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Ferrari at Indianapolis
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Alberto Ascari


Ferrari 375




1952 Indy 500

Alberto Ascari, Ferrari 375, 1952 Indianapolis 500

It is stating the obvious. Name a circuit in the world that held races for sportscars, Grand Prix cars or GTs on more than a single occasion and most likely a Ferrari has won there at least once.

This means that there are very few categories and venues of worldwide importance for which Ferrari was eligible that have remained unwon by the marque. For instance, NASCAR rules will secure that Ferrari will never win a Daytona 500. What about the real Big One? The Indianapolis 500 is the one event in which Ferrari had the opportunity to participate, but failed to convert the opportunity into victory. Granted: they never tried that often, even when rules enabled them to take part. A few attempts were made but less is known about the secret projects, the plans that never materialized.

These, combined with the projects that did take place make an interesting story, all the more when we take a closer look at the situation at Indianapolis to see how a Ferrari project could have blended in, and take a deeper view into the situation at Maranello to see what kind of hardware they could have started with and what else was going on at the same time. It's that story that we'd like to tell here.



I want to express my sincere thanks to my friend, Hein de Groot who generously allowed me to use his Ferrari archives to tell this story.

Thanks to Walter Goodwin and Aaron Lewis for the correspondence that enabled me to get a better view on some often told facts about early-seventies engines. Also many thanks to Aaron Lewis for providing pictures of his fearsome 1973 Eagle-Offy.

Thank you to the men from First Turn Productions LLC for providing the pictures of the Indy Ferraris and a few others that I felt were needed for this series. Also many thanks to Mike George, Rich Harman and Ralph Colmar for supplying additional pictures. Pictures listed as 'photo HG' are from my own collection.



A full set of Clymer yearbooks as well as Hungness yearbooks was available and several of those have been consulted for additional research.



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