…

The 4.5 litre, normally aspirated, Aurelio Lampredi designed V12 finally broke the dominance of the Alfa Romeo 159, supercharged, straight-8, 1.5 litre ‘Alfettas’- Froilan Gonzalez famously won the 1951 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The chassis of the car was a conventional tubular steel frame fitted with drum brakes and a four speed ‘box. Suspension was independent at the front by upper and lower unequal length wishbones, a de Dion rear axle located by radius rods and using transverse leaf springs front and rear. Shocks were Houdaille hydraulic.

The engine was a 4493cc 60 degree V12 with SOHC per bank, two valves per cylinder and was fed by three Weber 42DCF carburettors- it developed circa 350bhp @ 7000rpm.

cutaway 375


britsish gp


Ferrari’s first championship Grand Prix win, British GP Silverstone 1951.

This evocative shot shows Gonzalez Ferrari 375 # 12 on pole, alongside is Farina Alfa 159, Ascari in # 11 375 and Fangio in the Alfa # 2 alongside him. Then Sanesi in the other Alfa and Villoresi in the final Ferrari 375.


Four ‘375s’were sold to American customers for Indy 1952, the only car which qualified and was classified was that driven by Alberto Ascari, here with his crew pre-race.

He was 25th of 33 starters, 19th fastest but put further back on the grid due to the peculiarities of Indy and the day on which you set your fastest qualifying time. He retired on the 40th lap, classified 31st in the event.



Alberto Ascari helps move a heavy looking Ferrari in the Indy Paddock. It appears as though some surgery has been applied to the airbox. In Indy spec the ‘375’ V12 had a capacity of 4382cc and a power output of 380bhp @ 7500rpm.

Photo Credits…




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