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1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series 1 by Scaglietti

One of only 5, Scaglietti-bodied, Series 1, Ferrari 500 Mondial’s

Ferrari Classiche Certified, Retaining its original chassis, engine and gearbox

Winner of the 1955 Ethiopian Grand Prix

Pictured in the 1955 Ferrari Yearbook

Accompanied by a complete and proven Hall & Hall 3-litre 750 Monza-Specification engine

Chassis no. 0468 MD

+44 20 3621 2923

The 500 Mondial:

In the mid-1950’s, Ferrari was well-known for producing some of the most sophisticated, technically advanced and elegant competition cars in the world. At this time, Ferrari was also developing, and winning, with cars fitted with a Lampredi-designed four-cylinder engine.

Lampredi had been experimenting with the design of a four-cylinder, 2.0 litre engine to enter the 1954 and 1955 World Sportscar Championships. It was this that led to the creation of the 500 Mondial which was named after the World “Mondial” Championships won by Alberto Ascari. The engine was a slightly de-tuned version of the 500 F2 engine, producing 170 bhp and lubricated via a dry sump, featuring gear-driven dual overhead camshafts and twin-magneto ignition. The four-cylinder engine had a bore and stroke of 90mm X 78mm giving a total displacement of 1984.8 cc and a compression ratio of 8.5:1 and used two spark plugs per cylinder in conjunction with two Marelli magnetos.

The front suspension was independent with double wishbones and a transverse leaf spring with damping via Houdaille shock absorbers. A De Dion rear axle layout with the light alloy central casing contained a self-locking differential was chosen with all four wheels using hydraulically operated drum brakes. Wheels were 16” with a wheel base of 2.250 metres with all chassis incorporating RHD.

The 500 Mondial frame was fitted with a body from one of two coachbuilders, either Scaglietti or Pinin Farina. A young coachbuilder from Modena called Sergio Scaglietti, was inspired by a design penned by Dino Ferrari to refresh the look of the older 166 given to him by his father. This beautiful body design was fitted to only five Series 1 500 Mondial’s .

From the moment these cars reached the track, they experienced immediate success. The debut came on 20th December 1953 at the 12 Hours of Casablanca with Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi finishing second, to a Ferrari 375 MM. The 500 Mondial’s regularly competed for overall victories in circuit races, hill climbs and even achieved a 2nd overall finish at the 1954 Mille Miglia at the hands of Vittorio Marzotto!


This Series 1 Ferrari 500 Mondial:

The car offered here, chassis 0468 MD, is one of only 19 Series 1 500 Mondial’s built, with only five being bodied by Sergio Scaglietti. According to copies of the Ferrari build sheets within the cars history file, this 500 Mondial chassis frame was completed in August 1954 before being delivered to its first owner, Mr Guido Petracchi in March 1955. This cars history file also contains a colour image of this car at the Ferrari factory before delivery, gleaming in its fresh red paintwork. The car was fitted from new with engine 0468 MD, internal number 37 MD, and transaxle 48 MD, both of which it retains today.

Mr Petracchi registered the car in Ethiopia with the Eritrean license plate ‘ER 22289’. 0468 MD’s first competitive outing was at the 1955 Coppa Mare a Monti, held in early March where it was driven by Guido Petracchi to third place overall, as noted in the 1955 Ferrari Yearbook. Later in the year, this car also competed at the Ethiopian Grand Prix, where it was driven by Petracchi and finished first, before being displayed at the Salon of the Italian Pavillion at the Silver Jubilee Exhibition held in Addis Ababa. The car was photographed at this event and featured in the 1955 Ferrari Yearbook, a copy of which accompanies the car.

The cars next competition outing was at the 1956 Côte de Asmara on February 18th and wore race number 30. Gaetano Barone took over the driving duties and won the race with 0468 MD. Later in 1956, as noted in the 1956 Ferrari Yearbook, Barone also competed with this 500 Mondial at the 7th Circuito di Asmara race, along with the Circuito dell’Asmara race, on both occasions finishing first. After this event the car was put into long-term storage in Ethiopia.

In 1970 a young and enthusiastic car collector and dealer named Colin Crabbe was on vacation in Ethiopia. Having previously visited Addis Ababa, Crabbe moved onto Asmara where he met with “an ancient local who claimed to have been a mechanic with the Alfa Romeo racing team.” comments Crabbe in his autobiography Thrill of the Chase. “This I doubted but he then led me to a lock-up where a completely original 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial (0468 MD) was garaged. It was bought immediately, but I had certainly not expected to find a post-war Italian racing car.” There is also a fabulous picture of 0468 MD where it was found in Ethiopia, showing the complete nature of the car in 1970.

Crabbe brought 0468 MD to the UK and worked with Breckon Hill Motor Museum to contact Ferrari and research the car. Correspondence between Ferrari and the Breckon Hill Motor Museum is contained within the cars history file, along with copies of complete build sheets supplied by Ferrari in 1971.

Crabbe sold the car to John Ellwood Robinson, a resident in Penrith, Cumbria, in 1972 at which time the car was UK registered on license ‘FHH 32K’. Robinson later registered the car on UK license ‘500 MON’ before embarking upon a complete restoration with Ferrari Specialists, DK Engineering in 1980 with many invoices contained in the cars accompanying history file.

Post-restoration, Robinson entered 0468 MD in the Ferrari Owners 20th Anniversary meeting at Oulton Park held over the 17th and 18th July 1987. Then, a day later he entered the Ferrari Owners Club Concours near Oulton Park. During Mr Robinson’s ownership, 0468 MD was photographed and featured in Godfrey Eaton’s book, ‘The Complete Ferrari ‘.

The following year, in May 1988, 0468 MD was bought at the Christies auction in Monaco by Arnold and Werner Meier, residents in Feldmeilen, Switzerland. The history file contains FIA papers issued to the car in 1989, with images taken in 1988, confirming the excellent condition of the car throughout this time in its life. In April 1989 and May 1990, 0468 MD entered the Mille Miglia with race number 201, and 236. Extensive images of the car competing at the Mille Miglia events is contained within the cars history file.

In June 1990, Alfred ‘Fredy’ Lienhard, owner of Lista Racing Team, and resident in Erlen, Switzerland, bought 0468 MD. Fredy was a keen competitor, having raced for many years in Formula Vee and Formula two, eventually moving to sports car racing at which time he bought a Ferrari 333 SP, winning the 1997 24 Hours of Zolder with Didier Theys. In 1991, Fredy entered 0468 MD in the Mille Miglia and AvD-Oldtimer Grand Prix at the Nurburgring before his final event with the car at the 1992 Mille Miglia.

The car next appeared in competition at the 1997 Coys International Historic Festival at Silverstone where it was driven by Tony Dron and owned by Paul Osborn’s Cars International Associated in the UK. Later, in 1997, famed Ohio-based collector Jon A. Shirley bought 0468 MD, immediately preparing the car for display at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it was entered in Class 0 for Scaglietti Coachwork. Shirley was president of Microsoft from 1983 through 1990, and a director until 2008, although he is well known for his substantial classic car collection which includes the 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti coupe which Roberto Rossellini commissioned for his wife, Ingrid Bergman. Shirley also owns a Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta along with a Ferrari 250 GTO and 250 Testa Rossa, a true connoisseur of the Ferrari brand.

Over the next ten years the car was regularly campaigned by Jon Shirley in various events in the USA, including the Monterey Historic Races, Ferrari Club of America meetings, and the Rolex Vintage Festival at Lime Rock.

In 2006, 0468 MD made its way to the Ferrari Classiche facilities in Maranello for certification and restoration. The Ferrari Classiche ‘Red Book’ confirms the chassis, engine and gearbox to all be correct and original to 0468 MD with the Certificato of Authenticity being awarded on 28th February 2007. As is common for many competition cars from this period, Ferrari Classiche insists on measuring the entire body, and if found any measurement is found to be anything less than exact, it must be rectified. During measurement of this 500 Mondial, Ferrari believed the nose required rectification, which was completed at Brandoli and documented within the Ferrari Classiche binder.

Post-Certification, 0468 MD was sold to Jon’s son, Erickson Shirley, an enthusiastic and accomplished historic racer. Erickson recalls “Mt dad brought some cars out to the track and had me drive a few of them including a Porsche 550 Spyder and his 500 Mondial. I liked the 550 a lot, they are great cars, but then I drove the Mondial and just fell in love with it. I had to own that car, so I bought it from my dad.” Erickson continued to compete 0468 MD at historic events in the USA, predominantly the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Ferrari Shell Historic Challenge at Elkhart Lake and the Sonoma Historics at Infineon Raceway.

In the interest of preserving the original engine, with many Mondials having already lost theirs, Erickson chose to replace it, commissioning a three-litre, 750 Monza-specification reproduction engine from the experts at Hall & Hall in the UK. This engine is complete, including its Weber 58 mm carburettors through to its hand-bent exhaust headers. The engine was fitted and used successfully in two race meetings, seeing less than two hours of on-track use. Currently, this engine sits alongside 0468 MD, which is presently fitted with its original two-litre, 500 Mondial engine.

During the ownership of Jon and Erickson Shirley, 0468 MD has been in the care of experts at Dennison International in Washington state. This award-winning shop has spared no expense in the care of this Mondial over the course of the last 20 years, and the car presents incredibly well. As a result of the uncompromising care of this car, the invoices on file total in excess of $300,000.

This Series 1 Ferrari 500 Mondial is an opportunity not to be missed and deserves inclusion in any of the world’s greatest collections.

Price Upon Request

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