In 1975, Niki Lauda drove the Ferrari 312T to his first ever world championship. Forty-four years later, it is set to be auctioned at Pebble Beach, for a whopping estimated $6-8 million.
Lauda joined the prancing horse in 1974, after a bad run which meant that the team hadn’t won a championship since 1964. In this starting year, Lauda finished 4th in the drivers’ championship. However, due to Lauda’s relentless hard work during that season, Ferrari became strong competitors once again for the 1975 season. In that year, Lauda won 5 out of 14 races to claim the championship. This particular car is chassis 22, in which Lauda drove 5 times. Every race, he got pole position. Three of those five he finished on the podium and 1 of those was a win at the French Grand Prix. He also won the BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone in this car; however this wasn’t a championship race.
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.
David Gooding’s auction house will auction the car for an estimated $6-8 million this August at Pebble Beach. David says that it is “one of the most significant racing Ferraris in the world.”
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.
The 312T it could be said, is the car that started Ferrari’s comeback to the top of Formula 1. 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. This therefore proving the 312T’s status as one of the all time great Ferraris.