These two Ferrari F1 cars were an incredible addition to the Amelia Island Concours for 2015. Hailing from 1975-76 and 1976-77, the 312T and later 312T2 represented a game-changing redesign by Ferrari.
Raced by Nikki Lauda and scoring numerous race wins, the 312T is more outrageous to modern eyes thanks to its gigantic periscope of an air intake. Both machines have the almost eye-poppingly huge staggered tire setups of the era, putting tiny front rubber with a very narrow sidewall up front, but huge drag-racer-like slicks on the back. The ratio of front to rear tires is ostensibly 1 to 1.33X, but in the flesh and without any fenders -- the back tires might as well be twice as large.
The design lessened aero drag up front, and maximized traction in the back during this era of super-powerful F1 racers.
This 312T runs a 3.0-liter flat 12, producing 500-horsepower at over 12,000-rpm. A screamer, she is!
The big innovations for Ferrari on this first year the race team was headed by Luca di Montezumolo? A carbon-fiber nosecone was like something out of sci-fi at this time in the 1970s, and there was big action in back too. The 312T innovated a new sideways mounting for the transaxle. This kept much of the gearbox's weight within the wheel-base of the car. The result was a hyper-maneuverable car that could change direction like a gold-medal slalom skiier.
The later 312T2 is arguably more handsome from the front, as it is lower and more streamlined all around than the tall-intaked 312T2. Both are stunning time-capsules from the glory days of Formula One.
1975 Ferrari 312T
Active: 1975 - 1976
Team: Scuderia Ferrari SpA
Designers: Mauro Forghieri (CD), Franco Rocchi (HE)
Drivers: Niki Lauda (12), Clay Regazzoni (13)