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Ferrari 6 Wheeler - 1976


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#1 GillesVilleneuve

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 10:57

Just browsing through some magazines, came across an interesting article which states that Ferrari had in fact made a 6 wheeler version of the Ferrari 312T2 dubbed the "T6" in 1976. It had twin rear wheels on the same axle. Ferrari reckoned that the thinking about the Tyrrell and reduced frontal area was correct, but unlike Tyrrel,l they didn't agree that frontal area was the first point of air-penetration, they reckoned it was everything you could see from the front, including the visible front area of the huge rear tyres. So they reduced this by fitting four normal front wheels in-line and on a single rear axle.

The article goes on to say that both Lauda and Regazzoni drove the T6 quite a bit in testing and Lauda was actually quite happy with the car, and at one point, considered racing it as the championship was looking to go his way and therefore Ferrari could afford some time developing the car under race conditions. Lauda's accident in Germany put paid to that idea and also the notion that the car may run at the Italian GP. The car was put away but not before allowing Polistil to build and sell a 1/16th diecast model of the car which was released sometime early in 1978.

Just wondering if anyone has more information or any pictures?

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#2 maxim

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 11:40

Here's a picture.
IIRC Ferrari tested the 6-wheeler in 1977 (notice #11) not 1976 (Lauda carried WDC's #1)

http://forum.racesim...hp?postid=44853

#3 carlos.maza

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:01

Gilles:

In 1977 Regazzoni was out of Ferrari. As I remember, the tests were conducted by Lauda and Reutemann.

AFAIK, the main reason for this development was not the reduction in frontal area but the need for more traction in the rear axle. I read somewhere that Ferrari thought that the huge rear tyres suffered lots of deformation under cornering, so, two small ones (as a matter of fact, two front wheels in the same axle as you mention) would be more ridgid.
This were the times Ferrari was also testing a De Dion rear suspension. I don't know if they tested the 6-wheeler with the De Dion suspension.

I think Speedline made special wheels for this car.

Carlos

#4 Schummy

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:27

There was a six-wheel two rear "axes"? Did it Williams?

I think there was some experiments about 6 wheels in F1, but I can't remember well. Maybe it was: 4-front-wheels (Tyrrell), 4-rear-wheels-one-axe (Ferrari) and 4-rear-wheels-two axes (Williams)(??)

Can someone wise tell us about it?

#5 Maldwyn

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:41

Here's the Williams 6-wheeler

http://www.pcug.co.u...mus/Wilmus9.jpg
http://www.pcug.co.u...mus/Wilmus8.jpg

#6 DOHC

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:45

That's right. Williams made an experimental six wheel car in 1982, with two rear axles.

#7 maxim

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:45

Right! Williams tested a 6wheel 2 rear axis in 1981.
But the original project was March's in 1977.
http://forum.racesim...hp?postid=44856

#8 MCH

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 12:58

Not really on topic but nontheless intersting was the experiment done by the Tyrrell team during pratice for the German grandprix of 1995. I remember them running single frontwheels on the rear axles to reduce resistance on the long straights. IIRC they gained another 7 km/h of top speed by doing this.

I don't know why they didn't continue with this set-up for the race but it was probably deemed illegal by the FIA....

#9 Maldwyn

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 14:28

Why did only Tyrrell race a 6-wheeler? Were the other designs simply not effective or did FISA/FIA ban them before they had the chance to enter a GP?

#10 Schummy

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 14:46

I apologize for distortioning this thread but looking that amazing variety of ingeneering we have had in F1 (and motorsport in general) when rules were less rigid, my mind has come back at one thought I often have had.

Why not a championship with flexibility of rules in order to be a playground for technical innovation? It would be fascinating to follow to the more technical minded people and a good show for media and, subsequently, marketing. I assume it must be separated from a WDC like F1 for reasons FIA has argued for years about cost. But, I wonder, if manufacturer are welcome at a flexible rule champ, their costs are their problem, not FIA's problem. And because there is not a World Driver Championship at stake, spiralling costs would not be an issue from a "sporty" point of view.

I think great things can leak to road cars in a such environment, and it would let makers to legally experiment extreme tech in a controlled background of rivals, timesheets, known circuits, etc. Moreover part of the cost would be supplied by incomes from races, tv, etc. It is thinkable that things as four wheel steer, six wheels concept, regenerative energy, etc perhaps could be more usual in road cars if it had been allowed in major racing series.

Sorry if this post belong more to Tech Forum than here, but I wanted to share the thought here as I've remembered it from the six-wheeler concept.

Thank you for your patience :) (specially to GVilleneuve, who I have temporarily robbed his thread ;) )

#11 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 14:48

The March had gearbox troubles due to flexing caused by the close-coupled rear wheels. It was hillclimbed successfully by Roy Lane though. Not that there was any one 2-4-0 particularly, since the rear end was bolted onto several different 761 chassis.

The Williams FW08 was designed with a 6-wheel configuration in mind and they started testing in late 1982, only for 6-wheelers to be banned for 1983.

I suspect that Ferrari would have made a pretty mean hillclimber too - quite a handful at Shelsley Walsh, but on some of the big European mountain climbs it would have really come into its own ....

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 14:57

Schummy: I'm no expert on this, but I think what you're describing could be very much like the last years of the old DTM/ETC when pretty much anything was allowed under the bodywork IIRC. Certainly a lot of the technology used there had been banned in F1. Eventually the manufacturers (Alfa Romeo = Fiat, Opel = GM and Daimler-Benz) decided they couldn't afford it any more and pulled out, leaving the organisers with a series but no cars ....

#13 DOHC

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 15:20

Originally posted by Vitesse2
The Williams FW08 was designed with a 6-wheel configuration in mind and they started testing in late 1982, only for 6-wheelers to be banned for 1983.


Vitesse2, maybe I don't recall things correctly, but wasn't the 6-wheel Williams called FW07C? Or was that just a test bed for the technology to be used in the FW08 before the 6-wheel ban?

#14 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 15:36

FW07C was the non-skirt version of the FW07, used in the first three races of 1982, before the FW08 was introduced. The 6-wheeler was chassis FW08/01, which was converted at the end of the year.

#15 Racer.Demon

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 16:15

There were in fact two versions of the Williams six-wheeler, both an FW07 and an FW08 derivative. Maldwyn's pictures are the FW08D.

This issue was raised in two earlier threads:

http://www.atlasf1.c...s=&threadid=906
http://www.atlasf1.c...=&threadid=8138

In the second thread there is an interesting confusion on the who, what, where and when of several Williams six-wheeler pictures - with myself only adding to the mystery, and being very wrong on several accounts during the process! :lol:

Sadly, the links to the pictures have been broken by time. Could someone repost them? One is Rosberg testing the FW07D six-wheeler at Ricard late '81, which is in the Hodges book, the other one is Rosberg in the FW08D (at Donington?) sometime in '82, which Marcel Schot posted.

Another Ferrari six-wheeler picture is at http://8w.forix.com/cr-fio77.jpg (Lole testing at Fiorano in '77). A March 2-4-0 picture is at http://8w.forix.com/761-6w.jpg.

#16 Racer.Demon

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 16:18

Which all makes me think: someone should combine all known 6-wheeler knowledge in one comprehensive article. Who's up for it?

I'll publish it! :cool:

#17 Liam

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 17:05

This, do-what-you-want championship was called Can-Am, or the Bruce and Denny show.
All sorts of wierd aero packages, from moving rear wings to very early (if not first) use of ground effect.

#18 maxim

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 17:24

To Racer Demon
Here's a picture of a 6 wheeler-Williams in action:
http://forum.racesim...hp?postid=44855

#19 Schummy

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 19:09

Yes, CanAm was what I had in mind basically. But I think today it would be no politically correct. More recent lookalike would be SportCars in the fuel-comsumption formula around 80s and DTM, as mentioned by Vitesse.

I certainly liked all those championships :)

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#20 Locai

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 19:18

One question about the Ferrari with 4 rear wheels:

How did they change tires on the back? Did both tires come off as one assembly or did they have to change each tire independently? I would imagine that pit stops wouldn't be very fast either way.

#21 carlos.maza

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Posted 18 April 2002 - 20:53

Locai:

Both tires came off as one assembly.
I seem to remember Speedline made the special wheels.

Carlos

#22 MarkWill

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 03:33

I was on holiday in Italy the year the six-wheel Ferrari was tested, and I even had a toy car with the six wheel (Polistil, I think) which sadly got left behind when I moved out to Canada. IIRC Ferrari were also making claims about reduced drag from having these special tyres. The solution was hyped a lot by them at the time in Italy - it seemed to provide everything from extra grip to extra speed and reliability, with two sausages and eggs sunny-side up, but I think that technically it added too many variables to the setup equation.

I believe that the Williams was faster in a straight line than the other Williams cars, because the large rear tyres were missing to add extra drag (another thing I recall reading at the time).

#23 Racer.Demon

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:04

Originally posted by maxim
To Racer Demon
Here's a picture of a 6 wheeler-Williams in action:
http://forum.racesim...hp?postid=44855


Thanks. That's one of the FW08D that Marcel Schot originally posted.

#24 Kaha

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 21:17

Originally posted by MarkWill
I was on holiday in Italy the year the six-wheel Ferrari was tested, and I even had a toy car with the six wheel (Polistil, I think) which sadly got left behind when I moved out to Canada. IIRC Ferrari were also making claims about reduced drag from having these special tyres. The solution was hyped a lot by them at the time in Italy - it seemed to provide everything from extra grip to extra speed and reliability, with two sausages and eggs sunny-side up, but I think that technically it added too many variables to the setup equation.


Setting the rear camber must have been "interesting"! (Specially on an independent rear suspension)

#25 MattFoster

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 23:40

That Ferrari looks freaky!

#26 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 08:08

This  T2 '77 sixwheeler was tested between the 10th and 13th of May 1977 at Fiorano and Nardo by Dario Benuzzi, Lauda and Reutemann. Was this chassis 027?



#27 chr1s

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Posted 05 October 2019 - 19:58

Reutemann famously crashed it at Fiorano just as Enzo arrived to watch!



#28 Glengavel

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Posted 06 October 2019 - 16:23

I was searching for pictures of the Ferrari and found an article which indicates that BRM had designed a 2-4-0 six-wheeler.

 

https://www.unracedf...st-six-wheeler/

 

Can't find any evidence to back it up.



#29 ChrisJson

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:27

Totally OT I built a slot car anglewinder with two rear axles in my youth around 1972. I don't now recall how I solved the problem of making the two wheels rotate in the same direction but the result was not encouraging and the experiment was soon dropped.

 

Christer