Back in the late 1980s, the FIA banned the use of turbocharged engines. Thus, the world was granted the amazing era of F1 cars powered by wailing V-10 and V-12 engines. They revved incredibly high, sang a mechanical tune like nothing else, and are sorely missed today. If you’ve never heard a car from this era of racing, you owe it to yourself to hit play on the video above.
The car you’re now watching rip around Italy’s famed Imola racing circuit is a 1991 Ferrari 643. It was driven by Alain Prost for one season, where it either finished on or near the podium or it broke down and didn’t finish at all. Prost finished fifth overall that year, with five top-five finishes but no wins. The 643 wasn’t competitive with the V-12 McLaren and V-10 Williams cars that took the top four spots. However, its V-12, though aging, was still an amazing sounding piece of machinery mounted behind the driver.
Sitting out back was a Tipo 291 built by Ferrari. It managed to cram 12 cylinders into 3.5-liters of space, and it produced well over 700 horsepower. It also created the unholy wail you hear in the video. This is the sound you’d hear from numerous cars at F1 races of the day.
Now that noise is gone. The engines are 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6s. They can run up to 15,000 rpm, but they don’t make much in the way of noise compared to the older beasts of a bygone F1 era.