Ferrari 70th Anniversary: Seven of the world's worst Ferraris

Ferrari's 348 was not a high point for the brand.
FERRARI

Ferrari's 348 was not a high point for the brand.

Ferrari's recent work is extraordinary, and the brand's back catalogue is loaded with desirable classics.

Like any car maker, there have been a few duds along the way.

As Ferrari celebrates its 70th anniversary, here are what we believe to be seven of the world's worst Ferraris:

READ MORE:
Ferrari 70th Anniversary: Seven-best Ferrari models
Ferrari plans 350 special edition cars to celebrate anniversary
SP 275 Competizione is Ferrari's latest one-off stunner
Ferrari's special topless LaFerrari sold out

 

1975 Ferrari 208 Dino GT4

Supercars should be fast, sexy and carefree. European tax structures are decidedly un-sexy, and it's those that we must thank for one of Ferrari's rare mis-steps. A smaller brother to the 308 GT4, the 208 GT4 was designed to take advantage of Italian tax laws penalising cars powered by cars with engines in excess of 2.0 litres.

The result was the world's smallest-ever production V8, a 1991cc unit that produced 125kW of power - 10kW less than today's four-cylinder Camry. While Ferrari doesn't offer a 0-100km/h time for the model, it does guarantee that it will get there before claiming a top speed of more than 220km/h.

1980 Ferrari Mondial

Ad Feedback

It says something that the cheapest second-hand Ferrari on sale around is usually a Mondial. While some Ferraris hold their value and others have increased dramatically, the unloved Mondial remains one of the cheapest ways into Ferrari ownership.

That might be because even Ferrari describes the Mondial's performance as "somewhat leisurely", owing to a larger, long wheelbase body that was significantly heavier than its predecessor (the 308 GT4). It didn't help that the Mondial's 3.0-litre V8 offered early fuel injection that limited power to a rather uninspiring 157kW, which resulted in performance well short of a modern hot hatch.

1979 Ferrari 400i

Increasingly strict vehicle emissions laws had a calming effect on Ferrari's plush, four-seat 400i coupe. Like the Mondial, the 400i was hobbled by a basic mechanical fuel injection system that restricted its 4.8-litre V12 to a claimed 228kW at 6500rpm.

It didn't help that the car was equipped with a three-speed automatic transmission that resulted in a 0-400 metre acceleration time of 15.8 seconds, a feat you could match in a modern Mazda3.

1956 410 Superamerica Ghia

 
Ferrari isn't to blame for one of the most aesthetically challenged cars in its history, the 410 Superamerica Ghia. As with other boutique brands at the time, early cars often used a Ferrari engine, chassis and running gear in combination with bodywork wrought by the likes of Scaglietti, Pininfarina, Zagato and more.

This one features US-inspired styling by Italy's Ghia design house, lending 50s-style tailfins and semi-faired wheels to a V12-powered 410 Superamerica coupe. We reckon there's a bit of Chrysler to the front grille, while the headlights evoke Ford's original Mustang - curious, as this car was built well before Ford's pony car made its debut.

1989 Ferrari 348

Luca di Montezemolo, former Ferrari chief and successor to Enzo Ferrari, is not a fan of the 348. The Italian businessman famously rewarded himself with a yellow example after taking a lead role organising the 1990 FIFA World Cup, later describing the 348 as "really terrible" and "one of the worst Ferraris in history". Granted, there may be some bias on his part as later models such as the Enzo and 458 Italia were created under his stewardship.

But the 348 wasn't particularly quick, its styling dated quickly and it was made before Ferrari introduced modern assembly standards. Ferrari got it right with the next model, the gorgeously styled, epic-sounding and reasonably fast F355.

1969 Ferrari 312

Ferrari's Formula 1 campaign did not go to plan in 1969. Working on a new model in the background, the team persisted with an ageing, V12-powered 312 open-wheeler that offered shocking reliability. With Le Mans-winning Kiwi Chris Amon at the wheel, the hideously unreliable 312 failed to finish the last five races in 1968. Polished up for the new season, the machine scored another trio of DNFs at the first three races in 1969 before Amon fought to a podium finish at the Dutch grand prix.

Another pair of retirements in France and England prompted Amon to quit in search of better machinery just before Ferrari returned to form.

2014 Ferrari F14 T

 Aussie fans had a great time throughout the 2014 Formula 1 season, when Daniel Ricciardo broke through to take three wins and several podium results to cement his place as one of the best in the sport. It wasn't so kind to Italian fans, who had to endure Ferrari's worst season in two decades.

Ferrari missed the mark with new rules surrounding turbocharged cars, producing the lacklustre F14 T that struggled for pace throughout the year. Fernando Alonso, regarded by some experts as the best driver on the grid, managed to drag the unwilling machine onto the podium a couple of times - a testament to his skill and willpower rather than Ferrari's engineering. Going winless for the first time since 1993, the team recouped to take three wins with new driver Sebastian Vettel in the 2015 season.

 - drive.com.au

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback