Ferrari 125

Written By nyit on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | 9:39 AM


Ferrari 125
Ferrari 125

Ferrari 125

The Alfa Romeo and Ferrari communities suffered a huge loss earlier this month with the death of Giuseppe Busso. The great engineer passed away on Monday 3rd January, aged 92, in Arese near Milan. Busso was one of the most important engineers in the history of the two Italian marques, and his innovations, influence and genius has been wrought into into the fabric of Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
Giuseppe Busso was born in Turin in 1913, where he later gained his diploma in industrial engineering. In 1937, after military service, Busso started to work as a calculator at Fiat’s technical aeronautical engine department (Ufficio Tecnico Motori Aviazione / UTMA) before later moving on to the technical experimental locomotive railway office (Ufficio Tecnico Autoveicoli Ferroviari Sperimentali / UTAFS).
At the beginning of January 1939, Busso moved to Alfa Romeo where he immediately started to work in the special projects office (Servizio Studi Speciali) created by the Spanish designer Wilfredo Ricart (who later went on to establish Pegaso in his native homeland). In particular, Busso developed racing car engines and worked directly under Ing. Orazio Satta Pulìga. Here Busso worked as a researcher, developing technical theories with the aide of Satta. His work was lectured at the Turin Polytechnic, which resulted in Busso becoming a protagonist of the establishment.

Ferrari 125

Ferrari 125

The engineer was hired by Enzo Ferrari as his first technical director in 1946. This new job, which Busso started on 10th June, was arranged by the legendary Alfa Romeo engineer Gioachino Colombo. At the time Colombo worked as a consultant for Enzo Ferrari during development of his first car, the Ferrari 125 Sport (the name indicating the individual cubic capacity of each of the 12 cylinders). With the design of this car, Colombo had been aided by Angelo (Lino) Nasi, the former Alfa Romeo industrial vehicle technical director, who designed the Ferrari’s 5-speed gearbox and rigid rear axle.
By November 1945 Colombo had recommenced work at Alfa Romeo, and had recommended to Enzo Ferrari that he should hire Busso in order to oversee development of the new V12 engine. Between December 1945 and January 1946, the 125 Sport project’s technical drawings were delivered to component manufacturers. However, from then on little progress was achieved. Despite this, Enzo Ferrari was certain that his own technical staff were more than capable of developing the engine. But when Ferrari realised that this was not the case, he accepted Colombo’s advice and met Busso on 15th May 1946 to arrange for him to become his new technical director.
Busso’s task at Ferrari was to control development of the 125 Sport project and to design the four-cam, two stage supercharged 1.5-litre V12 Grand Prix car which would first race in September 1949. Busso joined Luigi Bazzi at the Modena factory which was still occupied in producing machine tools in order to generate capital for the new car company known simply as Ferrari, Modena, Italy. Together with his assistant Aurelio Lampredi, who officially started work on 2nd October 1946 (although was already working in the workshop at the end of September), Busso oversaw the development of the 60° V12, 1,497 cc Colombo engine. In Touring form, the engine produced 72 bhp at 5,600 rpm.
The first 125 Sport (chassis 01 C) was ready on the 12th March 1947, and the model debuted in May of that year at the Piacenza racing circuit. Featuring transverse leaf sprung suspension and a 2,489 mm wheelbase, the 125 Sport weighed in at a mere 750 kg. A Ferrari 125 Sport later won the 1947 Mille Miglia with drivers Clemente Biondetti and Giuseppe Navone, and with this the Ferrari legend grew as a manufacturer of Italy’s finest cars. After a disagreement with Orazio Satta, Gioachino Colombo left Alfa Romeo in December 1947. This was most probably due to conflicting part-time activities in designing the Ferrari and the ‘Volpe’ (another car project). This move left a position vacant for Busso, and he restarted work at Alfa Romeo after being approached by Satta in January 1948.

Ferrari 125

Ferrari 125

Ferrari 125

Ferrari 125

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