Ferrari 857S - The remarkable history of 0578M
The ninth book in the Exceptional Cars Series
By Ian Wagstaff
Ferrari 857S chassis number 0578M personifies, if an inanimate object can personify anything, Italian road racing. During its first season the car mainly competed in its natural habitat, travelling abroad once and, while its first race was on the purpose built circuit of Monza, it is on the open roads, blasting through Sicilian villages or up spectator-lined mountains in the Valle d’Aosta region that one pictures this four-cylinder engined, evocatively shaped two seater. Driven by some of the greatest sportscar drivers of the period including Hawthorn, Castellotti, Gendebien, Maglioli, de Portago, Trintignant and Phil Hill, 0578M was rebuilt as part of Ferrari’s attempt to challenge Mercedes-Benz in 1955, competing in the Tourist Trophy and Targa Florio before racing at Buenos Aires and Sebring the following season, finishing second in Argentina.
- Records a significant, yet unusual, period in which Ferrari used four-cylinder engines, not only to win the World Drivers’ Championship but also in an attempt to remain competitive in sportscar racing.
- Chronicles the full racing history of 0578M including its time as a factory entry and subsequent seasons when it competed in privateer hands both ‘Down Under’ and in Scandinavia.
- Handsomely illustrated with evocative, period photos, plus a gallery of superb photographs of the car today, restored as it was at the 1956 12-hours of Sebring.
- Includes profiles of all those who raced it, from serial Le Mans 24-hours winners to enthusiastic independents.