Book Review: Ferrari 857S – The Remarkable History of 0578M
Ferrari 857S – The Remarkable History of 0578M
By Ian Wagstaff
ISBN: 978 1 913089 08 5
Porter Press International
It is always great to start a books review section with another of Porter Press’s phenomenal titles. None of them fails to enthuse me, or provide what readers desire mostly, a reward. As usual and as the ninth of the ‘Exceptional Cars Series’, the signature black and grey background and the high-definition image of the featured car on the jacket of this 128pp landscape format hardback hit the mark. The exceptional quality of reproduction is abundantly clear. In this instance, respected motorsport journalist and author, Ian Wagstaff, curates the amazing tale about a charismatic racing Ferrari. A machine of automotive beauty, it was driven, by several of the leading racers of the mid-1950s – Mike Hawthorn, Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill among a stellar cast – but possessed serious purpose considerably beyond its fluent styling. Contesting the open road circuits, such as the Targa Florio (Sicily), it was the Italian manufacturer’s primary weapon in the battle with Stirling Moss and Mercedes-Benz. Yet, it was also a consummate circuit racer, owning a long history in private hands, despite being powered by a ‘mere’ four-cylinder Colombo engine (in either 2.0, or 2.5-litre forms, although it grew to 3.0 and then 3.4-litre capacities), chasing results at Buenos Aires, Dundrod, Sebring, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia. As with all of the books in this collectible series, each of its drivers is profiled and a superb collection of period and contemporary photographs chronicles the varied history of 0578M. Unsurprisingly, this car has been restored by Ferrari Classiche to a specification it possessed for the 1956 Sebring 24-Hours race. It was a competitor on the 2016 running of the Mille Miglia, from which it retired with a valve timing fault. However, it returned for a successful tilt in 2018 and again in 2019. The final studio photo gallery (by Alex Howe) is typical of Porter’s books. Each image could be reproduced in poster form and the mechanical details are superb.