If there's one thing true car fans love, it's not iconic cars themselves, but the parts that go into them. Even used scraps of Carbon Fibre from a Formula 1 crash are now turned into collectibles, so you can imagine that it's going to cause a bit of a stir when an actual Ferrari Formula 1 engine, which once powered an actual Ferrari Formula 1 car, comes up for auction.
The particular engine you see below might just be one of the craziest engines ever put into a Formula 1 car, and it's certainly one of the most iconic, as its half-million dollar price tag suggests.
The engine itself, built by Ferrari for use in its 1995 Formula One challenger, was dubbed the Tipo 044/1, and is special for a number of reasons. First of all, it's a V12, which makes it an icon of one of Formula 1's most mental eras of raw, unadulterated speed. Secondly, it's the last V12 ever used in a Ferrari Formula One car, and it was actually be the last V12 ever used in a Formula One car, period. The championship switched to only allowing V10 engines from 1996 onwards.
Most importantly though, being a V12 it boasts all the screaming performance that came to make that era of Formula One such a favourite among longtime fans. It weighs just 132 kilograms and yet, despite being deadlift-able by a reasonably strong person, it churned out 760 bhp and could rev up to a ear-splitting 17,000 RPM.
The V12 didn't quite have the high-pitched whine that the V10s did in their hey day, but it still made a hell of a noise. Here's what it sounded like in action.
The Tipo 044/1 only brought Ferrari modest success, unfortunately. Slotted into the back of the Ferrari 412T2 piloted by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, it brought Ferrari a solitary win in the 1995 season — the last for a V12-powered F1 car.
The car itself is considered one of the great all-time Ferrari cars in terms of looks, however, and was the final model to sport the low, swooping nose before Ferrari switched to a high-nose design in with the arrival of Schumacher in 1996.
By that point, the rest of the field had switched to either V10s or V8s anyway, and the 412T2 struggled amidst the rise of Michael Schumacher during his World Championship-winning year at Benetton.
The engine, which is about as collectible as any part ever fitted to an F1 car, is still listed on eBay by a private collector who's asking $375,000USD, or roughly $550,000. You can check out the eBay listing here.