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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Art of the Engine

Exterior body contouring and brightwork, surfacing and intake openings, wheels and tires --are only parts of the full ensemble. Everything must work properly, mechanically, experientially, artistically. Enzo Ferrari understood this principle thoroughly, in stark counterpoint to how a car is typically considered: "I don't sell cars; I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free since something has to hold the engines in."

While forging a brand in the late 1940s, in developing the iconic Colombo Tipo 125 V12, Enzo brought into his own sphere of mythology and renown the influence of his predecessors: Packard, Auto Union, and Alfa Romeo --all with V12s at a time before Scuderia Ferrari constructed its own signature motor cars. Although not new in concept before being borne into the red cars, it was to become the most widely regarded engine identity when referring to a certain automaker: Hence, Ferrari = V12.

Continuing as iterations in the fabulously successful 250 series cars, lasting through Ferrari's 1960s heyday, up to the 412 series of the 1980s, the Colombo V12 depicted here (above) is being inspected for service under the hood a 250 GTO --a 2953cc Tipo 168. Like a string of pearls, the row of six 2bbl Weber carburetors dresses the 300 horsepower heart of the car --the functional jewelry and motive power behind the Art of the Engine.


  1. Good read and another beautiful illustration!

  2. I wouldn't even wonder why Ferrari engines perform so well. These engines were truly made with passion and dedication by the manufacturers of these brands. Those qualities may be one of the reasons why Ferrari is still considered as one of the top echelons in the auto industry.

  3. Thank you, Martha. I agree with you. Ferrari engines are a merging of art and science.