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What's the deal with the V12?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by millemiglia, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. millemiglia

    millemiglia Formula Junior

    Jan 14, 2003
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    Stockholm, Sweden
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    Peter B.
    Every once in a while someone in a fchat thread says something about "fewer than twelve cylinders doesn't count", "the eight cylinder cars aren't real Ferraris" and stuff like that.
    Where does this come from?
    I know that in F1, Ferrari have used inline fours, inline sixes, V6's with and without turbo charging, V8's, V12's and now V10's.
    So why would anyone say that only twelve cylinder Ferraris are real Ferraris?

    /Peter
     
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  3. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
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    Jan 11, 2001
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    Because Enzo once said it (when it suited his purpose ;))...
     
  4. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    It comes from comments made by Enzo in the mid-60s. While I admit that I too prefer the 12s to the 8s, I must admit that times have changed since then with F1 cars now running V10s and most of Ferrari's production being V8 cars. However, I am still of the opinion that you do not get the full Ferrari experience in a non-12 cylinder car. There is just something about the sound and feel you get as well as how a 12 looks nestled in the engine compartment. They're just AWESOME!
     
  5. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
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    Only when the compartment is BEHIND the driver ;-)

    Oh and guys... Enzo said many things. He also dated other driver's women, had an extramarital affair, fathered a child out of wedlock...

    But hey, who is counting :)
     
  6. AJS328

    AJS328 F1 Veteran
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    It sounds like there may have been several guilty parties in those instances.
     
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  8. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    enjoythemusic, oh contrar. I believe the front engined V12s sound much better than the mid-engined Flat-12s.
     
  9. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
    3,458
    potomac
    i get as much if not more of the ferrari experience driving a 360 spider with a tubi as i do driving a 550 or 512tr or daytona..and the 360, with only 8cylinders, is more fun to drive than any of the above mentioned cars...the 12s are great to look at and sound amazing, except a 550 without a tubi,which sounds like an everyday car....but to say that the only true ferrari is a 12 is stupid ferrari snobbism
     
  10. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    scycle2020, I didn't say it...Enzo did. But, from what I've read Enzo was called a lot worse than stupid in his days. I've read that he also didn't like mid-engined cars either and once commented to his engineers that "...a horse always pulls a buggy...it never pushes it..."That being said, I acknowledge times have changed and the fact is that most people who buy the newer Ferraris, especially the 360, are not true autophiles and have bought one because they are the latest new Ferrari. In fact, most of the new 360 buyers were not even alive in Ferrari's V12 hey days, and if they were, they were not F1 or Ferrari fans at the time. I even heard a story from a body shop friend of mine that had a new owner's wrecked 360 in the shop and he claimed that the new owner thought his 360 had a 12 cylinder engine. Clearly he had just bought the car because he could not out of the love of the Ferrari mystic. I have owned 2 v8s, 2 flat-12s and 2 v12s over the last 15 yearsand can honestly say I enjoyed the 12 cylinder cars much more than the 8 cylinder cars. And, that even included a 400GT which most people consider the ugly duckling of Ferraris.
     
  11. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

    Enzo began making his own cars he chose a 12 cylinder, the only other company making 12s was Packard, they stopped in 1939 so Ferrari was the only maker from then on making 12s, so if you wanted something different you had a Ferrari V12 the same today.

    Lambo came next to compete with Ferrari they felt compelled to specify no less than 12 cylinders either.

    Enzo Ferrari has gone on record many times stating 12cylinders are everything and a real Ferrari could not have fewer.

    I really like my 328 with its 8 cylinders and I am sure the 355 and 360 are just as enjoyable as I have driven them but the 12s are totally different in sound and torque especially with carbs they are in a different league.
     
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  13. Maverix

    Maverix Karting

    Apr 26, 2004
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  14. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

     
  15. millemiglia

    millemiglia Formula Junior

    Jan 14, 2003
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    Peter B.
    Il Commendatore can't have been an easy boss to work for, from what I've read he was stubborn as a mule and wouldn't change his opinion easily.
    Mike Hawthorn refused to race in '58 (the year he became world champion) unless Ferrari started to use disc brakes instead of drums.
    Something Enzo first refused to listen to.
    And the statement "A horse should pull the carriage, not push it" is famous.
    So if the great man had had it his ways I don't think Ferrari would have been as successful on the racetracks as they have been.

    /Peter
     
  16. Boxer 512

    Boxer 512 Formula Junior
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  17. steve f

    steve f F1 World Champ

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    i say it all the time proper ferraris have 12 cylinders in the rear the others are hairdressers cars 8 cylinder engine and power steering and these F1 things arrgh posh name for a automatic wouldnt be seen dead in one of them
     
  18. Victory

    Victory Formula Junior

    Jan 28, 2004
    410
    Ferrari kept on with their V12 when the other F1 teams were already converted to the V10. They were soundly beaten and had to design their own V10 to get back into conpetition.

    It's a lot of bull.... that a Ferrari is not a Ferrari unless it's a V12.
     
  19. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
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    Georgia
     
  20. Smiles

    Smiles Moderator
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    Nov 20, 2003
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    "Real" Ferraris come in all varieties of engine layouts.

    Then again, it's awfully hard to match the sound of a Columbo V-12. Even this engine, which has needless niceties like air conditioning and power steering. It really does sound fantastic, like nothing else...

    (Sorry that this isn't a bit tidier.)
     
  21. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

     
  22. andys250GT

    andys250GT Karting

    Jul 2, 2004
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    ..not by what they say. It's true that Il Commendatore made the statement "The Ferrari is a twelve cylinder automobile" and that he named the six-cylinder road and race cars "Dino" for his late son, not "Ferrari" but he was running the show when the 308GT was unleashed with the Ferrari crest emblazoned on it's hood and the letters on the engine cover read F-E-R-R-A-R-I (not to be confused with the Bertone-bodied Dino 308 GTB)

    Let's not forget either that the car that celebrated his 40th aunniversary as a builder was the Ferrari F40 with (you guessed it) EIGHT cylinders. Does anyone think an F40 is not a "real Ferrari"?

    The old coot was a pretty good sales/marketing guy, you know.
     
  23. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

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    Yes, indeed he was.
     
  24. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
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    Guys stop the arguing about something so stupid. It has been clearly documented 1000 times.

    atheyg is 100% correct ... the only difference is that Enzo saw a Packard v12 engine (I believe) and was so impressed that he was bent on the v12 concept.

    Nobody ever said that Ferrari invented the v12 ... where that question/concern/comment came from I can only guess? ... too busy getting our knickers in a twist and forgetting to read.

    Thus Enzo was a promoter ... he himself said that all Ferraris would be v12s ... thus many people still play with this concept. We have to remember back in the old days (when Enzo was a young man) a v12 was a pretty impressive engine for the early years of automobiles.

    Enzo also said many things, many lies to fire up his drivers, etc.

    We also have to remember that Italians hardly every invent anything (flame suit on ;)) ... Ferraris used to be powered by passion not brilliant forward thinking engineering, hence why the English caught up and passed the company on the race track.

    We also need to remember that the 308's came out AFTER Ferrari sold the road car company to FIAT ... and part of the deal was FIAT could do anything they like with the road cars, and they did. The FIAT v8 is basically 2 FIAT 124 engines together in a V format ... but a great engine none-the-less.

    As for the F40 being v8 and Enzo blessing the car ... again he had little control, and I believe in this case they did ask, and he told them to make it bloody fast, like a race car ... they did!

    The last Ferrari that was made by Enzo Ferrari's road car division was the Daytona (er, possibly the 365 GT/4 2+2) ... after that design and control was 100% handed over to FIAT. Hence one of the reasons the Daytona holds its value.

    Thus every single road car that was made by Enzo's company, while he had control, was a v12.

    Yes Enzo's company made many race cars that had all sorts of engine configurations but ALL his road cars always had v12s ... was this right? ... heck I do not know, but who cares they make a great sound ;)

    Pete
    ps: I am 100% not saying that a Dino (246, 308, 360, etc.) is not a Ferrari because it is ... but from the 308 on they were built without Enzo's controlling input ... if he gave a single damn about his road cars at all.
     
  25. Sophia

    Sophia Formula Junior

    Aug 17, 2003
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    Peter Barbin
    What started this madness for me was a ride in a '72 Dino 246GT. The sound was absolutely incredible! Everything about that car was sensual and exotic...but what I remember most was the SOUND of the engine!

    This drive was in Albuquerque, New Mexico...the year was 1981. A wild high school dude named George.......drove it to school, Eldorado H.S. His dad was out of town, he had the car, I had the gas money. What a great lunch hour, and back then, we could get to some cool roads very quickly!

    Dad also had an E-type roadster and a 250 P4 in the garage under restoration...The dad's friend living up near the tram had a red 512 BBi. Anybody know these fellows?

    Well this experience stuck with me for years, I was 16 then. I just turned 40, and at 39 finally got my 308GTS! It's Weber's sing to me on those special days...I'd like to add a 12 cyl to my little collection someday too! PeterB.
     
  26. venusone

    venusone F1 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2004
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    #23 venusone, Aug 12, 2004
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  27. Tony Fuisz

    Tony Fuisz Karting

    Nov 5, 2003
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    I don't think there's anything magical about the V12. It is one of the engine configurations that is inherently balanced, and if you plan to make power with higher rpm, the smaller size of the individual pistons (compared to a similar displacement engine) allows for higher piston speeds. I think what happened at Ferrari was that they used whatever configuation of cylinders suited the type of car/size of engine needed to win.
    A large displacement very smooth powerful engine was perfect for the road cars (just like it is for the big BMWs and MBs today) so the V12 made sense. Even now, ferrari makes V8, V10 and V12 configurations depending on the purpose.
     
  28. scycle2020

    scycle2020 F1 Rookie

    Jan 26, 2004
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    good point!!
     

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