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Beauty and a beast

11 months ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


26 July 2023

Forget the photographs. However beautiful the Ferrari 412P may look on a laptop screen, it is nothing compared to how it appears in reality. You’ll probably gasp, you might even laugh at the fact a shape such as this could have been created, not for exhibition, but motor racing. But it is my extraordinary good fortune to be able to let you into a small secret: however good it looks, it is nothing compared to how good it is to drive.

But before we slip behind its small black wheel with its three, drilled alloy spokes, it’s worth remembering exactly what a 412P is, for does it not look exactly like the famed Daytona 24 Hour-winning Ferrari P4? It does, and there’s a reason for that.

In the late 1960s Ferrari had four favoured customer teams, based in North America, Belgium, Switzerland and the UK. And to these teams alone were 412Ps supplied; as such, they can be thought of as customer-specification P4s. So they had P4 bodywork, suspension, brakes and wheels, but a different specification for their 4-litre V12 engines, with two valves per cylinder instead of three, and six Weber carburettors in place of Lucas fuel injection. But of these four cars, two – the North American and Swiss cars – had started life as P3s in the previous 1966 season, then brought up to 412P specification for 1967. Which means just two were made as 412Ps from the outset; and this is one of them, chassis 0854.

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