Winner of the 1975 French Grand Prix, Driven by Niki Lauda
An Outstanding Example of Ferrari’s Championship-Winning 312T
The 312T presented here, chassis 022, is one of just five of the evolutionary “transversale” Grand Prix cars built by Ferrari for the 1975 Formula One season. The 312T model, designed by Mauro Forghieri, features a number of design changes from its 312B3 predecessor, including the transverse mounted gearbox that is reflected in the “T” designation in the car’s name. This new design positions the gearbox ahead of the rear axle to give a lower polar moment of inertia for improved cornering. The front of the 312T’s bodywork also became narrower, which improved airflow around the car and into the radiators. The 312T continued to employ Ferrari’s dominant and reliable flat-12 engine, which outperformed its competitors at 500bhp. Over its career, variants of the 312T won 27 races, four Constructors’ and three Drivers’ Championships, becoming one of the most successful models in the history of Formula One.
After underachieving in 1974 with the Ferrari 312B3, largely due to mechanical failures, Niki Lauda was determined and more focused than ever to avoid a repeat of his previous year’s results. As such, he was extremely hands-on with the development of the 312T and comprehensively tested the car during the off-season in an effort to bring Ferrari back to its winning ways. In the 1975 F1 season, the 312T covered 14 races between January and October and is considered to be the Austrian’s most accomplished year.
Niki Lauda began his successful 1975 campaign in chassis 022 with a victory in the non-championship 1975 BRDC International Trophy held at Silverstone. He would go on to win the French Grand Prix, place second in the Dutch Grand Prix and finish third at the German Grand Prix, all behind the wheel of 022. In total, Lauda qualified in pole position in all five championship races in which he drove 022, and his efforts in this chassis significantly contributed to both his and the Prancing Horse’s 1975 F1 world championship – Ferrari’s first title since 1964. Additionally, the car was driven on two occasions by Scuderia Ferrari teammate Clay Regazzoni and, following a single outing at the 1976 South African Grand Prix, was retired from racing.
During the 1980s, this 312T was acquired by noted French collector Jacques Setton, who owned the car for nearly two decades. It was later sold to John Bosch of the Netherlands and is now being offered from a prominent American collection, where it has resided since 2008. Beautifully restored by the current owner, this 312T was refinished in its Rosso Corsa livery by Byers Custom and Restoration and had all mechanical components rebuilt by the Ferrari experts at Dennison International. Following its uncommonly well-detailed restoration, this important Ferrari was shown at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it finished third in its class. An extraordinary Formula One car with one of the most successful and revered drivers of the era at the wheel, this Ferrari 312T is certain to be a highlight in what promises to be an unforgettable sale.
Gooding & Company - The Pebble Beach Auctions - August 16 & 17, 2019