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The Petrolhead Corner

The History of the Ferrari V12 Engine, The Heat of Summer Classic Rallies and The Mid-Engine ‘Vette

Time for your weekly dosage of fuel-infused news... Coffee cup and feet up, the Petrolhead Corner is live!

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

Saturday means another kind of mechanics here, at MONOCHROME. As every week, we share with you our second passion: cars (like real cars, those that smell and make some noise). This week’s Petrolhead Corner is a “best of the web”, with some of the coolest stories we found. One of the most legendary engines explained, the fun of the summer rallies and the latest (and controversial) version of an iconic car. Fasten your seatbelts and start your engine (… coffee machine).

The History of the Ferrari V12 Engine

There are legendary cars… Many of them! However, when it comes to the most important part of a car (real car), its engine, only two names come to my mind: Flat 6 and Colombo. The first is deeply linked to the iconic Porsche 911. The second created the legend surrounding Italian brand Ferrari. Without the intervention of engine designer Gioacchino Colombo, and the creation of the V12 engine that bears his name, Ferrari wouldn’t be Ferrari. It goes as far as that. “This might be the most famous, and is certainly the longest enduring iteration of the Ferrari 12-cylinder,” says Goodwood Magazine (used from 1947 until 1988). And right they are. Mostly known in its 3-litre version, the 250 will equip the GT SWB, the TdF, the Testarossa, the LM and the ultimate Ferrari, the GTO. And it is hard to match the sound of a P3/4, as you’ll hear below:

But there are other names to be linked to the legendary Ferrari V12… Lampredi, Forghieri, Giuliano de Angelis or the recent Tipo 65°. If you want to know more about that incredible lineage, check

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The heat of Summer Classic Rallies

Summer means beach, sand, BBQs and… for today’s matters, the season of classic cars gatherings. Yes, you can think of Villa d’Este, Chantilly or Pebble Beach. But that means standing cars and Concours d’élegance. Much (much) more fun are the rallies. Figure that: noisy, oil-smelling vintage cars driving on superb open roads. Heaven on earth for many petrolheads.

Best of all, we had the chance to participate in one of these rallies… Twice. The rally itself is named Passione Engadina, a classic car rally reserved to Italian cars produced before 1981, taking place on the roads around St Moritz, Switzerland – in short, hill-climbing through the Alps.

jaeger lecoultre x passione engadina - event report

First with JLC, onboard an incredibly cool and fragile 1952 Fiat race car – a 500kg, aluminium-wrapped, ex-Mille-Miglia car with 1.1L engine, screaming through a straight-pipe exhaust. You can read our report right here.

Second with Bvlgari, this time onboard a supremely elegant and rakish 1961 Maserati 3500 GT, designed by Carrozzeria Touring and powered by a 3,5L six-cylinder (straight six) engine producing more than 230bhp. Different feeling, different pleasures, same fun. You can read our report right here.

A new, mid-engine ‘Vette is on its way

Changing topic, THE big news this week was the introduction of the 8th generation of Corvette… And it’s already controversial. Not that the design is bad (it is typical of the recent ‘Vette) and there’s nothing to complain engine-wise, as it is still powered by a naturally-aspirated small-block V8 producing close to 500hp (in its “entry-level” configuration). That’s not bad at all.

Still, there’s something shocking to this car, which doesn’t fit with the idea I have of a Corvette. This new C8 indeed has a mid-engine architecture. Again, this certainly is the most balanced way to build a supercar… But still, this is the biggest change in the model’s history. And that changes entirely the concept, from a front-engine RWD, old-school, typically American car to something new… Faster, more balanced, quicker in corners maybe but to me, this doesn’t sound Corvette. To each his own. Imagine a 911 with a front-engine…?

This isn’t where the engine of a Corvette should be, at least according to me. To each his own.

You can discover the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 right here, on

2 responses

  1. Don’t know what to say except that you are amazing
    Your PetrolHead Corner is as good as your “MechanicWatch Corner”!
    What’s to come next?
    And, by the way, I fully agree with you. One should stay loyal to the original concept : a mid-engine Corvette isn’t a Corvette any longer.

  2. @Lucien – Thank you!!!
    The whole idea behind MONOCHROME is driven by passion (and some of us are as passionate by cars than watches)
    Happy to hear that this transpires in our content.
    What’s next…? We will probably keep focusing on watches (mainly) and cars (also) and try to make the content even cooler.
    For the C8, to each his own but to me, they ruined the concept… But I’d be happy to test it anyway.

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