1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti SpyderSOLD

RM Auctions - Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction - August 16-18

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Estimate: $1,400,000-$1,800,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $1,540,000

Chassis no. 0502 is a superlative, well-known example. Originally driven by Ernie McAfee, it was a successful competitor on the West Coast, winning 8 straight races consecutively. With a known history from new and recent Ferrari Certification received in 2005, 0502 remains one of the best examples of its kind.

260bhp, 2999.62 cc inline four cylinder engine with two twin choke Weber 58 DCOA/3 carburetors, five speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with A-arms, coil springs and Houdaille lever hydraulic dampers, de Dion solid rear axle with transverse leaf springs, four wheel hydraulic drum brakes with cooling fins. Wheelbase: 2250mm.

The essence of Ferrari has always been motor racing. Indeed, for the first two decades of its existence, the production and sale of road cars was an evil necessary to finance the racing effort. In 1952, Aurelio Lampredi was emerging as the dominant voice of the design staff and under his direction Scuderia Ferrari embarked upon an ambitious direction for the sports racing program. They developed two types of cars to compete at different types of race courses; powerful 12 cylinder cars for the very fast tracks, and high torque 4 cylinder cars for tight or mountainous venues. The first of the 4 cylinder cars to be produced in any meaningful numbers were those of the 510 Series: the 500 Mondial (2 liter) and the 750 Monza (3 liter). Although entered and campaigned by the Scuderia through most of the 1954-55 seasons, the Monza especially became a favorite of the privateers. The chassis was very sophisticated for the day with beautifully balanced handling, yet the car was robust and sturdy. The 3-liter engine produced terrific power for shorter races, but proved to be somewhat unreliable in the very long (24 hour) events. Despite this, the Mondial/Monza series cars proved their mettle in perhaps the most grueling event of all, the Mille Miglia, finishing 2nd overall in 1954 and 6th in 1955(against Moss, Fangio et al in factory Mercedes 300 SLRs).

Italian cars, especially those produced up through the 1950s and 1960s were as much an artistic creation as a product of engineering. Enzo Ferrari insisted that the appearance of a racing Ferrari must epitomize the purposeful (and Italian) beast that it was - fierce, but with an economy of line and elegant proportions. The 510 series cars represent the first collaboration between Ferrari and Sergio Scaglietti - a collaboration that lasted for the rest of Enzo Ferrari's life (and endures today). The coachwork has simple, organic flowing contours that became the hallmark of the legendary 1950s sports racers.

The example presented here, 0502M was ordered new from the factory by Mr. William Doheny of Los Angeles, CA for his driver Ernie McAfee. This is the only 750 Monza constructed without a headrest. In his order, Mr. Doheny stipulated that the body not be fitted with a driver's head fairing because he drove the car on the street between races and felt that the headrest would attract the unwanted attention of the police. It gives 0502M a unique low line appearance that is particularly alluring from the rear 3/4 perspective.

The car was delivered with the Ferrari team cars at Sebring, Florida in March of 1955 in US racing colors of white with blue stripes. Doheny entered it for Ernie McAfee and co-driver Harold Wheeler. The car had an off-course excursion during Wheeler's first stint and 0502M didn't finish the race. After Sebring, the car was transported to McAfee's shop in Los Angeles, repainted Dodge Lancer Blue and given race number 76(Mr. Doheny was a director of Union 76 Oil Company). 0502M was raced extensively by McAfee in many California venues through the end of 1955 with great success. It is recorded that McAfee won eight individual races against strong opposition (Phil Hill in another 750 Monza, Masten Gregory and others). McAfee's last race of 0502M was at Palm Springs, California in December 1955. He finished 2nd in the final behind Phil Hill in Tony Parravano's Maserati 300S.

In 1956, Mr. Doheny ordered a 121 LM from Ferrari for McAfee to race and the 750 Monza was sold to Temple Buell. Drivers Masten Gregory and Dabney Collins raced it in 1956 with some measure of success. In 1957, the car was driven by drivers Lou Brero and Jack Bates in some California events. They achieved some solid results, but by this time newer and stronger opposition outclassed the car. 0502M was sold to Frank Jarman of Tennessee and then resold to Harry Washburn of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Show Results For the 1955 Ferrari Monza, Chassis no. 0502M
2003 Radnor Hunt, Chairman's Award.
2004 Cavallino Classic, Outstanding 4 Cylinder car.
2004 Amelia Island Concours, Spirit of Ferrari Award.
2004 Greenwich Concours, Best Italian Sports/Competition car 1945-1957.
2004 Reading Concours, Best of Show.
2004 Hartford Concours, Best of Show.
2005 Cavallino Classic, Outstanding 4 Cylinder Car.
2005 Palm Beach Jet Aviation Center, Bella Macchina Cup Outstanding Ferrari Present.
2006 Radnor Hunt, Best Historica Post war Sports Racing Car.

0502M featured in the following publications:

Ferrari Road and Racing, Winston Goodfellow.
Triumph and Tragedy, The 1955 World Sports Car Season, Yves Kalterbach.
American Sports Car Racing in the 1950's, Lynch, Edgar and Parravano.
The Fabulous Fifties, Sports Car Races in Southern California, Art Evans.
Feature article in FORZA magazine 2003

In the late 1950s, racecars with big American power plants were doing quite well in competition, so it was not uncommon to see Ferraris powered by Chevrolet Corvette engines. In addition to needing the power of an American V8, Ferrari parts purchased from US importer Luigi Chinetti were very expensive. Ferrari's converted to V8 power were allowed to compete in the Modified class designation in the US. Thus Washburn converted 0502M to Corvette power and ran the car in amateur events during 1959-60.

By the early 1960's, 0502M joined the legions of retired old warhorses. It was raced in a number of low level amateur events and was eventually retired from competition. The last reference found from this period is a classified ad offering 0502M for sale in Tennessee in 1964. Thereafter, the car dropped out of sight.

In 1979, Ferrari collector and four-cylinder enthusiast Bruce Lavachek of Arizona discovered 0502M still in Tennessee. He negotiated the purchase of the car from the parents of the deceased owner and had it sent back to his home in Arizona. As Lavachek started to gather the components necessary to restore the car, he learned that his friend/Ferrari historian Richard Merritt had the original engine of 0502M in his hoard of Ferrari engines. The engine was in need of a complete rebuild, but the original block was sound and undamaged. The transaxle was a more difficult proposition as the original (#12S) could not be found. Lavachek located another type 510 transaxle (#10S) from Will Haible of California who had purchased it in a large lot of Chinetti spare parts in the late 1970s. Sometime in late 1980, Lavachek began to restore 0502M. It was a restoration that was to take more than 20 years to complete.

In the early 1980's, Bruce Lavachek decided to sell 0502M in its unfinished state and found a buyer in David Cottingham of DK Engineering in England. Cottingham in turn sold the car to Roderick Brierly who retained DK to complete the restoration. From what can be determined, it seems that all of the restoration work in England was actually contracted to Hall & Fowler (now Hall & Hall) by DK. Again during this restoration and prior to completion, Brierly also decided to sell the car and in 1993 0502M was sold to two Japanese collectors, Mr. Utsuki and Mr. Yamaguchi. Utsuki and Yamaguchi continued the restoration work but at some point dissolved their partnership, and Utsuki purchased Yamaguchi's interest in the car. Sadly, Mr. Utsuki died very suddenly in 1995. The present owner contacted Mr. Utsuki's father in 1997 and traveled to Japan to negotiate the purchase of the car.

The owner ĺ s original intention was to complete the restoration and then campaign the car in some historic racing events. When he got the car back to the US and had a chance to thoroughly examine it, he was dissatisfied with much of the work that had been done. After much deliberation, he decided to send 0502M to Modena, Italy for a comprehensive restoration. The mechanical work was performed by Sport Auto Modena, Diena e Silingardi; bodywork was done by Carrozzeria Auto Sport, Bacchelli e Villa in Bastiglia (MO). His instructions were simple and direct--restore the car to the way that it was when it left the factory--and he believes that his instructions were carried out to the letter.

The restoration was completed in June of 2003 and 0502M has been shown with great success including being awarded "Outstanding 4 Cylinder" at both the 2004 and 2005 Cavallino Classic. Most importantly, this example has been fully certified by the Ferrari Classiche department as recently as 2005. This inspection required a meticulous examination of every number, stamping and part to properly authenticate the car for its overall correctness. 0502M is in its original configuration with its original engine and correct type transaxle.

In April of this year it was one of 80 vintage ferraris invited by the Ferrari factory to participate in the 60th Anniversary Concours in Maranello, Italy. It is eligible to compete in the Mille Miglia, Le Mans Historic, all Ferrari Challenge events and virtually every historic sports racing event or tour throughout the world. The 750 Monza represents a fascinating technical period of the world's most iconic marque--Ferrari--and via careful and passionate hands 0502M was returned to its original glory for all to appreciate. RM Auctions is pleased to present this wonderful car at the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction.

Reference Number 11426

as of 7/19/2007

Car 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti Spyder
VIN 0502M 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Wire wheels
Interior: Wooden steering wheel 
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