Ferrari 312 B3 Spazzaneve: Ingenuity on the road to success

From this experimental model emerged several concepts that were later used in the T series that gave the Scuderia several titles in the late '70s.

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The streak without titles in the F1 it was something that worried too much Enzo Ferrari. The last great celebration had occurred in 1964 from the hand of English John Surtees, who had achieved the championship with a point of advantage over his compatriot Graham hill de BRM. During the rest of the 60s the Scuderia had accumulated more disappointments than joys, but the arrival in the 70s was taken as the springboard to return to the path of success.

The nomenclature 312 of the red racing cars, which had been established in 1966, remained with certain variations to define the cars devised by Mauro forghieri. Their designs followed the standards of the time, but the festivities did not appear. So it was that the August 28st, 1972 -in a clear attempt to reverse the situation and conform the brand new partners of FIAT- An F.1 different from the usual left Maranello. It was called Ferrari 312 B3 and the Italian journalists baptized it as Snow plow (Snowplow) ...

Ferrari 312 B3 SpazzaneveTaking as inspiration the Tyrell 005 they had a short wheelbase and the Lotus 72 that he had mastered in previous years, Forghieri created the B3 with the idea of ​​having a car with a very low center of gravity and aerodynamics taken to the extreme to take advantage of even more 485 horses V12 engine. That is why he endowed it with a square body and a huge tube including two open NACA ducts. Although its shape was extravagant, the front was the most distinctive and hence its nickname.

The Belgian Jacky Ickx and Italian Arturo Merzario tested the 312 B3 Spazzaneve in Fiorano, but the model was not born to compete, but to put some concepts into practice. At all times the idea was that these rehearsals were a secret, but the news leaked and the tifosi were excited to see it in the Italian GP, which was to be played on September 10.

Such was the pressure that Ferrari received that it registered it for the race. However, it was withdrawn at the last minute due to complaints from mechanics, who claimed that due to its unusual shape it would take more than eight hours to change the engine if necessary. A few weeks later the Spazzaneve project was shelved. The reason? Enzo Ferrari decided to transfer Forghieri to his experimental department ...

Ferrari 312 B3 SpazzaneveSandro Colombo, the new head of the sports area, decided to use the base of the B1973 for 3, but with a more conservative appearance and a monocoque made in England by the company TC Prototypes. Colombo could do nothing to reverse the slump and his tenure lasted what a sigh.

Forghieri returned to the team management in 1974, dusted off the plans for the 312 B3 Spazzaneve, took some concepts that he had applied to it and created the mythical T series which in 1975 allowed the Austrian Niki Lauda cut the prancing horse's title drought, repeat again in 1977 and achieve another celebration in 1979 with the South African Jody scheckter.

“The Spazzaneve was a very important car for me and for Ferrari. But it was always meant to be an experimental car. For me it was a basis for studying aerodynamics. It represented a great change in my mind ", Forghieri later confessed about its creation, which remained for a time in a corner of the Maranello factory until Ferrari sold it to a collector.

Since leaving Scuderia headquarters this car has changed hands a couple of times. It was seen in action in Monaco Historical Grand Prix 2006 and also in the Goodwood Festival of Speed of 2010.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, y and on the radios Rock pop y He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS.

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