Formula Junior was very much as it sounds, a junior category dreamed up by the Italian driver and race administrator Count Giovanni Lurani, who saw it as primarily an Italian formula to provide a single-seater training ground for Italian drivers. In the UK, the 500 cc Formula 3 category had been doing this for some years but was very much outgrown by the late 1950s. Formula Junior got started in Italy in 1958, but rapidly caught on across Europe and lasted for some six years.
The first cars were built to regulations very much based on the existing Italian National 750 Formula Corse. The fundamental elements of the cars had to derive from recognized touring cars of which 1000 units had to have been built in the previous 12 months. The FIA rules set a minimum wheelbase of 6’ 7”, maximum track of 3’ 7 5/16”, with maximum body width of 3’ 1” and a minimum weight of 400 kgs. Lower weight was allowed for cars with engines under 1000 cc.