A Ferrari Monza is one of a series of cars built by Ferrari. In the early 1950s, Ferrari shifted from using the compact Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine in its smallest class of sports racers to a line of four cylinder engines designed by Aurelio Lampredi. Inspired by the success of the light and reliable 2.5 L 553 F1 car, the four cylinder sports racers competed successfully through the late 1950s, culminating with the famed 500 Mondial and 750 Monza.
One important stylistic difference between most four-cylinder Ferraris is that they lacked the hood scoops common on V12 models. The V12 cars used downdraft carburettors located centrally in the "valley" of the engine, while the inline-engined fours used side-draft units and thus did not need the hood scoops.
1953 was a breakout year for Ferrari, beginning with the new World Sportscar Championship series. The company augmented their traditional V12-powered 250 MM with the new 340 MM and 375 MM and introduced the new four-cylinder 625 TF and 735 S models. With this profusion of cars, Ferrari was able to sweep the first running of the sportscar championship.
The 1954 and 1955 seasons were the heyday of the four-cylinder Ferrari sports racer. The company hit its stride, earning the World Sportscar Championship in 1954 and contending in 1955 despite the legendary Mercedes-Benz team. The Ferrari sports car lineup at the beginning of 1954 was made up of the 2.0 L 500 Mondial and 3.0 L 750 Monza. The team replaced the Mondial with the 500 TR later that year, and feverishly worked to hold off Mercedes-Benz, developing the larger 857 S and six-cylinder 118 LM and 121 LM. The planned V12 sports racer family, including the 250 Monza of 1954 and planned 410 S of 1955, were less notable.
With Mercedes-Benz pulling out of international sports car racing, the 860 Monza and new 290 MM showed well throughout 1956, bringing the sports car world championship home to Modena again. This despite the fact that Jaguar's new D-Type took the crown at the newly-restricted Le Mans and Maserati's 300 S took the 1000km Nürburgring race.
Ferrari handed off the four-cylinder sports racer line to customers at the end of 1956, choosing to focus on its own attention on the V12-powered 315 S and 335 S cars.