For the second “Monza 500” which took place on June 29, 1958 Ecurie Ecosse showed up – because the potential prize money was more than adequate – with two of its Jaguar D-Types and a new Lister-chassied open wheel car with a D-Type engine. They had had a pretty successful result in the first Monza 500 in 1957, finishing fourth, fifth and sixth. Here is the Ecurie Ecosse team on the Monza front straight with both of their D-Types, the front one for Masten Gregory and behind the crew the almost hidden D-Type for Ivor Bueb. Jack Fairman was given the Lister-Jaguar special.
Note the big air scoop on top of the left rear wheel arch which was an attempt to add cooling air for that tire due to the expected load to be on it on the counter-clockwise use of the Monza oval bacause Dunlop was very concerned. Chief Ecurie Ecosse mechanic Wilkie Wilkinson is standing in the white coveralls behind the number 4 on the car’s hood.
The race would be run in three heats, each of 63 laps of the oval, each heat being of 166 miles. In qualifying, the Jaguars were no match for the enlarged Indy car field plus two newly-constructed specials from Ferrari and one from Maserati. With qualifying speeds in the mid-170 mph area, this was truly scary, especially for those drivers in cars not prepared for the oval’s bumpy surface.
In Heat One, the Jaguars, using their 4-speed gearboxes, took an early lead but were overtaken by Luigi Musso’s Ferrari before the end of the initial lap. At the end of this Heat the Lister was 11th with the two D-Types the last two runners, Gregory leading Bueb. At the left is Bueb (left) and Gregory talking during practice. Gregory did not appear for Heat Two, but the Lister led Bueb’s D-Type. again in the last two places. Gregory was back for Heat Three but Fairman was not. Bueb finished 7th and last while Gregory retired.
Although very fast and achieving pole position for Heat One, the 4.2 liter Ferrari special used up its three drivers: Musso, Mike Hawthorn and Phil Hill as it lept around on the oval. Stirling Moss who was competitive in the 4.5 liter Maserati “Eldorado Special” was lucky to escape alive, much less unhurt, when its steering broke in Heat Three. The 1958 500 Miglia di Monza was the last time for this unusual and super-fast race.
Photos by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection –www.klemcoll.com
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