Ferrari brings back 1950s ‘barchetta’ with new Monza models

Ferrari has launched a pair of new Monza supercars, featuring a barchetta-style throwback to its Monza racecars of the 1950s

We see it more and more often these days, modern cars mimicking their forebearers with visual references to their past. But when Ferrari decides to dip into its past for a new model, it’s bound to create something special.

Sixty-two years after the final Ferrari Monza series 625LM was built by Maranello, two new editions of the Monza have been made – the single-seater SP1 and two-seater SP2. Both are built in the ‘barchetta’ style used by Ferrari in the late 1940s and early 1950s, most famously by the 166MM, which twice won the Mille Miglia in addition to victory at the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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There’s a stark difference between the Monza barchettas of old and these new editions, however. While the diminutive racing cars of the past mostly featured small, inline-four engines, these new pair of road-going Monzas will feature a 6.5-litre V12.

It’s the same base engine found in the Ferrari 812 Superfast with which it shares much of its running gear, but tuned up to 810bhp, giving the Monza a 0-62mph time of only 2.9 seconds.

That radical shift in power output isn’t at the expense of the barchetta’s trademark lightweight, nimble nature though. One radical departure from the 812 is the bodyshell, constructed entirely from carbon fibre.

A lack of windscreen has also been compensated for with some clever design trickery – a recessed instrument panel acting as an aerodynamic wind-breaker for the driver while sitting in the cockpit. No need for 1950s-style goggles to accompany your 1950s throwback supercar, then.

Eagle-eyed fans will notice the launch Monza SP1 also harkens back to an entirely different legendary Ferrari of the past. Not long after a Rob Walker Racing-inspired Ferrari 812 Superfast was unveiled, a hat-tip to the Scuderia’s vaunted racing history comes through Ecurie Francorchamps’ 1964 Tour de France-winning 250 GTO livery bestowing the launch car. The iconic silver livery with a horizontal yellow bonnet stripe has also been featured on other modern Ferrari vehicles in the recent past.

In general terms, the Monza’s launch is good news for classic car fans hoping for more retro-inspired creations from Ferrari. It represents the first in a new series of cars under the Icona Ferrari ‘product pillar,’ as described in its four-year plan up to 2022.

Following on from other limited-run and one-offs recently like the V8-powered J50 convertible and SP38 coupe, the new Monza suggests there will be more classic-inspired creativity to come from Maranello in the coming years.

Ferrari 166MM image courtesy of Motorsport Images

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