Topping Up

Ferrari, klemcoll, Peter Collins

For championship level sports car racing in 1957 it was now in the regulations that cars needed a top, two doors and a windshield of a certain height. Here we are in the Piazza Vittoria in Brescia, Italy on May 11, 1957 for the scrutineering of cars entered for the upcoming Mille Miglia. To the apparent amusement of officials and photographers, Peter Collins (wearing his multicolored wool cap) attempts to figure out how to get the newly-installed top of his Ferrari 335 Sport up so that the car may be inspected and found compliant. Collins will be accompanied in the Mille Miglia by photographer Louis Klemantaski.

klemcoll, Ferrarei, Peter CollinsJust pulling out the top was not enough of course. It had to be shown that it actually could be fitted to the car and used, were anyone crazy or small enough to get in under it.

Here again is Collins snapping the last fasteners to hold the top in place. The official on the right seems to be saying. “Are you kidding me?”

At the rear of this photo the Ferrari’s rear body panel, covering the huge main fuel tank (there was also a reserve tank located outside the chassis inside the left door), is up to allow the rear struts of the top assembly to fit into their receptacles. It could then be closed with the struts protruding through holes in the rear body section.

Maserati, klemcoll, Stirling MossFerrari was not the only team to struggle with the ridiculous top requirement. This is the Maserati 450S which will be driven by Stirling Moss, with famous journalist Denis Jenkinson as navigator. Unfortunately, their race will be cut short just a few miles from the start when this car’s brake pedal shears off.

Collins and Klemantaski, the latter hoping for the new Alfa Romeo promised to him by Enzo Ferrari should they win, would last rather longer, leading the race at a new record speed, well ahead of that set by Moss and Jenkinson in 1955. However, about 80 miles from the finish back in Brescia their Ferrari’s transaxle expired.

Photos by Edward Eves and Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

To see more of our photographs please go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx

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