Although a new company, the Ferrari marque quickly established itself at the very top of international competition. The cars carrying the yellow shield became the weapon of choice for both professional and privateers in either open-wheel Grand Prix or sports car racing. Leading the way for Ferrari was Alberto Ascari who won the Formula One World Championship title two years in a row, in 1952 and 1953. His winning car was the Ferrari 500, powered by a Lampredi-designed four-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine. This engine was later installed in their next sports racing cars, the Ferrari 625 and the larger displacement 725. A choice of displacements was offered to customers to best suit the competition situation, leading to the two-liter 500 and a three-liter 750. The chassis used to house the engines became the 500 Mondial and 750 Monza. Adding to the performance were the lightweight frames and bodies which weighed approximately 1,700 pounds.
The Monza models gained a reputation for engineering innovations. They had a five-speed transaxle paired with a de Dion independent rear axle assembly resulting in more advantageous weight distribution and better traction, both of which were key to extracting maximum performance on rough road surfaces.
Ferrari's 2-liter V12 engines had been used to dominate the Formula 2 class in 1949. When the sport's governing body announced plans to run the World Championship under Formula 2 regulations, Ferrari set his sights on a new engine. The V12 engine had power and tuneability, but compared to the four-cylinder engines used by some competitors, it lacked the fuel efficiency. Aurelio Lampredi, Ferrari's new chief engineer, began work on designing a four-cylinder replacement for the Gioacchino Colombo designed V12.
A 2- and 2.5-liter version was built using many interchangeable parts, with the 2-liter version making its debut in 1952 in the 500 F2. Constructed from light alloy, the double camshaft head engine was driven by Ascari to victory in six of the seven championship races, earning the World Championship. This was followed by another championship a year later. Over the two year period won nearly every race it entered with 17 victories of the 19 races it contested.
With proven performance, the Grand Prix engine was used to power a line of Ferrari sportscar chassis. 2.5-liter 625 TF and 3 liter 735 S experimental models were built, with the 625 S tested in an F2 car at Bari in September 1951. Juan Manuel Fangio won in a 159 Alfetta, but the 625 was a surprising 3rd, driven by Piero Taruffi. The three-liter, four-cylinder 735 S was based on the 625, having a narrow-angle and DOHC setup. In 1953 it was driven by Mike Hawthorn and Alberto Ascari at Monza, in the Dolomite Cup, and at Senigallia, with performances that convinced Ferrari he was on the right track, and Lampredi made some major improvements.
Two four-cylinder 'production' sports cars followed in 1954. The first was the 3-liter model, dubbed the 750 Monza, introduced at the Gran Premio Supercortemaggiore at Monza. It wore a Dino Ferrari designed body and its engine bore increased to 103 mm. The narrow-valve angle cylinder head was replaced with a wide-angle 80-degree head, with bigger valves and larger 58 DCOA/3 Weber carburetors. The engine was installed in a wider Tipo 501 GP chassis, and the 750 appeared at the Monza Supercortemaggiore 100-km race on 27 June 1954. Umberto Maglioli and Mike Hawthorn won, and Froilan Gonzalez and Maurice Trintignant took second. This impressive result earned the new Ferrari a name—the Monza. Throughout the 1954 and 1955 season, the 750 Monza managed a 2nd at the Mille Miglia in 1954 and 6th in 1955, against the Mercedes-Benz team of 300 SLRs, including Stirling Moss in his record-setting ride with Dennis Jenkinson, and Juan Manuel Fangio. In experienced hands the three-liter, four-cylinder Monzas were nearly as fast as the V-12 cars and became the favorite of a number of privateers.
Starting with chassis number 0440M, the 2nd place finisher at Monza, 31 examples of the 750 Monza Scaglietti Spider were produced. by Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2020
The lightweight chassis of the 500 Mondial and the 750 Monza offered the perfect compliment to the Lampredi-designed four-cylinder engine. This same engine design would earn Ferrari its first two Formula One World Championships. When combined to the ....[continue reading]
Ferrari 750 Monza S/N 0502M started life as a successful race car in California in 1955. Lead driver Ernie McAfee won 8 individual races against the likes of Phil Hill that year. The current owner restored the beautiful and correct car presented toda....[continue reading]
This 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Corsa Sports-Racing Two-Seater with Carrozzeria Scaglietti is powered by a three-liter four-cylinder engine. The prancing horse emblem on the steering wheel boss has long been removed and replaced by a former owner....[continue reading]
This Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti, chassis number 0510 M, was originally owned by Allen Guiberson of Dallas, Texas. It left the factory finished in white with a dark blue triangle, stretching from the car's nose to its windshield, with a si....[continue reading]
RM Sothebys Monterey docket bolstered by a historic 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider and a 1966 Ford GT40 Mk I
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