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  Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti Spyder
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1956
Numbers built:4 (One converted from 860 Monza)
Designed by:Scaglietti
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 30, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFor the 1956 World Sportscar Championship, Enzo Ferrari increased his odds by fielding both four and twelve cylinder engined versions of the same car, dubbed the 860 Monza and 290 MM respectively. Both engines had a similar 3.5 litre displacement; the straight four had the benefit of an abundance of low-end torque while the V12 produced more horsepower at high revs. The two models shared the latest 'Tipo 520' sports car chassis and were clothed by Scaglietti with similar aluminium bodies.

Ahead of the introduction of the new models, Ferrari started the Championship in Buenos Aires with the existing 410 S. The two entered cars failed miserably in the race dominated by arch-rival Maserati but all was forgotten when the 860 Monza made a very successful debut in the Sebring 12 Hours; the two cars entered finished first and second. Round three was the all important Mille Miglia where Ferrari entered two of the appropriately named 290 MMs, backed up by a duo of 860 Monzas.

The Tipo 520 chassis used for both cars was an evolution of the Tipo 510 chassis found in the four-cylinder engined cars of 1955. Like all of its predecessors, the chassis was still constructed from two large oval tubes but also used more small-diameter tubes for added strength than ever before. In many ways it was one of Ferrari's first takes on the emerging spaceframe type chassis. Suspension at the front was by double wishbones, while the rear-end featured a DeDion axle.

The 290 MM's Tipo 130 engine was a development of the familiar Colombo 'short-block' V12. Responsible for the new engine was a trio of engineers, who worked under the supervision of the great Vittorio Jano, who had recently joined Ferrari from Lancia. Compared to the more familiar 3-litre version of Colombo's V12, the Tipo 130 featured a longer stroke and twin-plugs per cylinder. Breathing through three quad-choke Weber carburettors, the 3.5 litre engine produced around 320 bhp at well over 7000 rpm. The similarly sized 860 Monza 'four' put out a more modest 280 bhp.

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  Article Image gallery (44) Chassis (3) Specifications User Comments (1)