Ferrari 158

Ferrari 158

by Luca Dal Monte

“Winning car stays unchanged.” It’s almost a rule in the mid-1960s – or at least, a necessity. The multi-million-dollar sponsors haven’t yet discovered Formula 1, money circulates relatively, and all teams, including Ferrari, cover most of the racing expenses with participation and victory prizes. In 1964, the 158 brought Ferrari the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships. For this reason, it was decided in Maranello to continue fielding it.

There’s only one available unit, entrusted to the reigning world champion. Behind the wheel of the 158 F1, John Surtees finished second in the season-opening race, the 1965 South African Grand Prix. Lorenzo Bandini, his teammate, was instead given the more recent 1512 that raced the last two races of 1964. Midway through the season, the two exchanged cars. Then, after the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, the 158 was retired, at least as the official drivers of Scuderia Ferrari were concerned.

Ferrari 158 Image 1


John Surtees: The reigning world champion competed with the 158 F1 in the first four races of the 1965 season. He finished second in Kyalami, third in Clermont-Ferrand, and fourth in Monaco. In Spa, he was forced to retire. The 158 had lost a good portion of its competitiveness from the previous season, but apart from a third-place finish at Silverstone with the 1512, it was with the previous year’s car that the Englishman achieved his best results in 1965.

Lorenzo Bandini: Bandini was only entrusted with the 158 F1 in the heart of summer. In the three weeks from July 10th to August 1st, the Italian driver raced with it at Silverstone, Zandvoort, and the Nürburgring. A retirement, a ninth, and a sixth-place finish were his far from flattering results. At Monaco, with the 1512, he had climbed to the second step of the podium.

Bob Bondurant & Nino Vaccarella: The American and Italian drivers are the last two drivers to race with the 158 F1. Vaccarella competed in the Italian Grand Prix as the third official driver for Scuderia Ferrari. Bondurant raced at Watkins Glen, entered by the North American Racing Team.

Our model cars:

Ferrari 158 Image 2

The 158 F1 model that contested nine races in the 1965 season is essentially the same identical car that raced, and won, in the previous season – a trellis-type steel tube monocoque structure with aluminum panels welded on both sides to increase rigidity. The fuel tanks are positioned on the sides and in front of the cockpit, the wheels are 15-inch with five-spoke magnesium rims. The engine is the same 90-degree V8 from the previous season.

Ferrari 158 Image 3