Chris Amon never felt that the Ferrari 612 Can-Am ever reached its full potential. he always felt there was a lot left in the car but the project always had a low priority at the factory and its results reflected that. Enzo Ferrari never really appreciated how competitive Can-Am was. The car wasn’t finished until the middle of 1968 and there were engine problems with the 6.3-litre V12 and the car didn’t arrive until the last round of the series at Las Vegas. The new car sponsored by West Coast Ferrari importer Bill Harrah lasted all of 100 yards before Jim Hall went off and Amon ended up in the desert with the throttles full of sand.
In 1969 Amon was assisted by Bill Gavin who handled logistics and Roger Bailey who was head mechanic in charge of the car and anyone else he could grab while in the States. In mid-season a new 6.9-litre engine arrived but still suffered from continual oil problems which were eventually traced to a problem in the new-type oil cooler that was causing a restriction in the oil flow and starving the engine of oil.
“After I had run out of engines during qualifying at Laguna Seca, Bruce loaned me his spare McLaren. I hadn’t practiced in it, just started off the back of the grid. It felt as though it had more power but I’d have to say that the Ferrari was a better handling car. As in Formula 1, we had one of the’ best chassis but the engine was never quite on the pace. It was the story of my life at Ferrari, really…” Chris Amon – Motorsport Magazine