Page 1 of 1 In his first ten years as a manufacturer, Enzo Ferrari had built cars with four, six, eight and twelve cylinder engines. This was the result of the wide range of racing classes the young company ventured into. By 1955 the latest interest was the upcoming 1.5 litre Formula 2 category intended to support the Grand Prix weekend where Ferrari already had a strong presence. A variety of configurations was considered, but eventually Enzo's son Alfredo 'Dino' Ferrari and chief engineer Vittorio Jano chose a V6; the company's first. Sadly Dino Ferrari's premature death in the summer of 1956 prevented him to see the new single seater racer completed. A grief stricken Enzo decreed that all upcoming V6-engined Ferraris would be called 'Dino' to honour his late son.
Dino Ferrari is often credited for the actual design of the original V6 engine as well, but this was for the most part the work of Vittorio Jano, who had joined Ferrari after the Lancia buy-out. In fact the overall design was not too dissimilar to the Lancia V8, which he had designed two years earlier. Like the V12 engine, a V6 in theory works best with a sixty degree V-angle, but at that angle the twin overhead camshaft heads left little room for the Carburetors. Jano ingeniously modified the crankshaft to allow for a slightly wider V of 65 degrees. Breathing through three double Webers, the small displacement engine produced a staggering 175 bhp on regular fuel; not the potent alcohol mixture the big Formula 1 cars ran on. The drivetrain was installed in a relatively straightforward chassis consisting of two large diameter lower tubes reinforced by a series of smaller tubes. Suspension was by wishbones at the front and a DeDion axle at the rear, and like Maserati, Ferrari still relied on drum brakes to provide the stopping power.
Dubbed the Ferrari 156 Dino F2, the new single seater made its debut at the Naples Grand Prix in April of 1957. Luigi Musso qualified in third position and he did not manage to improve in the race. He was beaten only by Ferrari's 2.5 litre V8-engined Formula 1 cars. Less than three months later, the 156 Dino scored its maiden victory in the hands of Maurice Trintignant. The Dino's startling performance was quite a contrast to the manufacturer's F1 cars and Enzo soon ordered his engineers to construct a F1 racer for the 1958 season based on the Dino. To bridge the gap the engine was increased in size to just under 1.9 litre and later to 2.2 and 2.4 litre for the last Grands Prix of the season. Musso and Peter Collins showcased the cars potential by finishing 2nd and 4th in a non-championship race at Modena with a displacement of only 1.9 litre.
Ferrari's hopes for 1958 were further reinforced by the announcement that alcohol fuels were banned from the start of the season. The Dino V6 was designed from the ground up to run on regular fuels, but the Vanwall and BRM engines needed to be extensively modified, which everybody expected to take quite some time. For the Formula 1 car, a displacement of 2.417 litre was chosen, which yielded a hefty 270 bhp. The chassis design followed that of the F2 car, although the size of the tubes and wheelbase varied from car to car. Dubbed the 246 F1 Dino, it formed the mainstay of the Scuderia's Formula 1 program and the specifications changed continuously with independent rear suspension and disc brakes as the most notable evolutions. Two different variations of the engine were also tried; one with a slightly larger displacement, closer to the 2.5 litre limit and one with single overhead camshaft engine to produce more torque. Specifically for the Formula Libre race at Monza, a three litre version of the Dino V6 was built, good for 316 bhp. Page 1 of 1