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  Ferrari 365 P2
 

  Article Image gallery (25) 0838 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1965
Numbers built:2
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 16, 2017
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFerrari scored the first outright victories for a mid-engined car at Le Mans in 1963 and 1964 with evolutions of the same car; the 250 P and 275 P. For someone versed in Ferrari nomenclature, the difference in the two is easily identifiable as an increase in engine size from roughly 3-litre to 3.3-litre (250 cc to 275 cc per cylinder). As a response to Ford's new GT40 program, a more substantial evolution was developed for the 1965 season; the 275/330 P2.

In many ways, the P2 was the refinement of the sports prototype it replaced. Carried over was the tried and trusted steel tubular spaceframe chassis with double-wishbone suspension on all four corners. The all aluminium bodywork was recognisably different. In an attempt to increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the design, the panels were wrapped more tightly around the mechanicals, while a narrower windshield was fitted. The roll-over hoop behind the driver doubled as a primitive aerofoil.

What Ferrari feared most about Ford's GT40 was the grunt of its considerably larger small block and later even big block V8s. Instead of simply increasing the displacement of the choice of V12s available, Ferrari decided to develop a new twin-cam head for the works cars. Available in 3.3- and 4-litre versions, the new four-cam V12s produced between 350 and 400 bhp. Not quite ready to sell the sophisticated new engine to customers, Ferrari also made the P2 available with a 4.4-litre single-cam V12; the 365 P2.

The first P2 debuted at the Daytona 2000 km, where it was fastest in qualifying but uncharacteristically was forced to retire with a rear axle failure, handing victory to one of the GT40s. Back in Europe, the P2s showed better form by setting the fastest time in the Le Mans test and then winning the Targa Florio, Nürburgring 1000 km, Monza 1000 km and Reims 1000 km. The race at Le Mans was not as successful with all P2s retiring from the race. Ferrari's honour was defended by a privately entered 250 LM, which scored the marque's final Le Mans win.

For the 1967 season, Ferrari stepped up to the even more sophisticated 330 P3 and the remaining P2s were sold to privateers with single-cam V12s. Although not as well known as its achingly beautiful successors, the P2 did score four major victories in its single season of works racing.

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  Article Image gallery (25) 0838 Specifications