The Ferrari 335 S helped secure the '57 Constructors Sports World Championship.
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The Ferrari 315 S appeared in 1957 at Sebring, its heart a 3783cc engine with 360 horsepower, or 95 horsepower per liter. Mated to a four-speed gearbox, this engine was actually lighter than the Ferrari 290 MM’s smaller, less-powerful V-12.
Suspension followed Ferrari practice: independent up front with double wishbones and coil springs; in the rear, a De Dion tube and transverse leaf springs. Brakes were large drums.
The Ferrari 315 S had an integral role in Ferrari’s 1957 Constructors Sports World Championship, winning what would be the last Mille Miglia. Works driver Piero Taruffi promised his wife he’d retire if he won, and he did.
Just as important to the world championship was the Ferrari 335 S. It looked nearly identical to the 315, but had a V-12 given more bore and stroke to reach 4023cc and 390 horsepower. It finished second at that ill-fated Mille Miglia, the scene of another ’50s racing tragedy. It was Alfonso de Portago’s accident in another Ferrari 335 S, which took the life of the dashing Ferrari driver and those of a number of spectators, including five children, that caused the event to be discontinued.
The Ferrari 335 S placed second in two other races, then won the season’s last event at Venezuela to take the makes title away from crosstown rival Maserati.
No less than future F1 World Champion Phil Hill considered the Ferrari 335 S “the greatest front engine race car from Ferrari.” Writing in the 50th Anniversary issue of Road & Track, Hill said the Ferrari 335 S “was a driver’s dream, one of those points when a car’s development in both power and handling peaked at the same time. Not only did the V-12 have more top end power than we had known, but the chassis dealt better on a variety of road surfaces and was more predictable, something Ferrari race cars hadn’t been in the previous few years ... ”
The Ferrari 315 S took first place in what would become the final Mille Miglia race.
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