1956 Ferrari 625 LM

Ferrari built a profusion of sports-racing cars in 1956, an abundance of performance that challenged explanation.

In 1956, drivers who wanted a Ferrari could have a 500 Mondial 2-liter four-cylinder, a 750 Monza 3-liter four-cylinder, an 860 Monza 3.4-liter four-cylinder, a 500 Testa Rossa 2-liter four-cylinder, a 625 LM 2.5-liter four-cylinder, a 410 Sport 5-liter 12-cylinder or a 290 MM 3.5-liter 12-cylinder. Fortunately, Ferraris were largely the same chassis (aside from their engines and gearboxes); the strong twin oval tube affair that supplied the underpinnings for everything, and Ferrari running gear rarely broke, even when abused by over-enthusiastic or under-talented drivers. The factory team cars mostly employed de Dion rear axles with 4-speed transaxles. It was during this period that Ferrari's competitor bodies began to be built by Scaglietti with design influence from Pininfarina.

1956 was an excellent year for Ferrari in competition, winning both the Sports Car Constructors' Championship and the F1 Drivers' Championship for Juan Manuel Fangio in the Ferrari-Lancia D50. The array of competition cars built in this single year is one of the most diverse, and they are avidly sought by collectors. They all carry a mystique from the time - the legendary races like LeMans, the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia, and the equally legendary drivers who stepped into the cars that Ferrari though most effective on any given weekend.

Source - Gooding & Company
Carrozzeria Touring of Milan constructed only three 625 LeMans Spyders on the 500 TR chassis. They were raced twice by the Ferrari factory team. The original version was powered by a two-liter Testa Rossa four-cylinder engine.

Homologation requirements for the GT class required at least a certain number of vehicles to be constructed in order to qualify for competition in this class. The 625LM was produced in limited numbers, and as such did not qualify for this class. It was entered into the LeMans race as a prototype entry which had limitation on engine size to 2.5-liter displacement. Gendebien and Trintingant drove a 625LM to a third-place overall finish behind a Jaguar and an Aston Martin which both had much larger engines. The car driven by Phil Hill and Andre Simon suffered transmission problems and were forced to retire in the ninth hour. They had been in fourth place. Alfonso Fon DePortago and Duncan Hamilton were in the third 625 LM car. It was involved in an accident during the first lap and retired from the race.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2007

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