One would not tell from the photos, but this wreck used to be a Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I, the second of only thirteen produced. It was found in a barn destroyed by Hurricane Charley 19 years ago and sold at auction for $1.875 million. The other three cars were over a million.
It is not uncommon for cars destined for restoration to be sold at auction. But in order for a world-famous auction house to sell literally a pile of scrap metal, and for a price exceeding a million dollars, the scrap metal must be truly blue-blooded.
Not long ago, twenty cars of this brand in various stages of decay were recovered from a forgotten barn in Florida, the contents of which were known only to a handful of dedicated Ferrari collectors. In 1990 the barn partially collapsed, Hurricane Charley ended in destruction in 2004, and since then twenty Ferraris, including pearls, have remained idle.
The cars only came to light this year, when auction house RM Sotheby’s auctioned them off during Car Week in Monterey, California. All cars will require a lot of care from new owners as they have not been driven for a long time. Some will require complete renovation, many of them are damaged.
And then there’s one, of which all that’s left is a twisted, charred torso without a steering wheel or seat, with the engine lying on a pallet next to it. This particular torso, which is difficult to call a car at all, was the third most expensive car sold out of the twenty with a price of 1.875 million dollars (41.42 million crowns). They are the rest of my Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series, in addition, the second car produced from only thirteen in total with a body designed by the Pininfarina studio.
The Ferrari 500 Mondial was a custom version of the successful inline four-cylinder Formula 2 racing car developed by the famous engine maker Aurelio Lampredi. Alberto Ascari, a driver for the Ferrari factory team, won the world championship with this racing car in 1952 and 1953, and Ferrari then offered customers a version of the car with a two-liter engine, called the 500 Mondial, at the beginning 1954; 500 because each cylinder was closed to five hundred cubic centimeters, and Mondial because Ascari won all over the world with it.
The car, chassis number 0406 MD, was built in March 1954 and bought by Franco Cornacchia, a Milanese sports car dealer and boss of the Scuderia Guastalla racing team. Already in April of the same year, former Ferrari factory team driver Franco Cortese ran with him when he finished second in his class in the Coppa della Toscana race. In May he finished fourth in the Mille Miglia, in June eighth in the Imola Grand Prix.
Over the next several years, Ferrari raced and collected success from various pilots, until it arrived in the United States in 1958. nonetheless, sometime during the next two years it crashed, caught fire – and was not repaired. . Despite several owners who did not touch it either, in 1978 it came into the hands of the last.
The car was purchased by the unknown new owner along with the larger Lampredi 3-liter inline-4 engine, the original transmission, rear axle, and other parts. It is also worth noting that the body still has its original production label.
The extreme price given the extreme conditions in this world is further determined by the fact that original examples of this model are very rare. In addition, this one has in its history one of the most famous private racers in post-war Italy, and, in addition to the plate, there are also color copies of the original production sheets from the factory and homologation documents . What the car will be worth after undergoing a complete restoration – if it happens – is difficult to even speculate, but an estimate of the order of tens of millions of dollars can not be completely out of the question.
Among the twenty lost and found Ferraris were also some other interesting pieces that we briefly covered a few weeks ago. They all found new owners.
It was the most expensive 275 GTB/6C with a selling price of 3.305 million dollars (73 million crowns). This piece was exhibited by Ferrari at the Turin Motor Show in 1965. Historically, it is the first Ferrari of the 275 series to be presented with the then new extended nose and six-carburetor heart. At the same time, it is the first Ferrari 275 GTB / 6C in racing specification, i.e. with a lighter aluminum body from Scaglietti. It has been in one private owner for the past 44 years and has been parked in a warehouse that has fallen into disrepair for a long time.
It was the second most expensive piece 410 Superamerica Coupe Series I with a price of 2.81 million dollars (62 million crowns). It was originally blue in the very rare Blu Artico shade, but now has a typical red color. The previous owner had it for nearly fifty years, and the car is the tenth of twelve 12-cylinder 410 Superamericas produced.
Another interesting model is offered 250 GT Coupe Speciale from 1956, with the original Italian name Berlinetta Speziale, sold for 1.655 million dollars (36.6 million crowns). It needs a thorough restoration, but it will be worth it – it is one of four products with a body by Pininfarina, and the first owner was King Muhammad V of Morocco.
And finally, the fifth of the most interesting pieces, the model 250 GT/L Luxury Berlinetta, which found a new owner for 907,000 dollars (20 million crowns), is interesting for its appearance, which does not quite match the iconic 250 GT. In the past, it underwent a radical reconstruction by the specialist Williams & Pritchard, dedicated to special racing cars, thanks to which it carries features inspired by competition models such as the 250 GTO or the 330 LMB. Experts in the classic Ferrari trade themselves are now wondering whether the new owner will keep it in its current condition, or decide to return it to its original factory specification.
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