Posts Tagged ‘Ferrari 512S’

monza bros

Siffert, Pedro chillin’, Redman and Kinnunen- JW squad 1970 (Schlegelmilch)

The JW Gulf boys relax before the off, the winning duo were Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen…

There was only one Porsche 917 amongst the first nine cars home at the duration of the Monza endurance classic on 25 April but the German flat-12 was first, Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen were happy winners.

Three Ferrari 512S followed them home, the Ignazio Giunti/Nino Vaccarella/Chris Amon Spyder 1.5 minutes adrift of the John Wyer Porsche.

It wasn’t a happy season for Ferrari in sportscars. Supremely competitive in F1 with the first of its flat-12 engined cars, the 312B, the 5 litre V12 512S really didn’t receive the development it needed to knock off the Porsches.

The German cars mainly raced at 4.5 litres in capacity that year but it was still more than enough. A win at Sebring in the second round of the Manufacturers Championship was Ferrari’s best result, and the flat-8 3 litre, nimble, light Porsche 908/3 mopped up on the tight, twisty circuits unsuited to the 917. The dudes from Stuttgart had the game well covered.


Seppi in conversation, and for the horologists he is sporting a nice Heuer Autavia chronograph  (Schlegelmilch)

The speed of Ferrari’s evolved 512S, the 512M was clear at the Osterreichring 1000 Km in October, so 1971 looked to be a great battle of two amazing 5 litre cars but effectively the Scuderia waved a white surrender flag before the seasons commencement.

They chose to race a new 3 litre flat-12 engined prototype, the 312P in 1971 with an eye to the rule change to cars of that capacity in 1972, rather than the factory race the 512M.

The Ferrari privateers did their best against the Panzers but it was ineffective, the speed of the beautifully prepared and superbly Mark Donohue driven Penske 512M duly noted. The 1971 endurance season could have been the greatest ever had Scuderia Ferrari raced those cars!

monza car

Pedro drives, Leo and the boys ride

Back to Monza 1970. The other ‘works’ Porsches were well back- the JW 917K of Jo Siffert and Brian Redman finished 12th, the Porsche Salzburg 917K’s of Vic Elford/Kurt Ahrens DNF with puncture damage after 92 laps and the 1970 Le Mans winning combo of Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood were out with engine failure on lap 63.

Still there was strength in numbers, Pedro and Leo were there at the end, in front…


Rainer Schlegelmich

Tailpiece: Tifosi @ Monza, not as many as if a 512S won…




sebring e type

Lady Godiva meets California Girl in Florida? Compound curavature of both chassis’ catch the eye…

Automobile Year 18 was the first issue of that great annual i pored over repeatedly from cover to cover, this page has always stuck in my mind.

The race was won, if you care! by the trio of Ignazio Giunti, Nino Vaccarella and Mario Andretti in a Ferrari 512S from Peter Revson and Steve McQueen’s Porsche 908 and the Toine Hezemans, Masten Gregory Alfa Romeo T33/3 in third.

The 512S flattered to deceive, Sebring was the only blue riband event the fantastic car won in 1970, Porsche with the 908/3 and 917 swept the board with chassis suited to either handling or high speed circuits.


Giunti in the Ferrari 512S he shared with Nino Vaccarella and, later in the race Mario Andretti who jumped into this car after gearbox failure in the car he shared with Arturo Merzario. Car # 37 is the Collins/Wilson Ford Mustang, 24th. (petrolicious)

Photo Credits…

Automobile Year 18, Petrolicious

butt Pininfarina designed, 1969 Ferrari 512S Berlinetta Speciale. And admirer. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

‘A rather permissive rear end reveals part of the five speed transmission on the Pininfarina Ferrari 512S. There is the almost customary louvered backward look but its Wellsian. The chassis was a tubular structure with riveted light alloy panels contributing to the rigidity.

The naughty nakedness around the car’s nether regions and the upswept slotted effect adjacent to the rear wheels assists with the expulsion of hot air that can be generated by such a projectile-from brakes, tyres, transmission exhaust system etc. Forward visibility from the two seats was remarkably good-useful with such performance’.

So said Automobile Year 17’s summary of the rear of the Pininfarina designed Ferrari 512S Berlinetta Speciale in 1969. Amazing how appropriate a caption it is for this shot taken 45 years later!

berlinetta 512S Berlinetta Speciale. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

The original appeal in writing this article was the juxtaposition of  ‘les derrieres incroyables!’ of car and model, but upon closer inspection the fusion of a racer, which had a ‘big hit’ at Monza in 1969 and then contributed its chassis as the basis for Pininfarina’s Ferrari ‘512S’ Speciale show car is an interesting one in itself.

This article is a story about the two Ferrari ‘512S’ based Pininfarina designed Show Cars; the ‘Berlinetta Speciale’ of 1969, actually based on the chassis of a 312P, and ‘Modulo’ of 1970, actually based on a 512S chassis which raced as a 612P. Simple really!

I wrote about the Ferrari 312P a while back, here is the link to that article, i won’t go through the background of these cars again, but its all here;

side 512S Berlinetta Speciale. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

Life as 312P ‘0868’ Was Short and Not So Sweet…

The chassis of the ‘512S Speciale’ was the first of the 1969 312P endurance racers completed. It was the car launched to the press at the Hotel Fini, Modena on December 14 1968. In early 1969 it was damaged testing at Vallelunga and therefore didn’t make the season opening championship round at Daytona, but was rebuilt in tine for the Sebring 12 Hour in March.

Chris Amon and Mario Andretti drove the car, the curvaceous 3 litre V12 winning its class and finishing 2nd overall to the venerable 5 litre Ford GT40 of the ‘Jacks’ Ickx and Oliver.

amon sebring Chris Amon in Ferrari 312P ‘0868’ he shared with Mario Andretti at Sebring in 1970. (Dave Kutz)


pedro brands Pedro on his way to 4th place in 312P ‘0868’ or ‘0870’…Brands 500 Km 1969. (unattributed)

Amon was paired with Pedro Rodriguez at Brands Hatch, the pair finished 4th in the 500Km race won by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman in a Porsche 908/2. Note that some sources say the Chris/Pedro car was ‘0870’ not ‘0868’ which they say did not arrive. Whatever.

rod rig monza Rodriguez in 312P ‘0868’ boxing in winner Jo Siffert’s Porsche 908 behind the Hanrioud/Martin Ford GT40.(15th) Monza 1000Km 1969. (unattributed)

A fortnight later, on 25 April the car was entered at Monza for the 1000Km home event, Pedro back behind the wheel this time paired with Peter Schetty, later a successful Ferrari Team Manager.

During the race a left rear Firestone blew, damaging the rear bodywork, Pedro nursed the car back to the pits on lap 66. The crew quickly got him going but had not properly affixed the rear bodywork which blew off the car at high speed causing a huge accident of the type which took Bruce McLaren’s life 12 months later at Goodwood, fortunately without injury to Pedro but comprehensively ‘rooting’ the car.

It was taken back to the factory and put to one side whilst the other two 312P chassis were used for the racing at hand.

pedro monza Pedro Rodriguez alights the Ferrari 312P ‘0868’ he shared with Peter Schetty at Monza in 1969. This was after the first ‘light hit’ when a tyre blew. When he got back into the car, on its first ‘out lap’ the separation of rear bodywork from the car caused the accident which all but destroyed it, Pedro shaken but ok. (unattributed)

Later in 1969 the chassis and an engine block (as against a complete engine) from 612P CanAm car #0866 was given to Pininfarina as the basis for their ‘Berlinetta Speciale’ styling exercise, the chassis at that point stamped ‘002’ noting the chassis was a 312P not a 512S despite the name…

amon Chris Amon in Ferrari 512S ‘1012’ shared with Arturo Merzario in the very wet Brands Hatch 1000Km in 1970. They were 5th in the race famously won by Rodriguez’ stunning wet weather drive in a Porsche 917K. (unattributed)

So, why call the Berlinetta Speciale a 512S if  twasn’t?

Whilst Enzo’s coffers were full of Fiat lire given the Italian corporates 1969 Ferrari investment, the Scuderia had the not insignificant problem of flogging the 25 512S’ required to be built for homologation into the FIA’s Group 5 to race in 1970.

And no amount of  Ferrari homologation ‘jiggery-pokery’ with promises of cars to be built would satisfy the CSI given the hoops Porsche had to jump to achieve certification of production numbers of their 4.5 litre 917 ‘Panzer-Wagen’ which created the need for all those 512S to be built in the first place… Given the working capital involved in designing, building and carrying the holding costs of unsold cars on his Balance Sheet be in no doubt about just what a priority Le Mans was to Ferrari for all those years.

He would not readily hand victory to the Germans without a fight. So, i suspect the 512S nomenclature was a marketing exercise to do everything possible to promote the car he needed to sell rather than one he was about to drop as works entry at seasons end. (putting the 312PB of 1971 and beyond to one side, that car is still a regulation change away, in 1969 the main game was 5 litres not 3)

fazz ‘In period’ studio shot of the 512S Berlinetta Speciale. (Pininfarina)

Ferrari’s Design Evolution…

Filippo Sapino longest creative stint was 30 years as design director at Ghia but his most stunning project was the ‘Ferrari 512S Berlinetta Speciale’, completed whilst at Pininfarina for a short while in the late 1960s. Launched at the 1969 Turin Motor Show, the car caused enormous interest as it was the first Ferrari with ‘wedge styling’, a design trend of the late sixties.

Regardless, ‘Sapino had made the most of the floor-hugging physique of the chassis, adding some unorthodox surface treatments to visually transform static into supersonic. Flourishes such as the flip-up canopy completed the Speciale’s theatre’.

Automobile Year 17 said this about the car in its annual review of 1969 ‘Quite the most exciting looking closed car to emanate from the Pininfarina establishment for some time, the Ferrari 512S Berlinetta Speciale pursued the wedge line and with the 5 litre four ohc V12 engine behind the seats it should be one of the worlds fastest cars. The shape was determined after research in collaboration with the Turin Polytechnic, and was the work of 29 year old Filippo Sapino before he left to join the new Ford styling centre in Turin.’

Pininfarina’s Ferrari Modulo, displayed in 1970, based on a 512S chassis was the definitive Ferrari wedge…

modulo The truly stunning Pininfarina Ferrari Modulo. As stunning now as when first launched at Geneva in 1970. This shot was in Automobile Year 18.

Even though the Modulo was originally designed by Paolo Martin in 1968 the Berlinetta Speciale was the first built and therefore could or should be said to be the more influential in showing the path and creating the inspiration for Ferrari angular/wedge road cars such as the 365GTC/4 (also designed by Sapino), 365 Berlinetta Boxer and 308-328 series of Dino’s

dino Ferrari publicity shot of Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni checking out the ‘wedgey’ Pininfarina designed, Dino 308 at Fiorano in 1976. They are during a lull testing the 312T2 F1 car which is clear to see. (unattributed)

In fact the choice of Sapino’s design as Pininfarinas 1969 Show Star rather than Paolo Martin’s is an interesting bit of Pininfarina politics, which worked out rather well for PF, Ferrari and i suspect both designers.

Paolo Martin already had a successful PF Ferrari ‘show car’ under his belt, the Ferrari Dino 206 Competizione which made its show debut at Frankfurt in 1967. I wrote about this influential car a while back.

In 1968 at Pininfarina he was wrestling with the design of a dashboard of the Rolls Royce Camargue when he conceived the design of a car which became known as the Modulo, which he described as ‘The craziest dreamcar in the world, the most unique, violent, inimitable and conceptually different’.

Sketches were drawn, Martin had an ally in PF Director Franco Martinengo but Sergio Farina was not convinced even by Martin’s full scale polystyrene model of the car which he completed by August 1968. ‘Why would you draw a car like this?’ he asked Martin. “Its important that they will speak of it’ he replied. Farina’s rejoinder ‘Yes, but they will speak ill of it’.

And so, as its showcar in 1969 Pininfarina went with Sapino’s more conservative, i hesitate to use the word, the car is stunning but in relative terms the car is conservative beside the Modulo, as was everything else was when the car appeared at Geneva in 1970.

Emboldened by the success of the Berlinetta Speciale in 1969 Pininfarina was ready to endorse Martin’s Modulo which made its show debut in 1970, it truly was and is a remarkable milestone in automotive design, still fascinating audiences when it makes occasional show appearances now.

The Modulo is an interesting story for another time, it was based on a 512S chassis but the account is far from clear. The consensus seems to be that 512S chassis ‘1027’ was built up as Ferrari 612P ‘0864’, the car one of 2 (‘0866’ the other) raced by Chris Amon in the 1969 Can Am series. At the end of the cars unsuccessful campaign, the McLarens M8B Chevs dominant that year, its remains including the original chassis less chassis plate was given to Pininfarina to be used as a base of the Modulo.

612 Ferrari 612P CanAm car, Ferrari factory shot. The car grew wings and other aero appendages but fundamentally lacked grunt whatever its chassis shortcomings relative to the Mclaren M8B Chevs dominant that year. One 612P was built using 512S chassis ‘1027’, and then at the end of the season the car was dismantled and the chassis used as the basis for the Modulo. (Sefac Ferrari)

The photo shoot atop a mountain top at Como, Italy which inspired this article was shot by noted racing photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch, Who knows what its all about, and who cares…both car and babe shown to great effect!

berlinetta 2


612 engine 512S Speciale engine compartment filled with the 6 litre V12 ex 612P ‘0866’. Its a dummy engine, original block but no internals, the car is not and has never been ‘ a runner’. Looks the goods all the same. (Rainer Schlegelmilch)
berlinetta front Berlinetta Speciale, great from any angle. (Pininfarina)

Bibliography and Credits…,, Automobile Year 17, Classic Driver

Rainer Schlegelmilch, Octane




John Surtees clipping the apex in Mexico in his North American Racing Team ‘NART’, factory, Ferrari 158. Ferrari was in dispute with the Italian national automobile club over its refusal to homologate his 250LM sportscar into Group 5 despite having not built the minimum number of cars to do so…the hissy-fit reflected in the cars being entered in the blue/white of Luigi Chinettis’ American NART rather than Italian national red…(Bernard Cahier)

John Surtees pilots his ‘NART’ Ferrari 158 to second place in the 1964 Mexican Grand Prix, clinching the drivers World Championship for him and the Constructors Championship for Ferrari…

On the day that Lewis Hamilton won the 2014 Championship i was flicking through some old magazines and reflected on the remarkably diverse career and achievements of Surtees.

In similar fashion to 2014 the 1964 title was also decided at the last race, in Mexico that year.

Graham Hill, Jim Clark and Surtees were all winners depending upon who finished where. In a race of changing fortunes Clark lead from the start, and was on track for the race win and his second title when his Climax engine started to lose oil and seized seven laps from the end. Surtees’ engine misfired early but sorted itself, teammate Bandini allowed him into second and the points he needed to defeat Hill, who had been given a ‘tap up the chuff’ by Bandini earlier in the race, causing a pitstop and damaged exhausts ruining his chance.

Mexico 1964, Surtees and Bandini

Surtees in his Fazz 158 ahead of teammate Bandini in the flat-12 1512 early in the Mexican GP (unattributed)

Dan Gurney won the race in his Brabham BT7 Climax and Surtees the title. He was to win only six Championship GP’s throughout his long career, 1960-1972, not reflective of his talent but indicative of team choice, he wasn’t always in the right place at the right time.

Drivers Mexico 1964

Gurney, Clark, Surtees, pensive as always and Phil Hill prior to the ’64 Mexican GP. Looks like Brabhams’ haircut behind Clark? (Bernard Cahier)

Famously the only driver to win World Championships on two wheels and four…

He was born into a motor-cycling family and progressed from his fathers’ sidecar to solos and many Norton victories, before too long signed by Count Agusta to MV.


Surtees bump starts his MV350 prior to the start of his run around the daunting Isle of Man, Senior TT 1957 (unattributed)

The departure of Gilera and Moto Guzzi allowed Surtees and MV to dominate the bigger classes, he won 350cc titles in 1958/9/60 and 500cc championships in 1956/8/9/60.

Before too long he wanted to race cars, making his GP debut for Team Lotus at Monaco in 1960, he mixed cars and bikes that year his best result second in the British GP.

Surtees on the road Riverside 1960

Surtees being blown off by a Ford Fairlane…on the way back from Riverside, USGP practice 1960. Lotus 18 Climax. 2.5 FPF Climax an incredibly tractable engine! (Bernard Cahier)

Surtees Portuguese GP 1960

Surtees made his F1 debut with Lotus at Monaco 1960, mixing a season of F1 with winning the 350 & 500 titles on bikes…here at Oporto in the Portuguese GP, he retired on lap 36 having qualified on pole on this challenging road course. Lotus 18 Climax (Bernard Cahier)

He drove a Reg Parnell/Bowmaker racing Cooper in 1961 and a Parnell/Bowmaker Lola in 1962 commencing a relationship with Eric Broadley’s marque which continued for most of his career in categories outside F1…although the F1 Honda of 1967 was famously a ‘Hondola’, being the marriage of in essence the Lola T80/90 chassis with the big, powerful 3 litre Honda V12.

Surtees AGP WF 1963

John in the Lola Mk4A Climax enroute to 2nd behind Jack Brabhams’ Brabham BT4, both 2.7 Coventry Climax FPF powered. Australian GP, Warwick Farm, Sydney 1963 (John Ellacott)

The most productive phase of his career was with Ferrari from 1963 to mid 1966, winning in both sports cars and in F1…

The Palace Coup and Purge of key Ferrari staff in late 1962 gave Surtees his Ferrari chance, joining them in early 1963. Arguably he was a good bet for the 1966 Championship won by Jack Brabham but inept, political management by team-manager Eugenio Dragoni resulted in his departure from the team mid season, his talents rewarded with two wins for Cooper that season, he then moved to Honda.

Its ironic that Ferrari intrigue gave him his Ferrari chance, and Ferrari intigue got the better of his sense of fairness in the end, read the MotorSport article below for Surtees’ own version of these events.

Surtees and Hill Monaco 1963

Surtees (4th) leads Graham Hill (1st) at Monaco 1963, Ferrari T56 and BRM P57 respectively (unattributed)

Forghieri and Surtees Ferrari 1512

Surtees looks typically concerned, there are not too many smiley shots of ‘Big John’, this was a serious business and all too often he was far from happy with his mount! Mauro Forghieri adjusts his ‘wedding tackle’. Ferrari 1512 1965, Nurburgring…look at all those coils trying to spark the high revving 1.5 litre flat 12. Technically interesting car with the 180 degree flat-12 used as a stressed member, years before the much touted Lotus 43/49 deployed the technique in 1966/7 respectively. Look closely and you can see the engine attachment point to the cast rear chassis bulkhead. Chassis still semi-monocoque tho. And lovely V12 still a 2 valve engine, rev limit and higher-frictional losses of the 12 and power developed  did not outweigh its complexity and higher fuel consumption relative to the 158 V8 in 1964. By the end of 1965 Surtees considered the car to have a decisive advantage over any other car but time had run out…Ferrari expected the 1.5 F1 to continue on, this engine needed to peak 12 months earlier than it did. Ferrari won no GP’s in 1965, Lotus and BRM had the edge that year. (unattributed)

Ferrari 158 cutaway

Surtees 1964 championship winning Ferrari 158. Chassis semi-monocoque, aluminium panels welded to tubular steel frame. IFS front by top rocker, lower wishbone and coil/spring shock unit. Rear by single top link, inverted lower wishbone, twin radius rods and coil spring/damper units.Adjustable roll-bars front and rear. Dunlop disc brakes , 468 Kg total. Engine ‘Tipo 205B’ 1489cc 90 degree all alloy V8. Chain driven DOHC, 2 valves per cylinder. Twin plugs fired by Marelli coils (4) and distributor. Bosch direct fuel injection, 10.5:1 compression ratio, circa 220bhp @ 11000rpm. 5 speed transaxle with ratios to choice,’slippery diff’ (Bruno Betti)

Surtees Spa 1966

John avoided the multiple spins and accidents caused by the lap 1 deluge of the Belgian GP at Spa in 1966, winning the race. He was shortly to walk out of the team and with that action ended his, and Ferraris’ hopes of a World Championship that year. Camera crew handily placed on the Eau Rouge apex… (unattributed)

Surtees Ferrari 312 Monza 1966

Happy JS testing his F1 Ferrari 312 at Monza in 1966 before the Monza 1000Km race. Cars behind are Ferraris’; Dino 206S and P3. The event was in April ’66, Surtees had a win in a P3 partnered by Mike Parkes…Bandini in the drivers overalls and brown sweater ? (unattributed)

1966 was capped with a dominant win in the first CanAm Championship in his self-run Team Surtees Lola T70Mk2 Chev, defeating Mark Donohue in a similar car and Bruce McLarens’ own M1B Chev, the McLaren CanAm steamroller commenced the following year.

Las Vegas Can Am 1966

John Surtees in his Lola T70 Mk2 Chev leads the field into turn 1 at ‘Stardust International Raceway’, Las Vegas 1966. The hi-winged Chaparral 2E Chev’s of Jim Hall and Phil Hill stand out. #98 is Parnelli Jones, #18 behind Hill George Follmer, #43 Jackie Stewart and #6 Mark Donohue are all in Lola T70 Chevs. #4, 5 , 88 are McLaren, Amon and Masten Gregory all driving McLaren M1B Chevs…Surtees victorious that year in a field of great depth (unattributed)

The Honda RA273 was a big heavy car, the marriage of Lola chassis and Honda engine, the RA300, was more competitive winning Surtees his sixth and final Championship Grand Prix victory at Monza in 1967, just pipping Jack Brabham in a last corner tactical battle/sprint to the line.

Surtees South Africa 1967

Surtees in his Honda RA300, the big V12 ahead of Graham Hills’ Lotus 49 Ford. Clarks’ Lotus 49 won the race, his last GP victory. Surtees 8th, Hill 2nd Kyalami , South Africa 1968 (unattributed)

Honda withdrew from F1 to reappear in the 1980’s, Surtees F1 season with BRM in 1969 was a poor one, the Tony Southgate designed BRM P153/180 were competitive cars but John was a season too early, his timing again was not quite right.

Surtees BRM 1969 Spanish GP

JS 5th in the 1969 Spanish GP but 6 laps behind winner Stewarts’ Matra Ford in a debacle of a race when Rindt/Hill Lotus 49’s lost their rear wings…hi-wings banned at Monaco several weeks later. BRM P138. (unattributed)

Chaparral 2H Laguna 1969

The truly wild Chaparral 2H Chev 1969, Surtees wrestling with the beast at Laguna Seca. An article in itself deserved on this car, composite chassis, low, low driving position, raised at Surtees insistence, De Dion rear suspension and more…here in search of downforce with what, even by Jim Halls’ standards, is a BIG WING! (unattributed)

His 1969 Chapparral CanAm season was even worse.

Jim Halls 2H Chev was an extraordinary car of immense innovation, but was totally uncompetitive, despite the best efforts of development of both Hall and Surtees. The 2J ‘ground effect sucker car’ of 1970 was even more avant garde and competitive but Jim Hall and Surtees was not ‘a marriage made in heaven’, a second season was not going to happen.

Jim Hall and Surtees Can Am 1969

Communication breakdown…Jim Hall and Surtees, Edmonton Can Am 1969, John in the seat of the recalcitrant, avant garde Chaparral 2H Chev. Franz Weis looks on (unattributed)

Surteees Nurburgring 1970 Ferrari 512S

All is forgiven…back in Scuderia Ferrari in the 1970 512S squad…here at the Nurburgring in front of the much more nimble and victorious Porsche 908/3 of  Elford/Ahrens. John was teamed with Niño Vaccarella, they finished 3rd. (unattributed)

It was time to control his own destiny, build his own cars which he started to do with the Len Terry designed TS5 F5000 car in 1969…the Surtees TS7 Ford F1 machine made its debut in Johns’ hands in 1970.

Surtees Cars won the European F2 Championship with the works TS10 Ford driven by Mike Hailwood and the 1972 British/European F5000 Championship, Gijs van Lennep driving a TS11 Chev.

john surtess

Surtees in his own TS8 Chev F5000 car Australian GP 1971, Warwick Farm. He was running second behind Frank Matich’ winning Matich A50 Repco, then had a puncture DNF. Here he is leading Max Stewart’s 2 litre Mildren Waggott DNF engine. (Dick Simpson)

In F1 the cars were competitive over the years, the TS19 ‘Durex franger’ sponsored chassis of 1976-7 perhaps the pick of them albeit results were still not great, John finally gave up due to the difficulty in funding in 1978.

Surtees retired from F1 as a driver after the Italian GP, Monza 1972, fitting as it was the scene of his final championship F1 victory in 1967.

He was competitive to the end winning two F2 races in his Surtees TS10 Ford that year. He continued to test the F1 cars, much to the annoyance of some of his drivers who would have preferred the ‘seat time’ themselves…

He is now 80 years old, happy in retirement and still a respected commentator on the current scene…

Surtees Italian GP 1972

John Surtees contesting his final GP, Monza 1972 is his TS14 Ford. He retired on lap 7 with fuel vaporisation problems, teammate and fellow ex-motor cycle champion Mike Hailwood finished second in his Surtees TS9B Ford..his and the marques best ever championship result. Emerson Fittipaldi won the race and the Championship in his Lotus 72 Ford (unattributed)


Motor Sport

Read this fantastic article, John Surtees on working with the ‘Italian Racing Aristocrats’, Count Agusta and Commendatore Ferrari…

Read this fantastic article on the Surtees Racing Car marque…

Surtees and Count Agusta

Signing on the dotted line for MV, a very youthful JS, 22 years old, with Count Agusta 1956 (unattributed)

Surtees Longford

Winning the ‘South Pacific International’, Longford, Tasmania, Australia March 1962. The ‘Yeoman Credit’ Cooper T53 Climax 2.7 is exiting the Viaduct. He beat Jack Brabham and Bib Stillwell also in Coopers (Keverell Thompson)

Enzo, Surtees and Ferrari 158 Modena

Enzo Ferrari, John Surtees with crossed arms in the driving suit behind him. Surtees grumpy, perhaps early tests of the 158 at Modena are not going well…(Bernard Cahier)

Surtees and Bandini Monaco 1965

Love this shot of Surtees in his Ferrari 158 chasing teammate Bandini in a 1512 in the 1965 Monaco GP. Bandini 2nd, Surtees 4th and out of fuel, Hill victorious in his BRM P261 (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

Surtees pits Can Am 1966

Team Surtees 1966 CanAm Champions…the way it was. Racer, truck, mechanics, driver, ‘works car’ and a series win! Surtees supervising @ rear, circuit anyone? (unattributed)

Surtees and McLaren Can Am 1966

John Surtees ahead of Bruce McLaren, Lola T70 Mk 2 and McLaren M1B, both Chev powered. St Jovite Can Am Canada 1966 (unattributed)

Lola T100 Surtees

Testing ! the Lola T100 Ford FVA F2 car at the Nurburgring, 1967 (Alexandre Willerding)

Surtees TS7 Ford cutaway drawing

Surtees TS7 Ford, JS 1970 & 1971 F1 contender. A well executed ‘Cosworth kit car’ of the period, general layout by JS, detail design by Peter Connew and Shabab Ahmed. Aluminium monocoque chassis, Ford Cosworth DFV 3 litre V8, circa 430bhp @ 10200rpm in 1970. Hewland DG 300 5 speed ‘box. IFS front by top rocker, lower wishbone and coil spring/ damper units and rear by single top link, single top radius rod, twin parallel lower links and coil spring/damper units, F5000 TS8 of the time a variant of this chassis. The car won some championship points and the Non-Championship Oulton Park Gold Cup in 1970 (cutaway by Bill Bennett)

Photo and Other Credits…

The Cahier Archive, Alexandre Willerding, Keverell Thompson Collection, John Ellacott, Dick Simpson, Bruno Betti, Bill Bennett, Rainer Schlegelmilch




Local boy Nino Vaccarella wrestled his big Ferrari into third place around the ‘Piccolo Madonie’ circuit in 1970…

Sensational Rainer Schlegelmilch shot captures the very essence of Targa, its geography and contrast of tradition and contemporary technology.

Porsche had ‘the game covered’ in 1970/71, they had the nimble, light 908/3 for Targa and the Nurburgring and the legendary 917 for power circuits such as Le Mans, Daytona and Monza. Brian Redman and Jo Siffert won the race in a 908/3 from Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen in the other JW Automotive Porsche.

Ferrari only entered one factory car, Vaccarella partnered by compatriot Ignazio Giunti, a promising driver who made his F1 debut with Ferrari in 1970. He perished in a tragic accident in Argentina in 1971 when his Ferrari 312P (sports car) ran into the back of Jean Pierre Beltiose’ Matra 660 which he was pushing along the track, having run out of fuel.

Nino Vaccarella was a good bet for the win though, a local, he grew up in Palermo and knew the circuit ‘like the back of his hand’. He started the season well winning the Sebring 12 Hour with Giunti, and Mario Andretti. He won Targa thrice; in 1965 in a Ferrari 275 P2 and in 1971 in an Alfa T33/3. His final win was in an Alfa TT12 after Targa became a National Italian event, Targa losing its championship status after 1973 when the cars simply became too quick for the circuit on Sicilian open roads…not too quick for an Italian event however!

Vaccarella also had some Grand Prix experience, his best GP result ninth in the 1962 Italian Grand Prix in a privately entered Lotus 24 Climax.

Predominantly a Sports Car Driver, he also won the 1964 Le Mans 24 Hour Classic sharing a Ferrari 275 P with Jean Guichet and the Nurburgring 1000Km with Ludovico Scarfiotti in another 275P.

He is still alive and well living in Sicily.


Stunning shot and an epic vantage point for the boys, Collesano. Vaccarella/ Giunti Ferrari 512S Spyder in shot (Pinterest)



Vaccarella in the Sicilian countryside, the unique challenges of the circuit and driving a 5 litre 550 BHP V12 Ferrari 512S apparent (Pinterest)


close up

Vaccarella in the car he shared with Ignazio Giunti, Targa 1970 . A second Ferrari 512S was entered by Scuderia Fillipinetti driven by Herbie Muller and Mike Parkes finishing sixth (Pinterest)



Vaccarella finishes his 11th lap, the event which started and finished in Cerda. The lap record for the course was set by Helmut Marko in an Alfa 33TT3 in 1972 at an average speed of 128.253 KmH for the 72Km course on Sicilian open roads. (Pinterest)



Cutaway of the Ferrari 512S. Space-frame chassis, 5 litre, DOHC V12, circa 550BHP. 5 speed gearbox, independent suspension by wishbones at front with coil spring/dampers (Koni), and single top link, inverted wishbone, radius rods and coil spring/damper units at the rear. A superb car if never as successful as the Porsche 917, its direct rival. (Pinterest)



Nino Vaccarella, Targa 1970 (The Cahier Archive)


italian gp

Vaccarella competed for Ferrari in the 1965 Italian GP in a 158. His engine failed in the race won by Jackie Stewarts’ BRM P261, the first of his 27 Grand Prix victories. (Pinterest)



Jo Siffert in the 1970 Targa Florio winning Porsche 908/3 he shared with Brian Redman (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, The Cahier Archive, Pinterest




Fabulous shot of Derek Bell ‘on line’ on the approach to La Source hairpin, he finished 8th sharing this ‘Ecurie Francorhamp’ 512S with Hughes De Fierlant…

Jo Siffert and Brian Redman won the race in the dominant car of 1970/71, the Porsche 917K. These 5 litre 12 cylinder , 450-500 BHP cars are still spoken of in awe 45 years later by those fortunate enough to see, or drive them.

Ferrari were very busy in 1970 with F1 and their beloved sportscar programs. Porsche kept it simple, subcontracting the preparation and racing of the cars to John Wyer Engineering and Porsche Salzburg, they were not distracted by F1.

On paper, the V12, spaceframe chassis 512S should have given the Flat 12, space-frame chassis 917 a better run for its money than it did…

The early season Sebring 12 Hour win flattered to deceive. The suitably ‘tweaked 512S ,’71 updated 512M showed  early potential to ‘serve it up’ to the 917 horde, but the Ferrari factory didn’t race it in ’71, the 15 cars built or converted from 512S spec were raced by privateers only, there is an interesting article to be written there!

The 512S is one of my ‘Top 10 Racing Cars’ a fabulous device if not Maranello’s most successful…



25 512S all in a row?…Maranello late 1969…

Twenty five cars were required by the governing body, the CSI for homologation into Group 5

The cars are all lined up ready for inspection, the yellow ‘Francorchamp’ car stands out.

The investment was huge compared with the small production runs of previous models, only three P4’s were built (and one P3 converted to a P4).

Fiat ‘took over’ Ferrari’s road car division in 1969 and put racing support arrangements in place going forward, without that their would have been no 512 program, the company probably would not have had the working capitial to build so many cars with sales not exactly certain.

Spa 1000 Km 1970 pits

(CA Caillier)

More 512S all in a row, mechanics fettle Bells’ car, #21 is the Schetty/Merzario Scuderia Ferrari 512S which finished seventh, the best placed 512S was the Ickx/Surtees machine in second.


512 spa camera

Busy pit stop for the Ickx/Surtees 2nd placed 512S. Surtees jumping in, Ickx clear in the helmet behind, Spa 1970 (Rainer Schlegelmilch)


Andretti at Daytona in 1970


Engine, transmission and rear suspension detail of one of the works cars, Daytona 1970




The Ferrari compound above at Le Mans in 1970.

The Dick Attwood/Hans Hermann Porsche 917K won the race with the best place of the eleven 512S which started the race was the NART entry driven by Sam Posey and Ronnie Bucknum.

#8 is the Art Merzario/Clay Regazzoni entry DNF after 38 laps with a collision, the #5 Jacky Ickx/Peter Schetty was also involved in a collision in which a marshal was killed after completing 142 laps. The car to the left without a number showing is the Derek Bell/Ronnie Petersen car which had a valve fail after only 39 laps- worse was bearing failure of the #6 Nino Vaccarella/Ignazio Giunti 512S after only seven laps were completed. Not a memorable Le Mans for Ferrari at all.

512S Long-tail during the filming of ‘Le Mans’ in 1971 (Getty)

Photo Credits…

A Caillier, Rainer Schlegelmilch, Getty Images


512 spa schetty

Peter Schetty, 7th Ferrari 512S chasing the winning Siffert/Redman Porsche 917K, Spa 1970 (Rainer Schlegelmilch)