Recreating classic cars is a difficult task and only a few truly capture the original car. One company that is doing an impeccable job with their recreations is P4 by Norwood who creates one of the finest replica cars, the P4 by Norwood. They are currently in the process of creating another replica of the famous Ferrari 330 P4 racecar and Pete Schow was kind enough to document the process for us in monthly segments. Below is Part 2 of the ongoing series. Be sure to look out for Part 3, coming next month. Also, be sure to check out Part 1.
With the chassis complete and drivetrain fitment verified the P4 by Norwood team shifts their attention to the suspension, brakes and wheels and tires combination.
Just as with the chassis build, the design and build team cut no corners in engineering, assembling and tuning a suspension with modern components while adhering the to the original specifications of the car – except in the case of performance upgrades. Starting with bolting on the upper and lower control arms, which just like the individual pieces of the chassis are CAD designed and CNC cut, head engineer Tim Taylor begins the process of converting the bare chassis into a rolling work of art. Suspension uprights come next, which of course are cast and machined using the in-house Haas VF-4 CNC machine, and provide a guide for the axles to thread the hubs and brake assembly.
To control ride height and guarantee handling on par with the original, Koni coilovers wrapped in a custom built set of Eibach springs rest at all four corners.For the brakes Tim selected 12” slotted Alcon rotors to bring the 600 ponies to an abrupt halt. Both the front and rears receive their own master cylinder with stainless braided lines supplying full synthetic brake fluid to the Alcon calipers. Quite an upgrade from the braking technology of 45 years ago, but a necessity with nearly double the horsepower coming from the V12 located directly behind the cockpit. The pedal assembly matches the exact original dimensions and, yes you guessed it, is machined in house, a testament to Tim and Bob’s painstaking attention to detail and dedication to building a worthy tribute to the fabled racecar.
On to the wheels – the remaining piece before lowering the chassis to the ground for the first time. The deep-dish 5-star patterns used on the original Campagnolos are truly a thing of beauty. Crafted of magnesium their lightweight ensured less rotating mass, which only aided in the car’s performance. However despites its lightweight magnesium is also notorious for another trait – its porous. Pores lead to leaks, leaks lead to corrosion, corrosion leads to cracks and these simply are not acceptable when recreating such a precision machine. So how did the P4 by Norwood team remedy the flaw on their in house cast and machined replicas? By coating the insides of the 15×9” fronts and 15×13” rears with an aircraft epoxy that seals the pores in the magnesium and then pressure-cooks each wheel in an autoclave. Tim even stamps the original Campagnolo logo and part number on each wheel as a nod to the now defunct nostalgic wheel manufacturer.
Before the wheel go on though, they are wrapped in specific match Dunlop vintage racing tires; 5.25×10.5 up front and massive 6.0×12 in the rear providing an aggressive and menacing stance before the tubular frame ever touches the ground.
Now that the rolling chassis is complete the team prepares for the next installment of the build and the work of Italian art that made the original P4s an icon for generations – the gracious curves of its body. And that’s where we will pick up next time.
In our next feature: The unpainted body sections for the P4 by Norwood are completed and tested for fitment: