Also known just as the 712. I simply love the car. It was a truly crazy piece of engineering. If you want. . . you can continue reading. I wrote about how it came to fruition.
It was made for the Can-Am series in America. Ferrari never competed in Can-Am, until they made this car. Why? Well Enzo didn't have any engines that could actually put out the massive power numbers that the big block Chevy V8's could('MURICA!!!). He also thought that it was stupid to just make a massive engine because he wanted the technology to trickle down into his road cars.
Apparently, a North American importer of Enzo's cars convinced him to try the racing series out. . . or atleast that is what I have heard. In the end though, Ferrari decided to finally build a car for the racing series. It became known as the 712! And yes, the 7 does stand for what you think it stands for. . .kind of.
It is actually a 6.9L V12. Quite the mouthwatering recipe. The engine is the same one found in the 512S. The whole car itself actually started out as a 512S, which was heavily modified.
This is were things get somewhat confusing, but stay with me here. The chassis number on the 512S was 1010. Most of the customer cars were sold off, but this one wasn't. Instead it got a more powerful engine and newer body work. It was now called the 512M! It took on the Porsche 917 at Monza, it was actually in the lead. That is until the it figured out it was Italian, and broke down.
Here is a picture of a 512M and a 512S. Look at the tails of the cars. Also notice how the nose of the 512M is lower and does not contain the lights that the 512S has. Actually nearly the whole rear end of the car has been redesigned. I do think the 512S looks better though.
Here is the 512S. It looks shorter, and more feminine. One of my favorite Ferraris, due to the fact that it was in Steve Mcqueen's "Le Mans."
This is the 512M. Looks more masculine to me. I think that the flattened haunches over the wheel make the car look worse, but not by much.
Next, the car was further modified for the Can-Am races in 1971. This is where it got completely new body work, an enormous engine, new driveline, new suspension. It was literally all new. And it was fast. It had 680 horsepower(or 750 horsepower. I am not quite sure, as different sources say different things!) and it only weighed 680 kilograms. Of course it was going to be fast! And oh man is it loud!
Granted it is not the most beautiful car, but it is a really cool looking car. Can Am cars always look awesome.
Mario Andretti drove this car in Can Am and finished 4th. . . and then it never raced again that season. Then it reappeared again in 1972, now with a different driver, but by now, the almighty Porsche 917/30 was just completely dominating Can Am. The poor Ferrari never stood a chance, and obviously did not win the Can Am championship
I feel as though people have completely forgotten about this car. Yes, I know it didn't race very much. It also didn't win any races, but this is one of those cars you look at and think "What could have been?" What if it was competitive, and Ferrari then made a 8L V12 to compete with the Mclaren M8E, M8F, and M8FP? Could you imagine!? A high revving 8L V12? I think I would be weak at the knees.
Here is the spec sheet from Ferrari.com
Thanks for sticking through this slightly dry read. I would love to show you videos of this car, but there aren't many on Youtube solely for this car. So I will link you directly to them. Just click. . .