The Ferrari 156 was a racecar made by Ferrari in 1961 to comply with then-new F1 regulations that lowered engine displacement from 2.5 to 1.5 litres, similar to the pre-1961 F2 class for which Ferrari had developed a mid-engined car also called 156. It used the V6 "Dino" engine named after Enzo Ferrari's late son.
The new engine was a revised F2 engine with the V-angle increased from 65 to 120 degrees. This increased the power by 10 hp. Bore and stoke were 73.0 x 58.8 mm with a displacement of 1,476.60 cc and a claimed 190 hp at 9,500 rpm. For 1962 a 24-valve version was planned with 200 hp at 10,000 rpm, but never appeared. In 1963 the 12-valve version fitted with Bosch direct-fuel injection instead of carburetors achieved that power level. The last victory for the Ferrari 156 was by Italian Lorenzo Bandini in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix.
It is one of the most iconic racecar shapes and one of the most distinctive of all Ferraris. Phil Hill won his only Formula One Driver's World Championship in it and the car also secured Ferrari their first Formula One World Constructor's Championship.
The 1961 version was affectionately dubbed "sharknose" due to its characteristic air intake "nostrils". Unfortunately, then-Ferrari factory policy inevitably saw all the remaining sharknose 156s scrapped by the end of the 1963 season. Nevertheless such a F 156 is exhibited in the "Galleria Ferrari" at Maranello, probably a replica.
A similar intake duct styling was applied over forty years later to the Ferrari F430.
1963 Ferrari 156 Aero
The updated Ferrari 156, used in the 1963 season, did not feature the distinctive sharknose design but had a rather conventional intake, somewhat larger than Ferrari 158 introduced in 1964.
On September 10, 1961, after a collision with Jim Clark's Lotus on the second lap of the Italian Grand Prix, Wolfgang von Trips' (Hill's teammate) 156 became airborne and crashed into a side barrier, fatally throwing him from the car, and killing fourteen spectators.
In popular culture
- English Blues singer-songwriter Chris Rea had a meticulous replica of the sharknose built for him to use in his 1996 film, La Passione.