StarLight Garage presents the Ferrari 375 Monoposto Corsa Indianapolis by Fantuzzi (#0388) from 1953.
While watching the 99th Indianapolis race I thought about this car ... and decide to suggest it (70 laps to go).
Well enjoy the moment with this extremely beautiful "Indy" Ferrari.
In the fifties the Indianapolis 500 was part of the calendar of the World Championship but was regularly deserted by European manufacturers. In 1952 the Scuderia decided to take part and changed significantly (chassis, suspension, engine) some specimens (five in total but only three were entered in the race) of the 375 F1, transformed so in 375 Indy. Despite the interventions, the car proved not ready yet: Alberto Ascari won the 19th place in qualifying but in the race he had to stop on lap 40 for breaking the hub of the rear right wheel and was classified in thirty-first place.
Let the Indy 375 customers of NART of Luigi Chinetti, in Maranello is thought to a specific project for the following year. The prototype, called precisely Monoposto Corsa Indianapolis and marked with the chassis number 0388, but did not take part in the race but then was sold in early 1954 in Chinetti, who put it available to its customers.
Overseas, the racing career of the car was not particularly noteworthy: in 1958 Chinetti enrolled at the 500 Miles of Monza where it was driven by the American Harry Schell and, before racing on the oval Monza, was modified in the factory. Then, in 1960, after further changes made by Carrozzeria Fantuzzi, it was tested at the circuit of Modena by Cliff Allison, thus concluding their sport.
The Monoposto Corsa Indianapolis was found in the US by an American collector who decided to put it back on track and entrusted to the care of Ferrari Classiche. The restoration was preceded by an in-depth historical reconstruction to determine the originality of the various components, analyzing them in correspondence with the technical drawings in the archive of Maranello and judging the deterioration in deciding any repairs or reconstructions.
Ferrari Classiche completed the restoration of the Corsa Indianapolis single-seater (chassis 0388) somewhere in 2009, a one-off built in 1953. The Ferrari Monoposto Corsa Indianapolis – the original name in the original Certificate – was developed as a prototype for the 1953 Indianapolis 500, but didn’t participate in the actual race although it was used in several other competitions in the 1950s.
The Monoposto Corsa Indianapolis project’s specific nature was based on several elements, in particular the restoration activities and the historical research by the Ferrari Classiche department’s technicians and to documents from the Ferrari archives. Courtesy of Ferrari SpA, here is the complete analysis of the history, the research and the restoration of the Corsa Indianapolis (chassis 0388).
The historic research for such a particular project started with the identification of the assembly sheet 250/I (Indianapolis). The tubular chassis with extra tubular bracing (with no existing designs) was made by the chassis supplier Gilco.
Naturally it is important to underline the existence of a specific list of components dating from March 1953, entitled “250 Indianapolis,” encompassing components that were specifically designed and identified as “250.” These included clutch, suspensions, hubs, braking system, fuel tank, oil radiator and tank (the car also had a double Houdaille shock absorbers rather than the usual single absorber).
In that context, the design in February 1953 of the Tipo “250 I” engine had an identical bore and stroke (68 mm) yielding an overall displacement of 2963.45 cc. The engine was initially equipped with a single-stage supercharger, then with two superchargers and twin Weber carburettors (various types were tested: twin Weber 40 IF4Cs, 46 DCFs and 42 DCFs).
Probably because of the many different racing projects dealt with by the Racing Division at the time, the development of this design didn’t go according to schedule and it was only bench-tested at the end of September 1953. A few days before the other test, a 375 engine was tested, while this was subsequently fitted when the car was delivered to Chinetti.
The restoration of such a highly unusual car involved followed Ferrari Classiche’s usual methods for restoration work carried out at the factory, while the running gear was stripped down and verified in correspondence to the original design and state of deterioration, to determine whether the parts could be re-used.
The car’s correspondence to the original design and eventual modifications made by the factory over time were verified through the analysis of the assembly sheet, analysis of the list of components (all of the components, divided by group, required to complete the car). A verification of the components installed and correspondences of the same to the original design was then carried out, followed by a verification of the components’ treatments to ensure that the same were rendered compliant with the initial specifications. This included the engine, gearbox, differential, suspension, brakes, transmission assembly, timing gear, ignition, lubrication, cooling system and exhaust system.
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