One-Off 412 MI Brings Excitement to Cavallino 26
On track and on display at the recent Cavallino 26 was the very famous and one-off 412 MI, a singular car that was made up of legitimate parts in-period by Ferrari to fit any number of rules and regulations for various events, but somehow managed to stay whole and not be consigned to a scrap heap. Its power was always awesome (as it was meant to be). It was a tipo 141, 60 ° V-12, front mounted, with a bore and stroke of 77 X 72 mm. Overall capacity was 4023 cc, with DOHC per cylinder bank, six twin choke Weber 42 DCN carburetors and a compression Ratio of 9.9:1. Maximum power was 447 bhp at 8500 rpm, very big for its time.
From expert David Seibert: “The 412 MI is one of my favorite Ferraris. It was built for John Von Neumann for the 1958 fall pro season, for Phil Hill to drive against the Scarabs. At the Times Grand Prix at Riverside in 1958, Phil in the 412 and Chuck Daigh in a Scarab traded the lead multiple times on every lap (until the 412 DNF’d and Daigh won). It was sponsored and promoted heavily by the LA Times, and 90,000 spectators watched, possibly the largest crowd ever in US road racing history. I have long said this was the best road race ever in North America. “(At a Monterey historic race, Chris Cox raced the 412 against a Scarab, and they ran away from the field . . . just like 1958. Some people knew what they were watching.)”
“The 412 was a clean-out-the-parts-room special. The chassis was from the 312 S, an oddball 3.1 liter TR prototype; the engine was from the Portago 335 S that crashed in the Mille Miglia. The engine was used in an open wheel car (probably a 246 F1 chassis) also called the 412 MI for the "Race of Two Worlds" at Monza. I've seen a copy of the build sheets, on which someone wrote ‘Tipo Bastarda’”.
In its day, beside Phil Hill, it was also raced by Richie Ginther, Fed Knoop, “Pinky” Pinkham, Skip Hudson, and Steve Earle. After that, it went through the hand of major collectors Chris Cord, Robert Donner, Carle Conway, Jarold Evans, William Bauce, Rob Walton and finally Chris Cox. With these owners, it’s been to every major show and has partaken in many vintage races, always a crowd pleaser, always the beast.
Recently it won the Ferrari Spider Cup for outstanding design, engineering & beauty in an open Ferrari at the Ferrari Classiche Concours at the Finali Mondiali at Daytona, Florida.
At Cavallino 26, owner Chris Cox won the Spirit Cup with the 412 MI, for the Entrant Best Representing the Spirit of Track and Concorso. A full history of the 412 MI was in Cavallino 42.
Images here from Michael Gregg, Peter Singhof and Jerry Wyszatycki.