My Car Quest

May 16, 2022

An Artist Chronicles His Favorite Ferrari Race Cars

by Wallace Wyss –

I first became interested in Ferraris in the ’60s when I moved to California from Michigan and was astonished to see Ferrari race cars like a 412P, a 250LM and a 250 GTO on the street.

When I had a chance at various concours, I would shoot pictures of these race cars that pushed the edge on legality but gave bystanders a thrill, both visually and aurally.

Here’s are some that I’ve portrayed:

Ferrari 250P

An open race car, mid engined, with a V12 2953cc, six Weber 38mm downdrafts, one cam per bank, independent rear suspension, tube frame aluminum body. I saw a San Fernando valley man driving one, added a ride in and was impressed a car that raced at LeMans was still streetable.

The Ferrari 250LM

A lot like a 250P with a roof, only one or two was kitted out for street driving. Also mid-engined and alloy bodied. The roof was characterized by a huge overhanging portion over the back window nicknamed a “tunnel back roof.” All were right hand drive. They were refused homologation as a race car at LeMans because not enough were built but poked the eye of the FIA that refused them by winning LeMans anyhow in ’65. I chased one of these through Malibu. At some point, on another Ferrari Owner’s Club jaunt, the owner put it off a cliff.

Ferrari 250LM art

Ferrari P3/4

To me the ultimate Ferrari race car, despite what came later. Also mid-engined also 5-speed, also V12. Preceded by the P3 that had failed miserably due to engine overheating and ZF gearbox problems, it was saved by an in-house developed five-speed joined to a radically improved engine, the first Ferrari engine to feature three valves per cylinder and use a pair of new heads derived from an F1 unit. It also used the Lucas fuel injection system and was rated 450 hp (335 kW).

Three were built, all as closed-top Berlinettas whereas one P3 was partially converted to P4 specs becoming known as the P3/4 or P4 Spyder because it lacked a roof. I didn’t see a P3/4 on the street but did manage to flag down a 412P on the Sunset strip, the 412 being a sort of a civilian version, driven by then owner Dean Paul Martin (sadly later killed by flying an F4 Phantom into a mountain in the fog).

Ferrari P3/4 Art

Ferrari SP2 Monza

Yes, incredibly Ferrari is still building race cars that can be street driven. I was surrounded by a passel of SP2 (Special project) V12 powered spyders at Laguna Seca in 2021 and saw them go right out on the racetrack. They come without a windscreen, requiring full face driver’s helmets And cost over $2 million each. So after thinking there would be no more Ferrari race cars for the street, I was shown I was wrong, and captured one doing a burnout on canvas later on.

Ferrari SP2 Monza Art

NOTE; These embellished giclee prints, measuring 20″ x 30″ on canvas, are available for order. Write malibucarart@gmail.com

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR/ARTIST: Now a fine arts painter, Wallace Wyss, has canvas prints available. He can be reached at Malibucarart@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 

Ferrari Logo - black and white

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An Artist Chronicles His Favorite Ferrari Race Cars
Article Name
An Artist Chronicles His Favorite Ferrari Race Cars
Description
I first became interested in Ferraris in the '60s when I moved to California from Michigan and was astonished to see Ferrari race cars like a 412P, a 250LM and a 250 GTO on the street.
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