Between their founding and 2019, Ferrari made over 200,000 cars. But not all of them were created equal. Today we’re going to have a look at 4 of the most fascinating and unusual cars from this iconic brand.
- Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale
Perhaps you’re already familiar with the central driving position of the McLaren’s F1 and Speedtail. But what if we told you Ferrari built a road car with a central driving position back in the late 60s?
Say hello to the Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale Tre Posti, or just “Tre Posti” for short.
It’s a car with some fascinating underpinnings. At the time, Ferrari was racing the P2. The 275 P2 and 330 P2 were both run as “works” cars, meaning they were raced by the factory themselves. Ferrari then opted to build a P2 to sell to privateers. They called it the 365 P2.
With a chassis largely based and fitted with a variation of the legendary Colombo V12 engine, it was pretty much top of spec for the times. Its 4.4 litres and 380bh sent straight to the rear wheels made it a potent ride.
Looks-wise, it bore a strong resemblance to the 206/246 Dino. Pininfarina was commissioned to design the bodywork for both these cars and leaned heavily on the Dino design language when penning the Tre Posti.
All in all, two cars were built. The first was a white car shown at the Paris motor show, while the second was a metallic grey model. While the white car went to Ferrari’s North American distributor, Luigi Chinetti, the grey went to Giovanni Agnelli, the boss of Fiat.
From our point of view, we think it’s a real gem from the Ferrari back catalogue. That said, the next entrant on our list could easily be considered one of the coolest cars ever built.
- Ferrari 288 EVO
Designed for Group B Rally in the 80s, the EVO is considered by many as an absolute beast of a motor. While several cars have been lauded as going 200mph standing still, there’s only one car that genuinely does so in our opinion, and it’s this one.
Counting the Audi Quattro, Ford RS200 and Lancia 037 amongst its contemporaries, it had a twin-turbo engine of 2.9L, heavily based on the 288 power plant. Considering a Base 288 already packs a punch, it’s fun to imagine how this motor would have got along (and that would be searingly fast). Weighing in at only 940kg, it boasted 650hp. Ferrari only built six of the Evo in total. One was kept by the factor, and the five other models were sold off.
- Ferrari F40 LM
Now, the F40 LM is where things really start to get unhinged. In fact, it needs little introduction as one of the better-known models amongst Ferrari enthusiasts. That said, it’s difficult to truly grasp just how incredible this car really is.
By this stage, Michelotto had established a bit of a talent for taking “regular” road-going Ferraris and turning them into some of the world’s most furious race cars. So when Charles Pozzi ordered an even more focused version of the F40 to field at Le Mans, Michelotto was ready to work his magic.
So how exactly does one take a run-of-the-mill Ferrari and make it ‘nippier’?
Firstly, you’re going to need to get rid of some weight. 330 kilos, to be exact. And as tricky as that sounds for an already streamlined car, it’s possible.
Secondly, you take the engine (which is already a powerhouse) and add 250hp. Replace the intercoolers, cams, engine management system, up the compression ratio, and pop in dual fuel injectors for every cylinder.
Once that’s done, you can then take the turbos, which originally produced 16psi of boost and reinforce them so that they produce an absurd 37.7psi.
And there you have it. Where you started with a car that was already very spartan, you’ve now got one that’s even more track-focused. Not to mention it’s an absolute animal on-road.
- Ferrari F50 GT
First, let’s establish why Ferrari even developed this model in the first place. Ferrari was running the F40 GTE in the BPR Global GT Series. But when McLaren entered the F1 GTR, Ferrari saw it as a challenge to accept.
Designed from the outset to be a racing car for the streets, the F50 wasn’t bad as a starting point. But it was about to get a significant upgrade.
From a fixed roof complete with air scoop to enlarged front air intakes and a massive centralized rear diffuser, the exterior transformation was drastic. But that doesn’t even come close to the aggressive drivetrain modifications.
There’s little information out there about what exactly was done. What we do know is that the engine was developed from the same 4.7L, V12 unit found in the F50. From 512hp at 8,500RPM it revived up to 750hp at 10,500RPM. It was then mated to a 6-speed sequential gearbox.
Preliminary testing at Fiorano supposedly showed that the GT was actually faster than the 333SP. So why is it not one of Ferrari’s most famous and successful race cars?
In short, because the BPR series was cancelled and replaced with the FIA GT Championship in 1997. The CLK GTR and 911 GT1 took precedence, and the F50GT project was shelved. Only one F50GT was ever completed, while two others were in build and three unfinished chassis sat on the production line.
Chassis 1 was sold to American collector Art Zafiropoulo, chassis 2 went to Japanese collector Yoshikuni Okamoto, and Chassis 3 ended up going to American collector Jim Spiro before ending up in the hands of one of the most serious car collectors on the planet.
So, there you have it – 4 of Ferrari’s most impressive and deepest cuts from their back catalogue.