This fantastic racing image was taken during the Mille Miglia on May 12, 1957. The Ferrari 315 Sport n. 532 visible in front is being driven by Wolfganag von Trips. Trips would eventually finish second overall, directly behind the winner Piero Taruffi who drove a similar although slightly more powerful Ferrari. This photograph was taken from the Ferrari 335 Sport (race n. 534) which was driven by Peter Collins with photographer Louis Klemantaski as his navigator. They were running at a record pace, ten minutes ahead of that set by Stirling Moss in a Mercedes 300SLR in 1955, when their transaxle failed near Parma some 80 miles from the finish. At this moment Collins is about to overtake von Trips who then squeezed them to the right entering the curve ahead, not having realized that they were coming past. These cars had a single centrally-mounted small round rear view mirror but Collins and Klemantaski were in the blind spot for Trips’ mirror at this moment.
These 315/335 Sport Ferraris were by far the fastest front-engined cars Ferrari had ever produced and were similar in performance to the “Bazooka,” as Juan Fangio referred to the Maserati 450S of the same year, which became the most feared competitor to Ferrari but without the same level of reliability. With appropriate gearing these cars could exceed 175 mph with ease on any straight section of road.
The Ferraris seen here had two different body shapes. The Trips car, and another earlier version which did not run in the Mille Miglia, as well as the one driven in the Mille Miglia by Alfonso de Portago, had the sharply raised rear fender line, as can be seen here, which was similar to the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM, and a high, flat-sided blister over the carburetors. The later Collins and Taruffi versions had a low and rounded hood blister, as can also be seen here, and a smoothly rounded tail section without the raised rear fender line.
Both of the Ferraris in this photograph played a strong role in Ferrari winning the 1957 World Sportscar Championship by finishing first and second overall at the last race of the season in November at Caracas, Venezuela. Today these two famous racing cars and the one raced by Taruffi reside in America.
Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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