Lauda’s 1975 championship-winning Ferrari going to auction

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Niki Lauda drove this Ferrari to the Formula One championship in 1975 | Gooding & Co. photo by Mike Maez

The 1975 Ferrari that the late Niki Lauda drove to the 1975 World Driving Championship will be offered for sale this summer at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction.

“The Ferrari 312T is among the most important and dominant Grand Prix models in the marque’s celebrated history,” Hans Wurl, Gooding car specialist, is quoted in the company’s announcement. “Never before has a 312T been presented at auction, and this example, having been an integral part in legendary Austrian driver Niki Lauda’s championship win, makes this a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“This is a consignment several years in the making, and it is a truly rare chance to acquire a Formula One car of this significance.”

Gooding & Co. expects the car to reach as much as $8 million at the auction.

Niki Lauda driving the 312T in the French Grnad Prix | Gooding & Co. photo by Marcel Massini

“The 312T presented here, chassis 022, is one of just five of the evolutionary ‘transversale’ Grand Prix cars built by Ferrari for the 1975 Formula One season,” the auction house said in its description of the car.

“The 312T model, designed by Mauro Forghieri, features a number of design changes from its 312B3 predecessor, including the transverse mounted gearbox that is reflected in the ’T’ designation in the car’s name. This new design positions the gearbox ahead of the rear axle to give a lower polar moment of inertia for improved cornering.

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“The front of the 312T’s bodywork also became narrower, which improved airflow around the car and into the radiators. The 312T continued to employ Ferrari’s dominant and reliable flat-12 engine, which outperformed its competitors at 500bhp.

“Over its career, variants of the 312T won 27 races, four Constructors’ and three Drivers’ Championships, becoming one of the most successful models in the history of Formula One.

“After underachieving in 1974 with the Ferrari 312B3, largely due to mechanical failures, Niki Lauda was determined and more focused than ever to avoid a repeat of his previous year’s results. As such, he was extremely hands-on with the development of the 312T and comprehensively tested the car during the off-season in an effort to bring Ferrari back to its winning ways.

“In the 1975 F1 season, the 312T covered 14 races between January and October and is considered to be the Austrian’s most accomplished year.”

In addition to Lauda, the 022 was driven in two races by his teammate, Clay Regazzoni.

The race car was acquired by French collector Jacques Setton in the 1980s. After nearly two decades, he sold the car to John Bosch of the Netherlands. It was acquired by its American consignor in 2008 and was put through its restoration by Byers Custom and Restoration and by Dennison International. The car was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2017.

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Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction is scheduled for August 16-17.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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