Mike Hawthorn pulls in during practice at Monza before the Supercortemaggiore 1000km race which would take place on May 29, 1955. Then Supercortemaggiore name gave credit to the gasoline brand provided by AGIP. Hawthorn’s car is a new Ferrari four cylinder sports car of the evoluzione series of the 750 Monza of mid-1955 and Umberto Maglioli will also drive it. This Ferrari was numbered 0578M and at this its first race was fitted with the Lampredi-designed three liter motor. The new Scaglietti-bodied series had raised sides of the lower bodywork (called fianch alti), probably to improve exhaust cooling, as well as a strengthened chassis and revised engine position in an attempt to improve on the spooky handling of the earlier 750 Monzas. The Ferrari on the left is a 500 Mondial with elements of the new Scaglietti body design which will be driven by owner Luigi Taramazzo with Enrico Anselmi. The Hawthorn/Maglioli combination would finish second overall, 7.2 seconds behind the Maserati 300S of Jean Behra and Luigi Musso. The Taramazo Mondial would finish eighth overall and third in the two liter class.
After a win at Mugello the next weekend, Ferrari 0578M then was fitted with the two liter version of the Lampredi four cylinder unit and raced in that form by Maglioli at Imola three weeks later, again finishing second. According to Ferrari records, it then won the 10 hour race at Messina with Eugenio Castellotti and Maurice Trintignant driving. The next major race for this Ferrari was in the Tourist Trophy championship round at Dundrod in Northern Ireland in September with Maglioli and Maurice Trintignant, the latter shown at the left. Note the addition of two hood bulges which were required for the expected use of the higher 3.5 liter type 129 four cylinder motor, but the drivers to preferred the 3 liter unit for the race. The Mercedes 300SLRs dominated the race results, taking them first three positions with the Stirling Moss/John Fitch example winning, leaving 0578M to finish eighth.
With the 3.5 liter unit now in this Ferrari, it was not any more a Monza but an 857 Sport, and appeared at Buenos Aires for the 1000 km race on January 19, 1956. Here we see Olivier Gendebien in the Ferrari and with Phil Hill talking with his co-driver. They would finish second to a Maserati 300S (again Moss) but gain valuable points for Ferrari. After the Argentinean race 0578M went to Chinetti to be sold but such activity, including its display at the New York Auto Show, was unsuccessful and it was returned to Ferrari for revision. The revision included welding a number plate bearing 0584M over the original 0578M stamping and a return to a three liter motor. A second 750 Monza then got the number of 0578M as well.
The historians are now tearing their hair out…
Photos from the JJF Archive and Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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