FERRARI MONZA


Ferrari Monza, driven by owner Ken Harris.

I did a little work on another Ferrari and this was the Monza sports car in which Ken Wharton crashed and was killed, at the N.Z.I.G.P. meeting. Ken Harris bought the car and repaired it, asking me for assistance at times. This car had a three litre, four cylinder, DOHC engine, rather like that in the Super Squalo. It had similar fierce looking cams, roller followers and tremendously strong hairpin valve springs. It was interesting to find that the transmission appeared to be of an improved design from that in the Roycroft 4.5 litre car and also that the needle rollers in the pot joint universals, which were prone to break, had been replaced by bushes.

The mechanical condition was quite good and about all that needed replacement was a cam follower, in which the bearing in the roller had failed. I was surprised to see how clean the motor was inside, after having been run on nothing but Shell X100, detergent oil.

When the Monza was once more roadworthy, Ken received an offer of the use of one of the first Roller type dynamometers to be installed here for test purposes. We took both the Monza and my Lycoming Special for a test. At that time the Lycoming had a slight flat spot noticeable on light load at about 100 m.p.h. Also an eagle eyed spectator had reported a standing wave in the tread of the Michelin X tyres at about 120 m.p.h. going down the straight at Ardmore. I hoped to be able to check these problems.

We ran both cars on the dynamometer and curiously both gave the same maximum readings of 140 h.p. Naturally we expected some losses but the Monza was rated at 250 h.p. and I estimated that the Lycoming would have been producing about 180 h.p. at that time.

An exhaust gas analyser registered very rich continuously on both cars and it was impossible to find the flat spot in the Lycoming, which I thought was lean, during the thirty seconds I could run the Lycoming without a cooling air supply.

Ken did take some photographs of the tyres running at high speed on the rollers that showed nothing unusual. I came away with the impression that chassis dynamometers and exhaust gas analysers were of little use for tuning and went on with my usual road test methods.

On the road I did not really like the Monza, as it ran very roughly until the revs were well up in the power band, no doubt due to the valve timing and large carburettors.

Ken enjoyed some racing with the car and I remember having a dice with him for a few laps at Wigram when I was driving rather slowly and learning my way round the circuit.

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