Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ferrari story - V6 Engines - Part Four

It is well-known to the enthusiasts that the V6 Ferrari engines belong to the various "families" which began with the 156 used in the 1957 F.2. However, a more thorough research, stimulated by information received from the late lamented Aurelio as early as 1960, has enabled us to bring to light a much earlier project regarding a family of V6 engines with an angle of 1200 dating back to the beginning of 1950.
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Single cam engines

Then there was a change in events; in September 1958 the new family of V6 engines was set up. These engines had an angle of 60° between the rows which was as half of the 12-cylinder, except for the fact that the drive shaft did not have the connecting rods alongside the same crankpins, instead it had two cranks offset at 60° and the three pairs at 120° between them. The distribution was single shaft with coil ignition to a single spark plug per cylinder. It seems evident that the previous experimentation done with single shaft heads on engine blocks at 65° served in determining the opportuneness of realising this new series.

The first engine of this new series was the 153; it had the same dimensions and the 151 (bore and stroke of 72x64.5 mm). It is curious that this engine was officially denominated the 156 S which would seem to indicate a 1500 rather than a 1600. The 154 was a real 1500 obtained from the previous type by reducing the stroke to 61 mm while maintaining the bore unchanged at 72 mm. The unit cylinder capacity was 248.3 cc. for a total of 1490 cc.

In the sequence of project numbers the 155 was inserted; this corresponds to the F. 1 engine with the cylinder capacity increased to get closer to the regulation limit of 2500 cm3. It had an enclosed angle of 65° and the same bore as the 246 which was 85 mm with the stroke increased to 72 mm; consequently the unit cylinder capacity rose to 408.6 cc. for a total of 2451 cc. This engine was used for the 1958 Italian GP. Nevertheless, the version used for racing, denominated the 256, was to be given project number 155/59 with bore and stroke of 86 x 71 mm. An oversize bore of 86.4 mm was also tried, to get a unit capacity of 416.3 cc and total of 2498 cc. Maximum power recorded was of 287 HP at 8250 RPM. The sporting season of 1958 also withnessed the use of a 5 speeds gearbox in place of the 4 speeds one, and the trial of Dunlop disk brakes on Hawthorn's car.

These brakes had been mounted on Collins' personal 250 GT and the car was a Maranello: upon Hawthorn instructions they were taken off the GT car and adapter to the Monza racing car, which Hawthorn took to second place. The success in the World championship was thus assured with a single Hawthorn victory at the French G.P. and several good placings.

In 1959 and 1960 notwhitstanding many improvements to the chassis (lenghtening of the wheelbase, rear wheels independent suspensions, disk brakes) the Ferrari could not stop the march of Jack Brabham and his rear engined Cooper. In 1960 the first cars with a rear engine were to be seen, the 256 P that made its debut at Montecarlo on May 29th driven by Richie Ginther and the 156 F.2 (practically the same car with a 1500 cc engine).

In 1959 the single seater got also the number 256 that indicated the increased engine capacity. The car general layout had been modified to the effect that the driveshaft now passed to the right instead than to the left of the driver.

In the last race of the 1959 season at Sebring was also tested one of the engines of the new 60° family with a single overhead camshaft per cylinder bank: it was the type 169 with bore and stroke of 85 x 71 mm and the capacity of 2417 cc and 250 HP at 8000 RPM. To this engines they arrived by following the route from the type 153 (the first of the 60° family) then the 154 of 1500 cc followed in the fall of 1958 by the types 157 and 158, both with bore and stroke of 77 x 71 mm and therefore with the same capacity of 1984 cc but one in sporting version and the second GT (with fan).

At the beginning of 1959 a type 134 B with short stroke was also tried with the classic bore and stroke dimensions of the 250 V 12, that is 73x58.8, total capacity 1476 cc and naturally a single camshaft per cylinder bank, but rather strangely with a 65° enclosed angle. In the same family of the 60° vee, there also the type 165 a single cam of 73x62 mm with a unit capacity of 259.5 cc and total of 1557 cc, and the type 170 yet another version of F. 1 engine with 2417 cc capacity, single cam and designed to be rear mounted on the 1960 car. On this car was also tested the type 171, the 65° twin cam rear mounted.

The engine type 169 S (similar to the 169 but equipped with generation and starter motor for sports cars) marked the end of the fifties and the use of the vee 6 on front engined cars. Apart from the F. 1 and F.2 single seaters these engines went also to equip many sports versions. After the two already mentioned types, there was also a series based on a chassis and body shape similar to the 250 TR but with a shorter wheelbase: 2250 mm. The car type 196 S was practically similar to the 206 S and the different number served to indicate the single cam engine from the twin cam type. The driving seat was on the left but in 1960 this would be changed to the right.

At the Buenos Aires 1000 km race a car was equipped with the 2417 cc engine (169 S) and this car was later to be equipped with independent rear suspensions, like the single seater. Beginning from engine project 167 (which in fact was made after type 170) all the new designs would be for rear

engined cars only. The development of these cars was long and successful to the extent of giving birth of a completely new make, the Dino, the tiny «granturismo» cars, quick and nimble, which in their sales brochures were announced as "almost a Ferrari».To this period is dedicated a future chapter of Ferrari Story.

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