Icon: Ferrari 156 Sharknose

by Rainer Selzer

With the Ferrari 156 “Sharknose” – designed by new engineer Carlo Chiti – Ferrari joined the rear-engine revolution. The chassis was a tubular spaceframe which, although not in the same league as the designs developed by Lotus and BRM, proved competitive. The special feature of this car was the 120-degree V6 engine, which was developed to meet the new regulations. The angle of the cylinder blocks allowed the engine to have a lower centre of gravity. Since the engine was much wider, its rear placement was deemed necessary. Another noticeable feature of the new engine was its relatively low weight of 13.60 kilograms, making it lighter than the four-cylinder Coventry Climax engine still used by the British teams.


While the British teams were arguing about the need for the new formula, Ferrari could compete with a brand new car and a brand new engine. The Ferrari 156 was also immediately successful in its first season – five wins from seven races, including a 1-2-3-4 finish at Spa. Only in Monaco and at the Nürburgring was Stirling Moss’ winning streak stopped. The world championship was a battle between Phil Hill and von Tripp and was won by the American Hill. Unfortunately, the successful season was marred by the tragic death of Wolfgang von Tripp and 14 spectators at Monza. The lack of a competitive engine for the British teams changed in 1962 and Ferrari could no longer win a race. Furthermore, internal disagreements led to the departure of eight top Ferrari executives, including Carlo Chiti. The Ferrari 156 continued to be used for two years, with John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini scoring individual victories in 1963 and 1964 respectively.

No examples of the original Ferrari 156 still exist. The photos of the two replicas are from the Solitude Revival 2019 event.

 

 


About our photographer Rainer Selzer

Rainer Selzer is always ready for a big shot and is focused on historic motorsport.
He is working with us for over three years and visits motorsport events, classic car meetings or car museums. Follow him on instagram @rs65photos or visit his homepage www.rs65photos.com for more!


Report by rs65photos.com


 

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