Super squalo successes

SIR,

Congratulations. MOTOR SPORT, like a thoroughbred racer, has survived a major development program without losing the essential ingredients. Generations of us readers should be heaving a big sigh of relief that the familiar mixtures of enthusiasm and informed journalism have been maintained.

With regard to your article on Tony Merrick (Motoring Sportsmen, April), I see you refer to the "unloved and unsuccessful" Ferrari Super Squalo. I don't believe the facts bear out this assumption.

Four Super Squalos were built featuring a new chassis and a redesigned four-cylinder 2496cc engine developing 270bhp. The main competition came from Mercedes-Benz, which with Fangio and Moss dominated the season, the German team virtually eliminating the chance of mechanical failure by building 15 chassis.

It was probably the Super Squalo's first major outing at Monaco which started the bad handling reputation. The cars suffered severe oversteer which may have been due to the Englebert tyres.

In Belgium things were very different with Farina coming third behind the Mercedes beating seven Maseratis, three Lancia D50s and two Vanwalls. In Holland Castellotti came fifth and at Monza, with five-speed gearboxes and better aerodynamics, Castellotti came third, just 45sec behind Fangio who won. All in all, not a bad effort for a car whose European racing career spanned six months. At the Monaco historic meeting in May, Tony Merrick will be driving Super Squalo 555/1, the very car in which, 42 years ago, Paul Frere had his first drive for Ferrari on the same circuit.

What a splendid sight it will be to see this great car lapping Monaco once again, and hopefully Paul Frere will be on hand to give Tony a few pointers.

I am yours etc,

NICK HARLEY, KENSINGTON, LONDON