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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti spyder 
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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti spyder

S/N 0538 M

delivered new to Scuderia Parravano

raced by Mario Bornigia, Bob Drake, Richi Ginther and Carroll Shelby

stunning one-off Scaglietti re-body in 1955

Copley Motorcars
37 Chestnut Street Needham, Massachusetts 02492 USA
Tel. 781-444-4646 e-mail copleycars@gmail.com www.copleymotorcars.com

Reference Number 536873

as of 9/19/2018

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Copley Motorcars Corp.  Contact  Location
37 Chestnut Street  Phone  781.444.4646  City  Needham
Needham, MA 02492  Fax  781.444.4406  State  Massachusetts
United States  Mobile    Country  United States United States
Overview
Car 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti spyder
VIN 0538 M 
Exterior / Interior Color      Red Rosso Corsa /      Red  
Condition Very Good 
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
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Known History

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti spyder S/N 0538 M

 

– delivered new to Scuderia Parravano

– raced by Carroll Shelby, Bob Drake, Richie Ginther, Mario Bornigia, Gino Munaron, Mike Roetner

– more than two dozen races including, GP Bari, GP Monza, Targa Florio, GP Venezuela, Santa Barbara, Riverside, Pomona, Del Mar, New Smyrna Beach, Palm Springs

 

– re-bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti in late 1955 – following the Shelby/Munaron crash at Targa Florio

1955 750 Monza Scaglietti spyder, S/N 0538 M, one of the 37 3.0 litre Monza’s built, and quite possibly the most beautiful 4 cylinder open sports racer to ever wear the Prancing Horse. The voluptuous one-off Scaglietti coachwork fitted in late 1955 following an incident at the Targa Florio by the race team of Carroll Shelby and Gino Munaron, with Munaron disappointingly leaving the track after Shelby had them running third. 0538 would come back to the States wearing its stunning new coachwork and be raced with Bob Drake in the seat at Palm Springs in April of 1957. This the very last race for Scuderia Parravano.

 

– Scuderia Parravano

 

Construction magnate and boulevardier Tony Parravano was instrumental in launching the West Coast sports car racing craze of the 1950s. Along with John Edgar and John von Neumann, Scuderia Parravano hired the very best drivers of the day to race the very best cars of the day. Tony was a top customer of Enzo Ferrari and had countless cars direct from the Factory. It all ended in a dispute with the IRS, with Tony spiriting away numerous cars into Mexico, with the rest confiscated and sold at auction by the U.S. Marshalls. Presumably in Mexico, Tony was never seen again but his folk hero legend lives on in these two glorious race cars.

 

- period photograph of:

Bob Drake in the Scuderia Parravano 750 Monza at Palm Springs

Carroll Shelby to his left in John Edgar’s Maserati 300S

Phil Hill to his right in the Scuderia Parravano 121 LM

 

John Edgar, along with Tony Parravano, was a pioneer of the West Coast sports racing scene. His son Will was there back in the day so has countless tales and anecdotes from then and more current interviews with the icon drivers of the day. Here is more flavor from Will and excerpts from his chat with Carroll Shelby regarding 750 Monza 0538 M:

 

Little did Tony Parravano know then that this would be the last time any of his Scuderia Parravano stables’ many Ferraris and Maserati would be allowed to race, or even stay in his possession. On this, Shelby told me, “There’s been a lot of stories about Tony that are either hearsay or don’t hold water. The U.S. Government got after him for unpaid taxes, but he was about to settle on that.” Nonetheless, U.S. Marshals seized Parravano’s shop and cars. Three years on, Tony—totally out of racing and at a point where he was to appear in court to enter into a plea bargain—went to his tailor to pick up his altered suits, and never was seen again. The mystery of Tony Parravano’s disappearance that day remains unsolved.

 

Shelby remembered better times with Tony. “We went to Europe together in 1955 to look at cars,” Carroll told me a few years before he died, before we lost a great friend and certified dynamo of the car world. “Tony spoke Italian,” Shel went on, “and only wanted to deal directly with Mr. Ferrari and the Orsi family at Maserati. I tested cars by the handful and watched Tony buy them. We’d go one day to Ferrari and the next to Maserati. We took a 121 LM to Oulton Park, and Tony bought a 750 Monza [0538] for the Targa Florio—I was running third when my co-driver, Gino Munaron, took over and ran the Monza off the road!”

 

Well, Phil Hill won this pictured April 1957 Palm Spring Sunday grid in the Parravano 121 LM, beating Shelby’s Maser to the checkered. What happened to Bob Drake’s Sunday featured Main in Tony’s 0538 Monza after coming second to Shelby in Saturday’s Preliminary? Overheated here on the hot desert circuit, 0538 retired a disappointing DNF.

 

Copley Motorcars 37 Chestnut Street Needham, Massachusetts 02492 USA

Tel. 781-444-4646 e-mail copleycars@gmail.com www.copleymotorcars.com

 

Period photos courtesy of Edgar Motorsports Archive

Special thanks to the team at Thompson Speedway

Photography by Chip Riegel