Each year, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance gathers some of the world’s most beautiful automobiles and places them atop one of the world’s most scenic locales: Monterey, California. Although the event occured almost two weekends ago, we managed to snap several photos we think are more than worthy of our weekly trivia challenge.
Think you can identify the mystery Pebble Beach car above? If that curve looks familiar or that beaten aluminum panel triggers a flashback, send us your guess via the comments section below.
It seems Monday’s mystery machine was a stumper. The teaser image shown above is of a 1971 Ferrari 312P race car.
Ferrari began developing the 312P racer in late 1970 to take on Porsche’s venerable 917 Le Mans racers, and it was actually developed alongside Ferrari’s 1971 Formula 1 car. The 312P featured a 3.0-liter boxer-12, which pumped out 440 horsepower and channeled it to the ground through a five-speed manual transmission.
As that engine was still less powerful than the 600-horsepower 917, the 312 needed to be light at all costs. The car itself was built from a semi-monocoque aluminum structure, which also used the engine block itself as a stressed chassis member, eliminating the need for additional (and heavy) bracing. As a result of Ferrari’s crash diet, the 312P tipped the scales at roughly 1300 pounds, giving it a power to weight ratio of 2.9 pounds per horsepower, almost equal to that of the 917.
Development of the 312 led Ferrari to try several different aerodynamic packages. Initially the car was fitted with a rear spoiler that could be adjusted for downforce or speed. Later, the rear spoiler was removed in favor of a small decklid spoiler with vertical wings, which reportedly enhanced high-speed stability.
Such a configuration was used in 1971, which proved to be a problematic year for Ferrari. Despite hiring both Jacky Ickx and Mario Andretti to slide behind the wheel, the 312P failed to eclipse the 917. In one race, a 312P ran out of fuel just before reaching the pits. Another time, a 312P retired thanks to a broken seal, which led to the car overheating. Events like these dogged Enzo’s team throughout the season, which led to the automaker winding up with a third place finish in the Manufactuers’ Championship.