THIS IS WHAT $6 MILLION OF FRENCH BLU FERRARI LOOKS LIKE
by Michael Banovsky from Petrolicious Photography Courtesy of RM Sotheby's
Time stands still for nothing, and given that a race cars’ effectiveness is measured in milliseconds, not decades, finding an “old” or “original” race car is often not without caveat as to how much has been replaced. However, this 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial, a model fitted with the company’s jewel-like 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine with about 170 horsepower, left the Ferrari factory bound for a French gentleman racer…
…who saw the engine fail in its first race, then had the car overhauled by Ferrari before entering the 1955 Liège-Rome-Liège rally. The factory overhauled the car for a second time after the rally, but the owner never picked up his car. After 10 years just kicking around at Ferrari, in 1965 it was painted red and placed in the museum at the Autodromo di Monza. Another decade passed, and the car was eventually sold to its second private owner—in 1975.
Most importantly, the car was still original at this point, and had become old enough to feature in classic car rallies and concours, where it has been seen ever since, and has even run the Mille Miglia Storica on multiple occasions. But enthusiast Pierre Mellinger realized there was more to the car, and had Ferrari’s layer of red paint removed—over three months—to reveal that its original French Blu paint had lived just under the surface for all these years.
Time has left this old race car largely untouched, and even the major components are original pieces. No car is truly original past the second it rolls out of the factory, but for a road racer from the most dangerous time in motorsport to remain this original means it’s been valued as such. It’s only original once, and this Mondial is more original than most…
History – Raced at the 1955 12 Hours of Hyères and Liège-Rome-Liège – Highly original, including chassis, engine, coachwork, paint, and interior – Retained by Ferrari for approximately 20 years after first owner didn’t pick up the car after a refurbishment in 1955
Specifications ~170 horsepower, 1,984-cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with two Weber 40 DCOA/3 carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, tubular steel chassis, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs, De Dion rear axle with parallel trailing arms and semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88.6 in.
Vehicle information Chassis no.: 0424 MD (0564 MD) Engine no.: 0424 MD Certification: Ferrari Classiche certified