Ferrari 750 Monza Spider

The origins of the 750 Monza can be traced back to the end of 1950, when attendance at Formula One races was declining due to Alfa Romeo’s dominance. Formula One encompassed 1.5 liters supercharged or 4.5 liters un-supercharged formulae. Ferrari had both ends of that scale covered, with the 166MM and the 375MM, but a 1951 meeting proposed that the Federation Internationale d’Automobile adopt 750 cc supercharged and 2.5 liters un-supercharged for Formula One in 1954.

Ferrari’s chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi proposed a four-cylinder DOHC motor, which he reasoned would be lighter and have more torque. Ferrari directed him to produce it for the 2.5 liter, 1954 season, and an early version – the 625 S – was tested in an F2 car at Bari in September 1951.

The 1952 season was quite eventful, when Alfa dropped out, and the World Championship was switched to Formula 2, which meant that Lampredi’s two-liter, four-cylinder 500 F2 engine was in the catbird seat. The car won 17 of 19 races in the next two years, and Alberto Ascari became World Champion in 1952 and 1953.

In the sports car world, Enzo Ferrari was faced with having engines that were too big and heavy or smaller and not powerful enough. He directed Lampredi to build a three-liter four-cylinder engine based on the 625, and the Tipo 735 S engine was built. It was a narrow-angle, DOHC four-cylinder, and it was quite successful in 1953 in the hands of Mike Hawthorn and Alberto Ascari, at Monza, in the Dolomite Cup and at Senigallia. But Ferrari was convinced he was on the right track, and Lampredi tweaked the design further.

The new engine was called the 750, as the bore was increased to 103 mm. The narrow-valve angle cylinder head was replaced with a wide-angle 80-degree head, with bigger valves and enormous 58 DCOA3 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 June 27, 1954. Umberto Maglioli and Mike Hawthorn won, and Froilan Gonzalez and Maurice Trintignant took second, giving the new Ferrari its name – the Monza.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2011 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

260 hp, 2,999 cc DOHC four-cylinder engine, two Weber 58 mm DCOA/3 carburetors, dry sump lubrication, five-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs, de Dion rear axle with transverse leaf springs and trailing arms, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase 88.6"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Tim Scott

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