Hello! and Ferrari 512M project

hello everyone please allow me to introduce myself - I am a design engineer from the uk and I am working on a project to design and build a Ferrari 512M replica.

I am a huge fan for the big engined sportscar GT40 era machinery and can tell I am in good company here! the wealth of information and skill on show in this forum is astounding…. every inspiring!

so my project began when I had some time out from work with which i decided to design and make 1/10 scale RC car bodies of the ferrari 512S coda lunga and porsche 917…
I got a lot of satisfaction from designing and manufacturing the model car bodies and I started dreaming of moving to 1:1 scale…

around this time I found a great guy up in scotland who was selling an Ultima based project with a set of 512M bodywork made from moulds taken from and original car and using 5.7l ferrari V12 engine…
whilst this was indeed a unique chance to buy a great start point I was convinced that I wanted to build my own chassis so we couldn’t come to a deal and I started making enquiries elsewhere.

then I got lucky…. I asked a well established Ferrari specialist in the uk who had a lot of experience on 512 restoration and operation if he had any old parts left over or knew who might have pattern parts or pieces available.
the reply led to my acquisition of the following parts…

front and rear clip
one door skin
set of magnesium wheels
car set of aluminium un-machined uprights.

so now I have the basis of a 1:1 scale ferrari 512M!

the intention is to build a car thats generally true to the original design however with some simplification / redesign to take an un-stressed Ferrari 360 V8 and a centrally mounted fuel tank rather than pontoon tanks.

I have schemed out a basic chassis using 35mm diameter steel tubes and intend to do a basic stress analysis to see if I can reduce some tube diameters of where I should be reinforcing. It will be a semi-monocoque with Aluminium skin as per the original car.

I will be looking for a chassis fabricator once I have a complete set of drawings so I would be very interested in any recommendations from people here who have done this kind of thing…

I would be interested to see if there are some general rules of thumb builders are using for tube diameters on parts like wishbones / radius arms & drag links… its very similar to a GT40 / T70 in geometry.

Im designing hubs to fit the original wheels that work in the cast uprights I have that will be machined to suit..

I am planning to use a Titan steering rack as they seem to be the people to go to.

currently i plan to mock the car up in my kitchen and confirm overall dimensions and driving position.

I would be very interested to hear if anyone has installation drawings for the Ferrari 360 engine - I currently intend to use the 360 drive train too - however it results in a quite high driveshaft angle (around 6 degrees) but i think the original car also had that issue so might be ok..

I used an app on my iPhone to do some rough scans of the body panels the results of which are shown in the pics!

this is my first ground up car project so any advice and recommendations would be very welcome.

thanks & best regards,



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Brian Kissel

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Welcome to the forum James. There is a wealth of information, and talent on this site. Ask most any question and some one will chime in.

Regards Brian

Mike Pass


This has useful data re: dimensions which will give you some important reference points.

Have the magnesium wheels checked, X ray etc. Old magnesium parts develop internal corrosion.
The rack length and the suspension have to be designed together to eliminate bump steer.

Many choices will depend on the end use of the car. Road use track use etc. If road then passing IVA will need thinking about.
thanks mike - i have the haynes book. good advice ref wheels - to be honest i think i would rather use some other wheels when using the car as they are probably a bit too far gone to risk. I have made enquiries about re producing them and it comes down to the quantity / cost ratio so I will use what i have for scheming and decide later what to do.
the car is really a track toy, but i will indeed look into the IVA requirements as a matter of interest.
Ive done some suspension design in the past so Im aware of the need to design with regards to good geometry - im intending to do kinematic analysis on the scheme I have so hopefully will be decent.

is there anywhere in the GT40 community you can recommend for things like clevis joints, ball joints, chassis bracketry, steering column mounts etc? the more off the shelf stuff i can use will perhaps keep my budget down - but sometimes i know that doesent end up the case..

thanks for the vid Meinolf! I have seen that car on the internet and I understand it has a ferrari 308 v8 engine but i may be wrong... would be very interested to know the details.


James, for chassis brackets and associated components you can't beat A & A Manufacturing:

I like Speedway Motors for threaded swaged tubes & rod end bearings as well as almost anything else:

Aircraft Spruce is your friend for clevis joints, epoxy primer, and all things aircraft -related:

Wow, nice collection of parts to start your project with, one of my favourite all time cars. I wish you every success with your build, whatever you decide your budget is, at least double it! With regard to the wheels I echo Mike's comments regarding magnesium, though I did race a formula 3 car with 25 year old mag wheels but only with wet tyres mounted. I have a similar issue today with some 45 year old Campagnolo wheels for a Ducati motorcycle but new versions are now available (at a price!). You could try http://tpcs-magnesium-refurbs.co.uk/ to get the wheels checked out (he is ex-Dymag Racing).
I have a spare (very complete and low km) Ferrari 360 V8 that would be nice in that! I also have a std manual 6spd transaxle, as well as a 6spd sequential transaxle from the UK, with custom bellhousing to suit. I'll find some pics and post for reference. Happy to help with 360 engine info, I have lots!
Here are the pics of the F131 V8 with the Elite TXL250 Transaxle. I designed the bellhousing adapter to suit the GT3 flywheel, clutch, and starter gear. The starter motor is a Mazda unit.

All up for grabs!


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nice thats a neat setup - looks like the output is lower than on the ferrari box which helps & moving the oil tank rwd enables a cross member where i want it too.
Yes, in Australia. The standard 360 box (Graziano) can have the rear crash structure (black section) trimmed right back to shorten the transmission overall. The intake manifold is very tall, and unless you want to see that manifold, you could either use a Ferrari F355 intake manifold which has the 8 throttle bodies, or go aftermarket and get a system from Jenvey.
I think throttle bodies would be the way to go... would you happen to have any dimensions for the unit? all i have is a very grainy blueprint from the web... i managed to make a crude cad model from it..


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This is going to be a great build. I too am a big big fan of the 512M, as well as the F360. Matter of fact a 360 engine and manual gearbox was purchased for my SLC as the original thought on the powertrain. Reaity struck, and I figured (for me) I'd bit off all I could chew with the heavy body modifications I envisioned. So ended up with the comparatively mundane LS7 package.

Still have intent on using an F360 or the much less expensive Maserati variant in something, so I will be watching with max interest as you make your way through.
Best of luck.

PS Please post some pictures of the RC bodies you made. I was an 1/8 scale gas racer in my youth!