When the results of the photography session we carried out during the 73rd Members’ Meeting came back from our ace-behind-the-lens Antony Frazer, everyone in or near the GRR office had a favourite car. Most people picked this one. Absolutely stunning, isn’t it?
While taking in the great beauty of this ex-Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312T, bear in mind that since it’s final Grand Prix in 1976 it has been used very little. As such, it is in all-original condition.
Only ever driven in-period by Regazzoni, the car debuted in his hands at the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard in 1975, where his team mate Niki Lauda nailed the pole position slot ahead of Jody Scheckter and James Hunt. Regazzoni charged hard in chassis 024 and made it up to second position before the Ferrari’s motor expired. In the next race at Silverstone he brought the car home in 13th after leading-then-crashing, and then managed 7th in Austria. The signs were that both car and driver were quick, but the results just weren’t coming. Until Italy, that is …
At Monza Lauda and Regazzoni sent the partisan crowd into raptures by securing both slots on the front row. The popular Swiss driver took the lead from Lauda at the start and wasn’t troubled again, taking the car’s first win with his Austrian team mate eventually securing third place and with it the World Championship.
After rounding-out the 1975 season with a DNF at the US Grand Prix, Regazzoni began 1976 at Brazil with chassis 024. He was right at the sharp end of the field too, before colliding with Jean-Pierre Jarier’s Shadow and retiring. The next race took the whole F1 circus to South Africa, where the car lined up in 9th position on the grid before engine troubles forced retirement on lap 52.
Next up was the US Grand Prix West at Long Beach where Regazzoni was seemingly unstoppable. He bagged pole position before clearing-off up the road from Niki Lauda, winning by 42 seconds and claiming the fastest lap in the process. This was easily his finest hour with the car. The rest of the 1976 season is of course part of Grand Prix folklore and Regazzoni sadly featured little …
Since 1976 the car has not done a great deal. We’re told it has resided in various collections and was acquired by its current owner from Switerland. Well-established race preparation, restoration and sales firm Hall & Hall had the honour of running the car at the 73rd Members’ Meeting and, best of all, will be bringing it to the Festival of Speed for us all to admire up close.
Mind you, having listened to the sound this car produces we’d be happy just to hear it!
Photography: Antony Frazer