Ferrari 512M s/n 1040
The Ferrari 512M was derived from the 512S Group 5 sports racing car. The 512S was originally created to compete against the Porsche 917. A minimum production run of 25 cars was required meet the homologation requirements for Group 5. The Ferrari 512S development car (s/n 1040) was introduced November 6, 1969, after an eight-month design and build period. The chassis was an evolution of the earlier 312P prototype and 612 Can-Am. The cars used a steel tube chassis reinforced with alloyed paneling for strength. The semi-stressed 5 liter engine, a 60 degree V12, was also derived from the Project 241 Can-Am. When the 512S was introduced, the engine was rated 550 bhp at 8500 RPM. The 512S raced in both coupe and spider versions. For the 1970 Le Mans, a long tail (coda lunga) was added to the 512S to increase top speed on the Mulsanne straight. Unlike the Porsche 917—with a fundamental aerodynamic problem—the Ferrari 512S was remarkably reliable when first introduced.
The 1970 Season
The 512S was campaigned by both the Ferrari factory and its customers throughout the 1970 season. But with the exception of a lucky victory at the Sebring 12 Hours, Porsche won every race with its 917 and 908/3 cars. Ferrari’s primary problem was a limited development period prior to the first race of 1970 at Daytona Beach, Florida. The Porsche 917 first raced in May, 1969, at the Spa 1000km event. Although the 917 was the fastest car, it suffered from severe handling problems. The 917s aerodynamic problems were identified at a test session in October 1969, by John Horseman, of the John Wyer Gulf Team. He instructed team mechanics to modify the car, and a new tail section was designed and built. Porsche started the 1970 season with a fast, well-tested, and reliable car. The 512S was close to the Porsche 917 in performance, but Ferrari started the 1970 season with far less development than its Porsche counterpart.
Ferrari 512M Development
After the 1970 Le Mans race, Ferrari Technical Director Mauro Forghieri secured approval to modify the 512S. Enginer Caliri led the development program resulting in the 512M. Aerodynamics was the primary target of change, leading to the development of a wedge-shaped nose profile for the coupe. The first 512M (s/n1010) raced at the 1970 Austrian 1000km race, and was driven by Jacky Ickx and Ignazio Giunti. The car was on a par with the Porsche 917, and led the race until retiring with electrical problems. At the end of the season, Ferrari also entered the car in the 9-Hour race at Kyalami, South Africa. The car was the fastest qualifier, and despite a one-minute penalty in the race, won by over two laps. Ferrari now had a 5-liter Group 5 car capable of beating the Porsche 917.
1971 was the last season of the 5-liter Group 5, and Ferrari made the decision to focus on development of the new Group 6 3-liter 312 PB prototype. This left the racing of the 512M to various private teams. To assist the private owners, the factory produced a kit for the conversion of the 512S to 512M.
Ferrari 512M s/n 1040
Jim Adams raced Ferrari 512S s/n 1040 in the 1970 Can-Am series. Kirk F. White purchased the car, and in partnership with Penske Racing, s/n 1040 was transformed into the best-prepared and fastest 512, capable of beating the Porsche 917.
s/n 1040 at 1970 Watkins Glen Can-Am
The Penske team stripped the car and s/n1040 was rebuilt to M specifications, and with additional modifications devised by Mark Donohue. The car featured a revised suspension, an Indy Car refueling system, and a full width rear wing. Penske sent two V12 engines to the TRACO engineering company in California for modifications. Finally s/n 1040 was finished in the blue and yellow colors of Penske sponsor Sunoco (Sun Oil Company). The Penske team considered the factory bodywork too expensive and too heavy. To save weight and upgrade to the latest 512M specifications, the Penske team used photographs of the factory 512M racing in South Africa and designed its own 512M bodywork. Body molds and new lightweight bodywork were then made by Berry Plastic-Glass.
For the 1971 season, the Penske team raced s/n1040 in four Group 5 races and one Can-Am race. In the Group 5 races, the team of Mark Donohue and David Hobbs drove s/n1040. The first race was the Daytona 24 Hours, where the immaculately prepared car qualified 1st and was leading or in the leading group until delayed by electrical problems. After getting back into the race, the car was hit by a Porsche 911. The car was taped together and rejoined the race to finish in 3rd place. At its next race, the Sebring 12 Hours, s/n1040 again qualified first. Donohue was running in second when Pedro Rodriguez rammed him. The Penske car lost 19 laps while being repaired and it finished in 6th place.
The car was then shipped to France for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The Porsche 917, with the latest long tail bodywork, had a speed advantage over s/n 1040. The Ferrari qualified 4th and then retired with engine failure in fourth place on Saturday evening. S/N1040 was then entered in the Watkins Glen 6 Hours and again qualified first. Donohue was leading when s/n1040 retired on the 53rd lap with mechanical failure. S/N1040 was then entered in the following day’s Can-Am race and driven by Mark Donohue. Donohue qualified 6th and DNFed.
S/N1040 front line competition career ended with the Watkins Glen Can-Am race. Although s/n1040 was the fastest Ferrari in each of the races it competed, it failed to beat the all-conquering Porsche 917 of the Gulf Wyer team. The s/n1040 was the best prepared of all the cars competing in the 1971 Championship. But with a single car, the Penske team was at a constant disadvantage against the multi-car Porsche teams.
Front Suspension Details
Fuel Filler Details
Front Oil Cooler
Windshield Wiper Assembly
Gear Lever Details
Note – The box above the electrical switches is not original
Red fire suppression tank is not original
Left Side Water Radiator
Right Side Water Radiator
Gearbox & exhaust details
Ignition and Fuel Injection
Rear Suspension Details
Airbox & rear view mirror details – Bubble over left door is not original
Body latch details
Rear view mirror is not original
Rear wing mounting details
Inside of door
Rear view mirror
For additional information check out the following
Magazine and Article
1970 – May – Road & Track – Ferrari 512 Overview
1971 – March – Motor Sport – 1971 Daytona 24 Hours Race Report
1971 – May – Motor Sport – 1971 Sebring 12 Hours Race Report
1971 – May – Road & Track – 1971 Daytona 24 Hours Race Report
1971 – June – Road &Track – 1971 Sebring 12 Hours Race Report
1971 July Motor Sport 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours Race Report
1971 July Road & Track Ferrari 512 Analysis
1971 September Motor Sport 1971 Watkins Glen 6 Hours Race Report
1971 September Road & Track 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours Race Report
1971 Vol 8 No 7 Model Cars Scale model plans by Roger Taylor
1994 No 84 Cavallino Ferrari 512M s/n 1040 Retrospective Pt 1
1995 No 85 Cavallino Ferrari 512M s/n 1040 Retrospective Pt 2
1995 No 26 Ferrari World Ferrari 512M s/n 1040 Retrospective
2005 No 61 Forza Chinetti vs Penske – Battle of the 512Ms
The Unfair Advantage by Mark Donohue
Ferrari: Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars by Antoine Prunet
Automobile Year No 19
Ferrari 312 & 512 Sports Racing Cars by Ian Bamsey
Ferrari The Factory by Karl Ludvigsen
Ferrari Prototype Era by Alan Henry
Scarlet Passion by Anthony Prichard
If your interested in building a scale model of s/n 1040 check out the following:
March Models – Curb Side Kit
Feeling 43 – Superkit with removable body panels
MG Models – Curb Side Kit
Fisher Models – Curbside
Model Factory Hiro – Highly detailed with removal panels
ABC Brianza – Resin kit with opening panels
Total – Resin kit with opening panels
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