May 11th 2012 – Top 10 for sale
1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider
by Pinin Farina
0362 AM / 0374 AM
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
340 hp, 4,522 cc SOHC V-12 engine, three Weber 40 mm 1F/4C carburettors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension by double wishbone and coil springs, rear live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and trailing arms, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,640 mm (104″)
• The second of only 15 Ferrari 375 MM spiders bodied by Pinin Farina
• Winner of two national championships in Argentina in 1954-55
• 18 podium finishes, including 11 wins, between 1954-57
• Discovered in Uruguay in 1983; restored in Italy 1984-86
• Two Mille Miglia Storicas and four Monterey Historics, four Colorado Grands
• Ex-Count Vittorio Zanon, Yoshiho Matsuda, John McCaw
The World Sports Car Championship was in its infancy in 1954, yet the characters, races and cars involved have become the stuff of automotive legend and racing fantasy. The world’s most famous drivers were bravely risking life and limb and travelling round the world to secure victory at the great racetracks and road courses, from Sebring and Le Mans to the Mille Miglia in Northern Italy and the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico. It was in these early, formative years that the great European sports car manufacturers competed head to head, not only with professional works drivers (many with Formula 1 experience) but also with countless privateers and self-financed gentlemen drivers who were pitted against the factory entries on the starting grids, and held their own.
The ‘54 season comprised six endurance races, contested by the likes of Jaguar’s C- and D-Types, Maserati’s A6GCS, Porsche’s 550 Spyder, Cunningham’s C-4R and Aston Martin’s DB3S. The Scuderia Ferrari won three of the six races that season, beginning with the 1000 Km of Buenos Aires on 24 January. The starting grid of this race read like a who’s-who of sports car racing: “Fon” de Portago in a Ferrari 250 MM, Maurice Trintignant, Louis Rosier, Roy Salvadori and the Americans Masten Gregory, Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby in an Allard, each of whom were early in their careers and had yet to make a start in Formula 1. Joining those sports car heavyweights were about 15 local Argentinean privateers, including the polo player Carlos Menditeguy and, in the case of the Ferrari offered here, José Maria Ibáñez, a 33-year-old with experience in racing Ferraris who enjoyed considerable success in 1953 with a Ferrari 225S Vignale Spyder as well as an Allard in a Buenos Aires event, setting fastest lap. Ibáñez started the year first in a Ferrari single-seater at Rio de Janeiro before he returned to Buenos Aires for the first race of the World Sports Car Championship, which took place at the two-year-old Autódromo 17 de Octubre in conjunction with a stretch of nearby highway.
The car he entered was a brand-new Ferrari 375 MM powered by Aurelio Lampredi’s Formula race-proven and very powerful 4.5-litre V-12 engine, which had been purchased new by Enrique Diaz Saenz Valiente, a fellow racing driver and competitive Argentinean sport shooter who won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 1948. With top speed approaching a blinding 180 miles per hour, 0-100 mph in 11.5 seconds and a shiver-inducing exhaust note, this car demanded the highest driving skills. This 375 MM had been completed in December the previous year after Pinin Farina built the svelte sports racing body. Finished in the Argentinean colours of pale blue with a yellow stripe, the car was shipped to South America with 10 other Ferraris and 10 Maseratis with the identity of chassis number 0374 AM—a switch made by the factory from its originally designated 0362 AM to satisfy a client willing to pay for the car immediately. Such identity changes were not uncommon by the Ferrari factory for a variety of reasons, including tax savings. In fact, of the fifteen 375 MMs built, a remarkable four cars received different chassis numbers.
By the time the raced started, Ibáñez diced successfully with Nino Farina and Umberto Maglioli, in the winning factory 375 MM, and held his own against the Porsches, Maseratis and other Ferraris in the race. Unfortunately, on lap 11 of the race, his co-driver Ignacio Janices flipped 0374 AM at speed at the Avenida de la Paz roundabout, escaping injury. Despite this unsuccessful outing, it should be noted that Ibáñez returned to the same venue the following year, winning the race outright in a Ferrari 375 Plus.
Following the damage to 0374 AM, the Ferrari was repaired and repainted red with a black hood and white nose. Ibáñez entered two more races before Diaz Saenz Valiente got behind the wheel and, in testament to his tremendous skill, won seven races in the rest of 1954 and the Argentine Sports Car Championship. Diaz Saenz Valiente won the Argentine 500 Miles at Rafaela on 23 May, the Buenos Aires Autodrome Handicap on 27 June, the Gran Premio Inverno on 4 July, the 1st Gran Premio Independencia on 11 July and the 4th Gran Premio Bodas de Plate on 5 September—an extraordinary achievement for a Ferrari chassis that was less than one year old!
Diaz Saenz Valiente’s greatest victory, however, was in the Turismo Carretera road race, organised by the Tres Arroyos Club on 11 September. It was a rigorous 368-kilometre loop of paved and dirt roads, six hours south of Buenos Aires, that had to be covered twice. Juan Manuel Fangio excelled at this kind of stock car racing, and the club decided to admit a sports car class.
Diaz Saenz Valiente drove his race car the 1,168-kilometre round trip to the 736-kilometre race and won at an average speed of over 210 km/h. His time of three hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds was 25 minutes ahead of the closest Turismo Carretera entry and his speed on the straights exceeded 275 km/h—this, in a sports racing car with a low-cut windscreen, minimal driver protection and a rip-snorting V-12 under the hood.
In an interview in El Grafico, he described how he had persuaded a friend to fly his plane in front of the Ferrari to frighten away birds, but the idea hadn’t worked, because his car was faster.
“During the first lap, I was passing the first control point at 245 km/h, and I found it difficult to see the instruments, because the car vibrated—and because I had my head in the wind. The birds proved quite a problem because at the high speed I was driving, I did not give them time to fly away, and I crashed into them. There were feathers all over, and the Ferrari finished the race with its bodywork full of dents”.
Saenz Valiente would drive s/n 0374 AM once more at the Buenos Aires Spring Races, which he won, then ordered a 375 Plus and sold s/n 0374 AM to Castro Cranwell. Cranwell resold the car to Cesar Rivero and Raul Najurieta, who would do most of the driving. Najurieta’s first race was against none other than Diaz Saenz Valiente in Buenos Aires and he finished second.
Najurieta and Rivero teamed up at the Buenos Aires 1000 Km on 23 January 1955 and finished second to Diaz Saenz Valiente again. Najurieta hit his stride, trading first and second places with Diaz Saenz Valiente through the rest of the season, finally winning the Argentinean championship, the second straight championship for s/n 0374 AM.
Najurieta could not repeat his success in 1956 and 1957, with one exception. He won the 500 Miles of Argentina at Rafaela in June 1956, with a plaster cast on his broken right leg. The car’s race history ended with a 1957 crash, and it was modified with an American V-8 for street use.
Discovered in Montevideo in 1983, s/n 0374 AM was shipped to Italy and bought by Count Vittorio Zanon di Valgiurata, then-president of the Italian A.S.I, who commissioned its restoration between 1984 and 1986. Zanon purchased a correct 375 MM engine, number 0376, from noted Ferrari historian Richard Merritt in Bethesda, Maryland and entered the car in the 1987 Mille Miglia Storica. He then sold the car to Giorgio Perfetti of Switzerland, who entered the 1988 Mille Miglia.
In August 1989, 0374 AM came to the U.S. before being acquired by noted collector Yoshiyuki Hayashi in Tokyo, and then Yoshiho Matsuda. Subsequent owner and Ferrari collector Chris Cox raced and showed the car between 1998 and 1999 at such venues as the Monterey Historic Races and the famed Cavallino Classic in Florida before its acquisition by yet another well-respected Ferrari collector, John McCaw. McCaw enjoyed the car on multiple driving events, having it overhauled and maintained mechanically by Ferrari specialists DK Engineering and John Pearson. Having since been refinished in red and black, the car was finally acquired by its present owner in 2006, a recognised Ferrari authority and enthusiast. Since that time, the car has proven to be an extraordinary event car, participating and successfully completing four Colorado Grand events. RM specialists can confirm the extraordinary performance and pavement-pounding acceleration of this race-bred 375 MM, as it wound its way through the sinuous Rockies. Its exhaust note is simply intoxicating, and the power from its 340-horsepower big block, triple four-barrel carburetted and magnetoed, racing Lampredi 12-cylinder engine is nothing short of spine-snapping.
For the dedicated vintage racer and rally event participant, the offering of 0374 AM is an opportunity not to be missed. It has been featured in numerous publications, from Classic & Sports Car to Cavallino, and is well documented with period images and an extensive history file. It is, of course, at its core a stunning example of Ferrari’s most potent model in 1953: an all-conquering sports racing car piloted in period by Argentina’s most successful gentlemen drivers with back-to-back Argentinean championships. The new owner now has the privilege of writing the next chapter of its glorious history, from the corkscrew at Laguna Seca to the starting grid in Brescia.
1948 Ferrari 166 Inter Spyder Corsa
by Carrozzeria Fontana [CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS]
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Est. 190 bhp, 2-litre overhead-camshaft V-12 engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension via A-arms, transverse leaf spring and hydraulic shocks, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and hydraulic shocks, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,420 mm (95.3?)
• The ninth Ferrari built, the sixth of the iconic 166 Spyder Corsas
• Elegant 1950 Barchetta body by Carrozzeria Fontana
• Extraordinary provenance, including winner of the 1949 Italian Hill Climb Championship; twice run in the Mille Miglia and three documented entries in the Targa Florio
• Numerous race wins with top drivers, including Giovanni Bracco, Umberto Maglioli, Giannino and Vittorio Marzotto and Froilan Gonzales
• Superb, fresh, no-expense-spared restoration by respected specialists, utilising original chassis and 1950 Fontana body
The Story of ‘Chiodo’
012I is one of the most charismatic Ferraris we’ve had the pleasure of representing. This very early example was the ninth Ferrari built, according to the chassis sequence, and the sixth of the extremely competitive 166 (two-litre) Spyder Corsas. It was a potent weapon, regularly discharged in capable hands and its racing record is illustrious, certainly equal to or exceeding all 166 SCs. 012I’s career was punctuated with numerous upgrades to its drivetrain and coachwork to remain competitive.
012I began its ‘life’ as a 166 Inter with cycle-winged bodywork by Ansaloni, one of the factory race cars to become known as ‘Spyder Corsas’. Completed in May, 1948, it just missed entry into the 1948 Mille Miglia, alongside its sister car, 010I, driven by Tazio Nuvolari. Under the Scuderia Ferrari flag, 012I was first deployed as a Grand Prix racer in the Bari GP, piloted by Ferdinando Righetti. Next came the Jun Mantua, (Giampiero Bianchetti), then on to the Pescara GP, where Count Bruno Sterzi garnered the car’s first podium trophy, finishing an impressive second overall. More success was to come at the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, with Sterzi finishing ninth overall with co-pilot Enzo Monari. This event was the occasion of 021I’s first engine transplant (believed to be 022I, now in the first Barchetta, 0002M). Thereafter, in the car’s inaugural season, factory driver Giovanni Bracco brought further victories to Ferrari in hill climbs, starting with the Coppa d’Oro Dolomiti and the Rocco di Papa Hill Climb, where Bracco achieved an astonishing first place overall, winning the Gallenga Cup.
It was thus that Giovanni Bracco, an impatient young man from Cossila, Italy became the first ex-factory owner of 012I in early 1949. Bracco was an extrovert who loved food, women and the high life. After the death of his father, Bracco discovered a talent for road racing and did so with a passion. His motto was, famously, “Either it goes or I crash it”.
Bracco and 012I competed in at least 13 different races in 1949, though not without some sweat and frustration. The Ferrari motor from 1948 required, as it was once said, acrobatic feats to operate. In those days, racing fuel was a blend of gasoline and alcohol. Once started, one had to lick a finger and touch the exhaust manifold to verify that all 12 cylinders were firing correctly. After bringing the motor up to temperature, it was necessary to change the spark plugs–not an easy task. As a result, 012I became known as “Il Chiodo di Bracco”, or just “Chiodo” (literally meaning “nail”). With at least 13 recorded entries, Chiodo was remarkably active in Bracco’s hands in 1949, sometimes co-piloted by Ferrari Grand Prix driver, Umberto Maglioli.
Bracco and Maglioli’s first race together was in the Giro di Sicilia, followed by entry into the Mille Miglia (24 April, 1949), with Bracco finishing sixth overall in the Grand Prix di San Remo in between.
Though he raced in Grand Prix and endurance road races, such as the Mille Miglia, with Chiodo, it was his mastery of the hill climb that earned him the title, “Il Re di Montagna”, King of the Hill, for 1949. Bracco took first place overall at Como-Lieto Colle and again at the Corsa al Brinzio, both in May of that year. No fewer than five further hill climbs were contended with Bracco in Chiodo that year, every one a podium finish, including yet another first place at Pontedecimo-Giovi. For this remarkable effort, Bracco officially became the 1949 Italian Hill Climb Champion.
A footnote here opens a particularly interesting chapter in motorsport history, with Ferrari’s contribution to another racing dynasty. At the conclusion of the 1949 season, Count Vittorio Emanuele Marzotto acquired Chiodo from Bracco for a reputed one million lire, the first Ferrari of a long line that were to become part of Scuderia Marzotto, established by the five dashing and adventurous sons of textile mogul Gaetano Marzotto. The car was re-registered by its second owners, the Marzottos, with Vicenza plates ‘VI 18132.’
Being courtesans by trade, the Marzotto brothers were famous for ‘re-clothing’ the cars in their stable, as routinely as some of us might change our jacket. Deciding that Chiodo was too “Nuvolari” in appearance, the Marzottos commissioned a re-body that was termed “Spyder da Corsa Ferrari projecto Mille Miglia 1949”, or as we now know it, a Barchetta. Entrusted to Carrozzeria Fontana, this initial collaboration emulates the popular design of the Touring-bodied Ferrari, the legendary 166 MM ‘Barchetta’ (little boat). It is this variation from original that has survived, remarkably intact, through the present day.
Fontana’s homage to the Touring Barchetta was fresh and attractive, with Chiodo’s new wrapper an arguably more graceful execution than the well-known Touring version. Aside from its longer, more seductive rear profile, notable dissimilarities include lack of a boot aperture, a full width, peaked windscreen and a distinctive aggressive stance.
Wasting no time after completion, Giannino Marzotto entered Chiodo in the 1950 Targa Florio (2 April 1950), with co-pilot Marco Crosara. (Ultimately, they abandoned the race to save the life of their friend and competitor, Fabrizio Serena.)
Soon, however, it was time for the Mille Miglia, this time entered by Vittorio with the car’s designer Paolo Fontana as his co-pilot.
Displaying the now-iconic race number ‘722’, the official entry indicated Chiodo as a ‘Type 195S Barchetta Fontana’ (indicating what is presumed to be another engine upgrade, to 2.3 litres). The result was a stunning ninth overall finish, representing an estimable Sixth in Class, and beating the Ferrari team entries–to the enduring consternation of “Il Commendatore” himself.
This event may mark the beginning of the love/hate relationship that Enzo Ferrari had with the Marzotto brothers–young men who dared to alter his designs but refused to lose when competing head-to-head with factory entries.
Subsequent to its magnificent performance in the Mille Miglia that year, hill climb champion Bracco was enlisted at least once again, this time to drive the car at the Parma-Poggio de Berceto hill climb, where he again achieved first place overall. This appearance was followed by a hill climb entry by Vittorio Marzotto, where he also finished first overall at the Treponti-Castelnuovo event, sponsored by the Automobile Club di Padova.
At the end of 1950, the coachwork was modified, yet again, by Fontana for the 1951 season, with the addition of a fastback hardtop, along with the requisite ‘Berlinetta’ fixed windscreen, outside door handles and windscreen wipers, and now liveried in an apparent shade of silver.
By June, 1951, Chiodo was becoming obsolete in racing terms. However, never satisfied to give in to practical realities, the Marzottos pressed on and registered a form for the Italian tax authorities, specifying an increase from 23 to 29 taxable bhp. It is believed that Chiodo ran in August 1951 at the Giro di Calabria, driven by the Mancini brothers (#805), with 2,080 cc, finishing third overall, proving beyond any doubt that it was still competitive after all.
In the next recorded event for Chiodo, Scuderia Marzotto entered the German Grenzlandring with driver Franco Comotti, who placed second overall in September, 1951. This was followed later that month with an entry to the Gran Prix di Modena, where none other than Ferrari Grand Prix champion Froilan Gonzalez (the “Pampas Bull”) placed Chiodo sixth overall for the Marzottos.
The 1952 season for Chiodo began at the Gran Premio di Siracusa, again with Comotti at the wheel, who placed sixth overall–very respectable for a car now into its fourth year of competition. Comotti, yet again, was chosen to pilot the car at the Grand Prix of France at Montlhéry (DNF).
Remaining with Suderia Marzotto until the team’s liquidation in 1953, Chiodo was sold to Ferrari test driver Martino Severi, in a package with nine Ferraris, their transport truck and “a mountain of parts”. This lot was thereafter dispersed with some of the cars sold to the Mancini brothers of Rome, where Chiodo was likely utilised within the network of famed elder gentlemen drivers known as “The Roman Racers”, including Serina, Taraschi, Matrullo and Raffaeli.
As a final act of fate, it is said that Giannino Marzotto was approached for financial support by a broke and anxious Enzo Ferrari, circa 1953. Giannino agreed to invest, and Ferrari received its new lease on life to the great relief and benefit of automobile enthusiasts. The Marzottos’ contribution to the Ferrari legacy cannot be overstated.
The last recorded competition entry for Chiodo was as a Targa Florio entrant in 1955, in the hands of aging Roman racer Francesco Matrullo, in his last known race. A thrilling coda for Matrullo one imagines, but finally, Chiodo was, officially, no longer competitive. Interestingly, and documented by an event photograph, Chiodo now had a shortened wheelbase, reduced by some 150 mm. One can only speculate the reasons why, but as a warrior with an eight-season racing career, including noteworthy success as a hill climb champion, a shorter wheelbase might have provided some handling advantage on twisty ascents.
Fast forward to 1970. Chiodo resurfaces in a dark garage in south Rome, now with the auxiliary hard top removed but with the Fontana body remaining on the shortened original chassis. A single photograph of the car, looking forlorn and war weary, by Ferrari aficionado Corrado Cupellini, documents this. Cuppelini agreed to acquire the car, along with a 166 engine from the 1950 Marzotto Formula 2 Ferrari, 116MS, and proceeds with a light overhaul to get it into running condition. He then sold Chiodo to Jacques Thuysbaert in 1972. (Engine 116MS remains with Chiodo to this day. A more potent two-litre Ferrari powerplant was never produced; this is the 166 engine in its ‘ne plus ultra’ form.)
Around 1975, noted Ferrariste, author and historian Jess G. Pourret inspected the car for California Ferrari collectors Ed Niles and William A. Schnabacher. Mistaking Chiodo for the non-existent “09C”, they were expecting an F2 chassis from Scuderia Marzotto. Not realising they were standing before the ninth Ferrari to leave the factory, they send it back to Willy Felber’s Haute Performance SA in Morges, Switzerland, whereupon it was sold to Giuseppe Medeci of Reggio Emelia. Medeci embarked on its first restoration, which was entrusted to Autofficina Piero Mazzetti in 1976.
And so, Chiodo emerged roadworthy and was completed in time for entry into the first Mille Miglia Storica event, held 17-19 June 1977. The car, wearing race number 84, was piloted by the owners, Medici & Medici, helping to establish the Storica, which continues to this day as perhaps the most high profile of all the world’s historic revival road races.
Sometime later in 1977, Chiodo was sold back to Willy Felber, after which ownership was transferred to Jean Zanchi of Lausanne, Switzerland in 1978.
In 1979, Zanchi campaigned Chiodo in historic events, such as the Coupe de Lage d’Or at Montlhéry, Paris and the VII AVD-Oldtimer-Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in Germany, driven by Pierre De Siebenthal.
Zanchi raced Chiodo one last time in the Grand Prix of Lausanne, after which he decided it was time to restore the car properly, intending to replace the tired 40 year old metal that was then held together by rivets and plaster. Thankfully, he didn’t get very far…
In the late ‘90s, the current owner travelled from California to the small garage of Beppe Castagno, outside Turin, to inspect this enigmatic car and found what he was looking for. He purchased it mid-restoration, with the objective of saving the original body, chassis and the F2 engine and to restore Chiodo to its former glory from its penultimate 1950 season.
Castagno was initially commissioned to re-restore the car, but years later, with little progress made, the owner made the decision to collect the car and bring it to California, where he could more ably manage the process, entrusting Chiodo with top experts in the rarified field of early Ferrari restoration.
So, by the mid-2000s, the car was safely in California, with a game plan now formulated to use its remarkably intact 1950 Fontana body on the original chassis, extending them to their original proportions.
The engine, still the ex-Scurderia Marzotto 166 F2 unit, was rebuilt by master Ferrari technician Patrick Ottis of Berkeley, California. The fresh engine was dyno tested at 190+ bhp at 6000 rpm, impressive by any standards for a 2-litre, and outstanding power in a light car.
The chassis and body were ultimately sent to ‘preservationist-restorer’ Curtis Patience in Portland, Oregon. A veteran of Brian Hoyt’s Perfect Reflections, Curtice is also a world-class metalworker. As well as locating and confirming Chiodo’s original chassis number (012I), he found another original 166 Spyder Corsa chassis from which to confirm dimensions and engineering, along with original blueprints, which also served to ratify the chassis as an original Syper Corsa. Curtis’s ‘carchaeologist’ account of his own odyssey restoring the car is documented in the second quarter of the 2011 issue of the The Prancing Horse (#179), just as the project was reaching its wonderful finale.
Ultimately, Chiodo was sent to Ivan Zaremba and the inestimable team at Phil Reilly & Co. of San Rafael, California for final sorting, fettling and testing. This is one of the most critical stages in any ambitious restoration, but “Fortunately”, as Ivan says, “I’ve done this before”. This final phase was completed in January, 2012.
So, Bracco’s wondrous ‘nail’ has survived, a testament to its intrepid competition career and the enthusiastic, meticulous research and commitment to authenticity and excellence on ample display by its current owner, who has admirably resurrected a piece of living history. The car now speaks for itself, the product of the best minds and technicians in the Ferrari world today. Unveiled here for the first time since its completion, this important Ferrari is ready to be shown and/or enjoyed on the road. As a (twice) past competitor in the original Mille Miglia, it has virtually guaranteed entry acceptance into the MM Storica and indeed, for most any other historic event on the planet. And with 190 bhp on tap, Chiodo is once again prepared to dominate the field.
1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
320 bhp, 2,953 cc Tipo 128 SOHC per cylinder bank V-12 engine, six Weber 40 DCN twin-choke carburettors, alloy four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bar, nine-inch differential, live rear axle with parallel trailing arms and coil springs, and four-wheel hydraulic finned aluminium drum brakes with steel liners. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.6″)
• One of only two stunning, factory-built 625 TRCs ever built; fully documented provenance
• Bought new by famed racing driver and pioneering American Ferrari importer, John von Neumann
• Successful period and vintage-racing history, including such luminaries as Richie Ginther
• Single ownership in California for over 30 years; expertly restored and race-ready
• Accompanied by original, very rare, matching numbers Type 625 2.5-litre Ferrari racing engine
To call Ferrari’s TRC for 1957 “one of the prettiest Ferraris built”, as preeminent Ferrari historian Richard F. Merritt put it, is surely an understatement. It is a design without fault—a timeless, downright breath-taking execution of Italian motoring passion, married to one of the greatest sports racing chassis of all time, and in this particular car, complemented by an aggressively unmistakable, shiver-inducing exhaust note that the trained Ferrarista’s ear will immediately peg as that of a proper “Testa Rossa”.
Ferrari Importer Extraordinaire
John von Neumann’s life story was the stuff of adolescent fantasy. Born to an Austrian family, he arrived in the U.S. as a student in 1939, joining the military during wartime and promptly beginning his sports car racing career, associating with the future ‘who’s who’ of Southern California’s car culture and co-founding the California Sports Car Club. While he ramped up his dealership activities on the West Coast with his wife Eleanor, importing the most famous (and, decades later, priceless!) European sports cars from Porsches to Ferraris, he continued his successful international racing career. On the dealership side, a young Richie Ginther helped him manage Ferrari Representatives of California, and indeed, his influence on Ferrari history cannot be underestimated.
The Ferrari on offer stands in a class all its own. Offered from single ownership for the past 30-plus years, its presentation at auction may very well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is one of only two 2.5-litre 625 TRCs ever built by Ferrari, each specifically ordered by the larger-than-life West Coast Ferrari distributor Johnny von Neumann.
According to Bill Rudd, crew chief Harold Broughton and others, the 625 TRC was von Neumann’s favourite Ferrari, partly because of its superior handling—this from a man who owned a pontoon-fendered Testa Rossa, nearly 10 four-cylinder Ferraris in all, Porsche 550 Spyders and every other imaginable world-class sports car. In fact, the December 1957 edition of Road & Track asserted, “both von Neumann and Ginther say that [the 625 TRC] is the best handling and easiest of all Ferraris to drive in a race”.
Chassis 0680 MDTR is highly documented with complete history from new. It is the ninth of only 19 TRCs of all kinds built by Ferrari in total for 1957, including the Type 500 cars. Completed on 26 June 1957, it was finished in Dark Grey Metallic with a Maroon Stripe and purchased the following month, along with its sister car 0672 MDTR, by von Neumann.
Although 0680 MDTR raced mainly in California, its first two outings were in Europe, after von Neumann personally collected it from the Ferrari factory. He first took it to Salzburg, Austria in August, 1957, where he competed in the famed Gaisberg hill climb (“Grosser Bergpreis von Östererreich”), winning his class in only the car’s first outing. The incredibly fast and agile Ferrari performed equally well in Switzerland, finishing second in the Grosser Bergpreis der Schweiz in Tiefencastel-Lenzerheide in central Switzerland. Extraordinary period images attest to this car’s successful early outings, as it powered up the mountain, leaving Maseratis, Porsches and other Ferraris in its wake.
Having conquered its Alpine competition, 0680 MDTR was transported to California, where Appendix C rules did not yet apply. The car was modified during September/October 1957 with a single wraparound windscreen and metal tonneau cover. Its first race in the U.S. was at the very first race held at the famed Laguna Seca race track, which had been built for 1957 after the Pebble Beach road races were deemed too dangerous. Again, von Neumann skilfully piloted this car to a podium finish, 2nd, once again.
It raced nine more times during the remainder of 1957 and 1958 at Pebble Beach, Pomona, Hawaii and Santa Barbara, with von Neumann scoring two victories and three podiums during this prolific period. Other notable race outings include Laguna Seca on 15 June 1958, with future Ferrari Formula 1 driver Richie Ginther winning with 0680 MDTR. Josie von Neumann, the daughter of John and Eleanor and an accomplished racer in her own right, drove 0680 MDTR at the Vaca Valley SCCA National race in October, 1958, finishing 5th overall and 1st in class. Surely the arrival of the grey-liveried, von Neumann-entered 625 TRC at any start/finish line on the West Coast must have utterly disappointed the competition.
The 625 TRC was raced by John von Neumann at Pomona on 1 February 1959. On 26 April, Richie Ginther, the reigning 1958 Pacific Coast Sports Car champion, drove the Ferrari to a fifth-place finish at Avandaro, Mexico. Unfortunately, and despite all the success on both road and track, von Neumann’s marriage came to an end and the Ferrari dealership was sold. As such, 0680 MDTR was sold without an engine to successful owner-driver Stan Sugarman in Phoenix, Arizona, who had just sold his Maserati Birdcage.
A Chevrolet V-8 and a Borg-Warner four-speed gearbox were installed while in Sugarman’s ownership in 1960. 0680 MDTR was often driven in qualifying races by Jim Connor and handed over to car owner Sugarman for main events. The duo frequently placed on the podium in the races they entered. In fact, the car’s provenance is well documented throughout the 1960s as its owners successfully campaigned the car in and around the West Coast.
Single Ownership for Three Decades
Between 1969 and 1978, the car passed through a known succession of owners until Phil Sledge sold it to Bob Taylor. In 1981, 0680 MDTR was acquired from Mr. Taylor by the current owner, who commissioned its restoration, which was performed during 1982 and 1983 by David McCarthy at Phil Reilly in Corte Madera, California, where a Ferrari V-12 engine to Testa Rossa specification was fitted, and the car was painted red and fitted with a full-width windscreen.
Following its restoration, 0680 MDTR was shown at Pebble Beach in 1985, where none other than Jackie Stewart introduced the car to the hundreds of onlookers as “a car that has quite a record behind it. Many west coast races. Von Neumann himself drove it”. The roar of the V-12 engine was greeted by applause on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, from where the car resumed its competition career the same year at the prestigious Monterey Historic Automobile Races. (Extraordinary period video captures this event and is available for review by interested parties upon request or on RM’s website.) In fact, the dedicated owner has returned to Laguna Seca for this event annually ever since, except for 2002 and 2010. Notably, 0680 MDTR finished most often ahead of the pontoon-fendered Testa Rossas in attendance.
In all, the current owner raced 0680 MDTR on 113 occasions during a post-restoration vintage-racing career even more prolific than the car’s extensive period racing history.
What’s more, the car competed in the Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge and was entered in a number of classic touring events. In 1999, at the 25th annual edition of the Monterey Historic Races, the 625 TRC won the Chopard Award for Presentation and Performance. In 2005, the Ferrari returned to the show field with another appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Most recently, the Ferrari V-12 engine was completely rebuilt and fitted with new cylinder heads by world renowned noted Ferrari expert Patrick Ottis prior to the 2011 Monterey Historic Races. The brakes were also serviced with a rebuild of the brake hydraulic system and new carbon-fibre brake-shoe linings.
The car is powerful yet flexible and non-temperamental, harkening back to the long-lost era when high-performance cars were driven to the track, raced all-out and then driven back home afterward. It is most enjoyable and exhilarating in both environments today. With known history from new, 0680 MDTR has enjoyed coverage in several publications, including the 1957 Ferrari Yearbook and several editions of Cavallino, as well as such books as American Sports Car Racing in the 1950s and Antoine Prunet’s Ferrari: Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars.
Professionally maintained, both cosmetically and mechanically, 0680 MDTR is in excellent condition. As the owner stated,
Every year I buttoned the car up for the winter, drained the fluids, covered it snugly and completely such that its shape did not even show. Then months later when spring came around, and I’d pull all the covers off and see the car gleaming there in its sleek curves, even after 30 years of owning it, driving it, touching it, and looking at it, I would be astounded all over again at how beautiful it was. Then I would open the door, slip into the corduroy seat, turn on the ignition and fuel pump, give the 6 Webers a few pumps of the gas pedal, and push the starter button. Blam! It jumps to life, with that gorgeous smooth ripping sound of the V12 that is never ear-splitting, while at the same instant you not only hear it, but you also feel it, as it resonates and vibrates in your chest and body as well as your ears.
Perhaps most attractively, 0680 MDTR is offered at auction with its original, matching numbers 2.5-litre Ferrari Type 625 LM racing engine, which since its separation from its original chassis over 50 years ago, led an interesting life of its own, passing through Luigi Chinetti and on to Pete Lovely, who installed it in a Cooper Formula One racing car. Now, decades later, the remarkable original engine, which is exceptionally rare and desirable in its own right, has been reunited with its chassis to complement the prodigious power of the V-12 currently in the car.
As such, the possibilities for this Ferrari are virtually limitless. The new owner may choose to thoroughly enjoy the V-12 engine car as is or utilize its original four-cylinder motor and with relatively little effort, refinish the car in its original grey livery with dual hood bulges, thereby returning it to its von Neumann-era appearance and surely delighting the judges and fellow drivers at future Pebble Beach, Le Mans Classic or Mille Miglia retrospectives and concours events.
With an incredibly rich and highly documented provenance to match, potential interested parties should see an RM representative to view the extensive history file, containing restoration receipts, historical images, vintage magazine articles and even period video.
1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 ‘Daytona’
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
270 bhp, 1,995 cc fuel-injected DOHC V-8 with dual ignition, six-speed gearbox, independent front and rear suspension by double wishbones, rear-wheel-drive, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.58”)
• One of the best documented Tipo 33/2 Dayontas of the period
• Ex-Nino Vaccarella, Teodoro Zeccoli, winner of 500 Km of Imola
• Stunning eight-cylinder power; gorgeous design
• Exceptional event car; FIA, HTP and FIVA documentation
Post-War Alfa Romeo Sport Car Racing
At the end of 1951, after winning the first two World Driving Championships with its Tipo 158/159 racers, Alfa Romeo retired from international Grand Prix competition. The company’s next major competitive effort was to be the famed Disco Volante (the ‘Flying Saucer’) sport car. An entirely new design, it appeared in 1952–1953, in both open and closed form. An intriguing 2-litre V-8 prototype engine design, built shortly afterward and intended for a sporting GT car, was shelved.
In the early 1960s, when Alfa Romeo and its competition arm, Autodelta, were scoring many victories in touring and GT races, especially with the Giulia coupé derivatives and the TZ1 and TZ2, Alfa Romeo decided to re-enter international sport car racing. The stillborn 2-litre V-8 engine, which had been set aside ten years earlier, became the heart of Alfa’s return to sport cars. This effort would encompass eleven racing seasons and result in Alfa Romeo winning the World Championship in 1977.
The first of the new cars appeared in 1967, with a rather exotic H-shape chassis made of magnesium and aluminium. It was powered by a 2-litre V-8. This car was entered in a number of events, the first being a Belgian hill climb at Fleron, where Teodoro Zeccoli finished 1st overall. Zeccoli of course had a long history with the marque, having been an Abarth Works driver, a well-respected Le Mans and hill climb veteran and an Alfa Romeo test driver who was actively involved in the Tipo 33 project development. The name ‘Fleron’ became associated with this model, and that name persisted with the Tipo 33 Alfa Romeo sport cars. Alfa Romeo won four victories in 1967: three were in hill climbs and one was at the Vallelunga circuit later in the year.
For 1968, Autodelta’s brilliant chief engineer, Carlo Chiti, was preparing an “all-new” car for a serious international effort. Although it retained the original H-shape chassis, everything else was re-designed. Testing began in late-1967, and four cars, equipped with beautiful new coupé bodies, were ready for the February 24 Hours at Daytona race. They finished 5th, 6th and 7th overall, with an impressive 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 2-litre class. These short-tail cars soon became known as the T33/2 ‘Daytona’. The later long-tail Le Mans racers similarly became known as the ‘Le Mans’ models. The new bodies had much better aerodynamic qualities, and the 1995 cc V-8 benefited from significant development work, producing 270 bhp at 9600 rpm. The 6-speed gearbox had been refined. The long-tail version was reaching just under 300 km/h at Le Mans. Factory and private entry T33/2s took part in 23 racing events in 1968, and won eight victories at various venues.
According to Alfa Romeo authority, Ed McDonough, chassis number 75033.029 is one of the few Alfa Romeo racing cars of the period, for which there is strong evidence of its identity. As McDonough writes, “…both Alfa Romeo and Autodelta kept very poor records of their competition cars and no comprehensive (official factory) written record exists which identifies which Tipo 33 chassis raced at which event. No one knows exactly how many T33/2 chassis were built, although there were believed to be about twenty. The chassis numbering system has always defied understanding”.
For the car on offer, however, there are two principal sources of provenance: the first is Teodoro Zeccoli, who did most of the early testing, kept his own diary and worked closely with Chiti. Race entry forms exist which match the chassis number on this car as it appeared at the races. There is also testimony from the original owners, as well as from the late Marcello Gambi, an ex-Autodelta mechanic who kept his own records and went on to restore many cars. McDonough believes the history of 75033.029 is “reasonably complete”, and notes “…that can only be said of about five or six of the 1968 cars”. As such, this particular racing car is in a very rarefied class of Alfa Romeos.
Documents show the first and most important race for 75033.029 was a 500 km non-championship event at Imola in September, 1968. Three Works entries appeared: Ignazio Giunti/Nanni Galli in chassis 017, Mario Casoni and Spartaco Dini in chassis 018 and Nino Vaccarella and Teodoro Zeccoli in 029. This race was considered a shakedown event for the team, prior to competing at Le Mans two weeks later. (The race was delayed several months that year.) Galli and Giunti starred in practice and the early laps, but it was 029, in the hands of the legendary Nino Vaccarella and the veteran, Teodoro Zeccoli, which worked its way steadily into the lead.
That race was Autodelta’s best showing since Daytona, and it proved to be the team’s first 1-2-3 victory, with the T33/2’s outperforming the field of Porsche 910s by a wide margin. In July, Vaccarella and Lucien Bianchi won the Circuit of Mugello race in what was thought to be 029, although irrefutable evidence for this claim has not yet been established. Nino Vaccarella reportedly told Ed McDonough and Peter Collins that “after Mugello, it was nice to win again in the same car at Imola”, which would argue strongly for the Imola winner being the Mugello 029 car.
Late in 1968, Autodelta, developing a new 3-litre car for 1969, sold some of the 1968 racers to privateers, whilst retaining a few to use until the new model was complete. 75033.029 was sold to an Italian, Antonio Zadra, who planned to compete in a number of events with his friend, Giuseppe Dalla Torre. The first of these was the 1969 Monza 1000 Kilometres, where the Scuderia Trentina 029 scored an impressive 10th overall and won the 2-litre prototype class. Zadra had Mario Casoni as his co-driver at the Targa Florio, where the car ran well but eventually retired. On 13 July, Zadra finished 8th at the Trento Bondone hill climb in Italy, and a week later, Zadra/Dalla Torre had Works support at the Circuit of Mugello. McDonough noted that 029 appeared there with a more open body fitted. Then came the Austrian 1000 Kilometres at Osterreichring, where Autodelta brought the new 3-litre cars. Zadra/Dalla Torre competed in 029 along with other private Alfa entries. 029 turned out to be the only Alfa to finish, this time in 17th place.
Zadra was 12th at the Karlskoga races in Sweden in August, and he shared 029 with Carlo Facetti at the Imola 500 Kilometres in September, but they retired. In 1970, Hubert Ascher bought the car and it appeared at Dijon, after which Klaus Reisch drove it at Neubiberg and again at Magny Cours in 1971. 029 was in the USA in the 1980s, and it returned to Europe, where Paul and Matt Grist found and restored it, then successfully competed in a number of historic events, including the French Tour Auto.
The owner states, “This is my personal Tipo 33/2 Daytona, the most original and best documented racing Alfa of that period. It’s well-sorted and blindingly fast for an 8 cylinder 2-litre. I have been invited (to compete) in about every event in this part of the world. It is versatile, exciting to drive and very reliable”.
Indeed, Classic & Sports Car seem to agree wholeheartedly with this assessment of the car in a recent road test, entitling their article “Once you’re in the groove, it has a lightness of touch not unlike that of a Grand Prix racer”. Mick Walsh went on to say, “With wide ‘pepperpot’ wheels packing its arches, gaping vents dominating its profile and aero wing-flicks indicating serious speed, the Daytona is the best-looking of the line that ran from the ‘66 Periscopica to the ‘77 twin-turbo flat-12 SC wedge”.
Complete with both Dutch and UK road registration, as well as all the requisite FIA, HTP and FIVA documents, it is certainly quite unique and ready for any number of historic racing events. Indeed, the opportunity to acquire a T33/2 Daytona is a very rare one. This particular car’s offering, however, marks what is surely a unique opportunity, by virtue of 029’s stellar racing record and known history. From the corkscrew at Laguna Seca to the open roads of France, there is surely no more exciting way to exercise one’s right foot than with a high-revving, 2-litre Alfa Romeo V-8.
75033.029 Racing Record
1968 500 km Imola – 1st OA – Nino Vacarella / Teodoro Zecolli
1969 1000 km di Monza – 10th OA – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 Targa Florio – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Mario Casoni
1969 Mugello GP – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 1000 km Zeltweg – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 GP Swerige – 12th OA – Antonio Zadra
1969 500 km Imola – DNF (Engine) – Antonio Zadra / Carlo Facetti
1969 Preis von Salzburg – DNA – Antonio Zadra (did not run)
1969 Sports Neubiberg – 7th OA – Klaus Reisch
1970 Dijon – 14th OA – Hubert Ascher
1970 Mugello GP – DNF – Klaus Reisch
1970 1000 km Zeltweg – DNF – Klaus Reisch
1970 Sports Neubiberg – 5th OA – Klaus Reisch
1970 Magny Cours International – 3rd OA – Klaus Reisch
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
200+ bhp, 4,482 cc OHV aluminium inline six-cylinder engine with dry-sump lubrication, triple Zenith carburettors, twin-ignition cylinder head, Wilson four-speed pre-selector gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones and transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm (98.4″)
• Only three owners from new; complete with stellar period and vintage-racing history
• Co-driven at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Louis Rosier
• Single ownership since 1958; restored, maintained and raced ever since
When engineer Antonio Lago arrived at Talbot’s Suresnes, France plant in 1934 with orders to restore its operations to health, he immediately injected a renewed focus on performance and racing to generate sales. New 2.7- and 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, followed by a 4.0-litre unit for the Speciale, were soon developed to carry the wide range of luxurious cars demanded by Talbot’s discerning clientele. Entries at Le Mans in 1937 were followed by a focus on Grand Prix competition, with the four-litre’s reliability and fuel economy often providing the winning edge over the far more powerful competition from Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz.
The GP cars and sports racers of Talbot-Lago were quite closely based upon the marque’s production-car designs and this philosophy continued after World War II. With the help of Walter Becchia and Carlo Marchetti, the Talbot-Lago ‘six’ was increased in displacement to 4.5 litres and fitted with a new hemispherical combustion-chamber head, with the valve train actuated by dual camshafts with pushrods, similar to the Riley design. The long crankshaft was capably supported by seven main bearings, and this engine proved highly reliable and successful in competition.
Despite a horsepower disadvantage to the competition, a race-tuned version of the 4.5-litre Talbot-Lago six-cylinder engine powered the company’s two entries at Le Mans in 1950. There, a T26 Grand Sport was driven by Louis Rosier and his son, Jean-Louis (car number 5), and a Talbot-Lago monoposto (car number 7) was piloted by Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse. Whilst both were considered underdogs, their durability and reliability provided the winning edge during the gruelling event, and they ultimately triumphed, outlasting the favoured Ferrari entries and achieving a stunning 1-2 finish, marking perhaps the company’s greatest racing victory. Mirroring the durability of his Talbot-Lago, winning driver Louis Rosier drove all but two laps of the race, adjusted his valve train in the pits and even suffered a black eye when he struck a wayward owl at night!
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057
Originally built as a cycle-winged sports racing car, T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057, the example offered here, was originally intended for the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was not completed in time for the event and was subsequently purchased by 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, who entered it into the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. Race-numbered 6 and co-driven by Rosier and 1950 Formula One World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio, the car retired from the race after 92 laps due to an oil-tank failure, where extremely hot motor oil spilled onto Fangio and caused him great pain.
Next, 110057 was rebodied under Rosier in 1952 by Italy’s Carrozzeria Motto to carry closed-wheel sportscar bodywork in compliance with new Le Mans regulations. Whilst Mr. Rosier had by then switched his racing focus to the Grand Prix with his single-seater, he continued to campaign his ‘motto barquette’ nonetheless. Following the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, where the car, numbered 64 and with Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant driving, retired after 37 laps. At the 1952 Grand Prix de Reims, 110057 was numbered 42 and driven by Eugène Chaboud, who qualified 5th but did not finish.
In 1953, 110057 was sold to Georges Grignard and entered into the 1953 Coupé du Salon at Montlhéry, where it was numbered 4 and qualified 2nd but failed to finish, with Mr Grignard driving solo. That December, at the 12 Hours de Casablanca, 110057 was co-driven by Georges Grignard and “pay-to-drive” co-driver Lino Fayen, who unfortunately ignored repeated signals to stop for fuel, including a crewmember waving a massive fuel funnel at him in the middle of the track!
Following the 1951, 1952 and 1953 race seasons, 110057 was entered into the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans and was to be driven by Georges Grignard and Guy Mairesse but was involved in a tragic accident on 25 April 1954 at the Coupe de Paris at Montlhéry. There, Mairesse was killed in practice when he struck a wall whilst attempting to avoid another car that had stopped on the racing line. It was subsequently locked away in the garage of Grignard, where it remained virtually untouched, still sitting on its transporter. In 1958, the present owner purchased 110057 and restored it, racing it for a number of seasons prior to returning the car to its original cycle-wing body style, in order to be eligible for participation in both historic GP and sportscar races. The car was UK-registered WXE68 and retains this number today.
As extensively documented within Pierre Abeillon’s definitive two-volume Talbot-Lago de Course, published in 1992, the current owner of 110057 visited the Talbot factory in 1958 in search of spare parts for his father’s T26 Record (chassis 101051), and whilst there, he enquired as to the availability of a single-seat T26C Grand Prix car. Even though they had been out of use for some time and none were believed available, Tony Lago suggested a visit to Georges Grignard in nearby Puteaux, France, who owned such a car, chassis 110057. Behind a dusty window of a nearby shed, this T26 Grand Sport was sighted. However, Mr Grignard’s asking price was quite high, and he clearly did not wish to sell.
Although the front of its “envelope” bodywork was damaged from the 1954 crash at Montlhéry, the car remained mechanically sound. A deal was struck to purchase the car, and in order to avoid the possible complications involved with trying to export the car to the UK, onsite repairs were completed by the new owner, with the help of his father and one of Grignard’s men, to allow the car to be driven for its shipment to England. In fact, just one front wheel and the radiator needed replacement.
Once in the UK and fully repaired, 110057 returned to the track by 1961 with the repaired Motto bodywork still in place, but after two seasons, the car was no longer competitive and was better suited for historic events.
The car returned for the 1968 season, but having decided that the closed-wheel body style was not optimal, the owner commissioned Robert Peel to re-skin the original open-wheel, cycle-winged coachwork of 110057 as closely as possible, a task made easier by virtue of the fact that the Motto “envelope” body was simply attached to the car’s chassis by outriggers. Still in bare aluminium, 110057 was unveiled for the opening of the Totnes Motor Museum in Devon, UK. In 1988, exact period-correct mudguard mountings were fitted to 110057 and after experiencing some engine issues in 1989, much of the car was dismantled, presenting an excellent opportunity to perfect the car and reconfigure the front of it exactly as original.
Offered from the collection of the current long-term caretaker of the past 54 years, who is a true purist and highly active gentleman racer, 110057 has been a virtual fixture in historic-racing circles for practically every season since 1961. Carefully maintained and perfected throughout the intervening decades, 110057 has been a consistent class winner in historic racing for many years through to 2011, including a Grand Prix class win that year at Spa-Francorchamps, and participation at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in the Juan-Manuel Fangio tribute race. In fact, this highly competitive car has never been beaten by another Talbot-Lago, including all-out Grand Prix-specification single-seaters.
It is wonderfully presented at auction with just three owners from new and complete racing history, having been driven competitively by the current owner and its early roster, including Georges Grignard, Guy Mairesse, 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, Maurice Trintignant and El Maestro, five-time Formula One World Champion Juan-Mauel Fangio, at such legendary circuits as Le Mans, Montlhéry, Monaco and more. Currently fitted with the engine from 110055, the Pierre Levegh car, accompanied at auction by its matching numbers engine, the T26 Grand Sport, is sold with many spares, which are documented on a list, and photographs for reference. A true “dual-purpose” car capable of competing either as a sports racer with its mudguards and lights or as a vintage GP car without them, 110057 offers its next caretaker a true myriad of possibilities.
1966 Ferrari 206 S Dino Spyder
by Carrozzeria Sports Cars
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
218 bhp, 1,987 cc DOHC V-6 engine, five-speed manual gearbox, independent double-wishbone, front and rear suspension with coil springs, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,280 mm (89.8″)
• One of only 18 examples produced
• Ex-Maranello Concessionaires racing team
• Ferrari Classiche certified
• Raced by Richard Attwood and David Piper
• Fully documented racing provenance
• Just four owners from new; same ownership since 1970
• Stunning Pierre Drogo-designed body work
In February 1966, Ferrari débuted a new sports-racing car formulated for the FIA’s 2-litre Group 4 class, with hopes of winning over the numerous privateer teams that campaigned in Porsches. Dubbed the Dino 206 S, the car was powered by the development of the 65 degree V-6 engine that had been conceived by Dino Ferrari, prior to his death in June 1956.
Originally co-engineered by legendary Alfa Romeo designer Vittorio Jano, then working as a consultant for Ferrari, the Dino V-6 motor was badged with a hand scripted autograph based on the younger Ferrari’s signature. Though it was introduced as a Formula 2 powerplant, an enlarged version of the engine was subsequently used in the Formula 1 cars, carrying works driver Mike Hawthorn to a Driver’s World Championship in 1958. Whilst Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars of the early-1960s increasingly adopted 120 degree V-6 engines designed by Technical Director Carlo Chiti, the Jano-engineered 65 degree Dino engine was, nonetheless, consistently enlarged and developed in various experimental sports prototypes, including the 246 SP, the 206 SP, the 196 SP and the 166 P.
Introduced for the 1966 racing season, the Dino 206 S appeared to be a scaled down version of the revered 330P, even wearing similarly ravishing coachwork care of Piero Drogo’s Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena. The visual appeal of Drogo’s aerodynamic body shell, which featured a combination of stressed alloy panels and fibreglass over a welded tubular semi-monocoque, was beautifully complemented by the Dino V-6’s fierce performance. By the end of the 1966 race season, the 206 S had proved its mettle, earning a 2nd place finish at the Targo Florio, 2nd and 3rd at the Nürburgring and a 6th place finish at Spa. Although the 206 S was originally slated for a homologation of 50 examples, labour problems prematurely interrupted production after only 18 cars had been assembled, and the model, therefore, remains a rare and important milestone in the arc of the Dino race car’s development, as well as a cornerstone of the Ferrari road cars that followed.
Excluding the Factory Works prototype, this beautifully restored 206 S is just the third example produced. This car was initially purchased on 23 April 1966, by Colonel Ronnie J. Hoare of Maranello Concessionaires Racing Team of Egham, Surrey, England, an authorised Ferrari dealer and racing concern originally founded by champion driver Mike Hawthorn. Finished in Ferrari Racing Red with the recognisable Maranello Concesionairs blue stripe, 006 made its competition début at the RAC Tourist Trophy in Oulton Park, England. Renowned British driver Michael Parkes was behind the wheel, with number 42. Unfortunately, the car had to retire early with final drive issues, but it still placed 21st OA.
The following June, 006 started 12th on the grid at the 1,000 Kilometres of Nürburgring, piloted by two of the most famous British drivers, Richard Attwood and David Piper. By lap 28, the car had advanced to 5th in class and 8th place overall before retiring early due to mechanical issues. These teething problems led to further refinement of 006, resulting in its best performance yet at the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch, where Mr Parkes drove the car to 6th place overall and 1st in class.
In August 1967, Maranello Concessionaires sold this Dino 206 S to Gustaf Dieden, through Tore Bjurstrom, the official Ferrari concessionaire of Sweden. The correspondence between Colonel Hoare and Thomas Bjurstrom is very well documented, with letters on file from the Maranello Concessionaire archive. Hoare noted, “I am delighted to hear that you have decided to buy my Ferrari Dino 206/s 006”. After briefly campaigning the Ferrari on the Knutstorp circuit, Dieden competed in a total of six local races, five in Sweden and one in Denmark. After an off-road excursion at Knutstorp, the car was returned to the factory to be repaired, as the left front corner had been damaged.
Mr Dieden subsequently advertised the car in Road and Track, with the advert reading, “This fabulous sports racing car was built in Autumn 1966 but modified to works specification at Maranello works during the winter, 1967. Only raced five times by a novice, and it is in beautiful condition throughout. This car is absolutely race ready”. The car was bought by Hans Wangstre of Malmo, Sweden, who brought in driver Evert Christofferson as a co-owner. Under the name Team Bam-Bam, Mr Wangstre and Christofferson campaigned chassis 006 in numerous international venues over the following year, such as the Hockenheimring in Germany and the ADAC 1,000 Kilometres of Nürburgring. Highlights of this period include a 15th place finish at the Good Friday Meeting at Oulton Park on 12 April 1968 and a 22nd place finish at the Targa Florio on 5 May.
In 1969, chassis 006’s legendary Dino V-6 finally succumbed to the rigors of racing, a common problem that was due to the imbalance of the crank shaft. As an identical replacement block was deemed to be too expensive for a car that was increasingly dated from a competition standpoint, an experimental Volvo B20 engine was installed, and the car’s racing career effectively ended.
Together with the components of the original engine, the car was sold to the current owner in 1970, who had fallen in love with a Maranello Concessionaires Ferrari 206 S that he saw at Le Mans as a young man.
There are many photos on file of when the current owner acquired the car, and he stated, “Everybody thought I was mad to spend this much money on an old car”. The car then went into storage, during which time he searched high and low to acquire a correct-type replacement engine for the car. In 1974, he contacted the factory and to his delight, found out that one engine was left over in the Maranello works. However, at the time, the asking price was two and a half times the price of the newly introduced Ferrari 246 Dino GTS. After years of additional research, he decided, in 1988, to restore the car back to its former glory. After a couple years of consultancy with the Ferrari factory and Motor Service Modena, the vendor eventually managed to obtain a set of drawings for the specialised 206 S block. The plan was to cast a new series of four blocks, as he had, by this time, also acquired Ferrari Dino 206 S 016, which also had a cracked block. The blocks were cast at the factory foundry and machined to the correct specifications before the unit intended for chassis 006 was installed in the car.
A complete restoration of 006 continued for a number of years, including testing of the new engine, stripping of the original body down to bare metal and refinishing the car. It has remained in the owner’s collection ever since, rarely seen in public. After so many years of continuous ownership and research, he has become one of the world’s leading experts on the Dino 206 S model, and it is precisely this knowledge base that has ensured that every detail on 006 is correct and accurate.
For the past two years, the car has been mechanically restored by Tim Samways, the world renowned specialist in sports and racing cars, who has also prepared many other sports prototypes, including the Ferrari P3. The engine has been totally rebuilt, along with the gearbox, the chassis was restored and the bodywork has been perfected and polished. Most recently, the car has been returned to its original livery, as it was campaigned by Maranello Concessionaires at the 1966 1,000 km of Nürburgring, wearing the famous number 14.
Aside from this fabulous restoration, 006 benefits from a thorough file of documentation, including a full correspondence record from Colonel Hoare through the last forty years, as well as a Ferrari Classiche certification. The most remarkable thing, of course, is that the car has been in single ownership since 1970, with only four owners from new.
Chassis 006 has been refitted with a freshly cast engine block, of which the specification is absolutely correct, as per Ferrari Classiche. The car’s original block stamped “006” is included with the sale of the car. Exceedingly rare and beautifully restored, this unique Dino 206 S is a highly desirable testament to the beauty and power of Ferrari’s race cars and Piero Drogo’s breathtakingly sculpted coachwork. 006 will doubtlessly attract the interest of dedicated Ferrari collectors and marque experts seeking to supplement their collections with an unusual piece of the Maranello racing legend. This particular car has to be one of the only examples in existence that has not been heavily crashed. Coming from single ownership over the last 40 years, it is a fine example for any collector and could be used in competition work.
1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sport Cabriolet “A”
Estimate: €1,000,000 – €1,500,000
Registration Number: German
Chassis Number: 154146
One of the curious aspects of the great supercharged Mercedes of the 1920s and 1930s is that, though of course they were available in chassis-only form for the great coachbuilders to unleash their imagination bounded only by the limits of the client’s chequebook, very few indeed ever looked better than the factory’s own in-house efforts. This is particularly true of the great 500k and 540k roadsters and cabriolets of the late 1930s, which managed to be graceful and truly imposing at the same time, and it is one of the most handsome of this series which we are pleased to be offering today.
Only some eighty-three Cabriolet ‘A’ cars were built, and it has always been readily accepted in the market that, with their superb proportions and neat hoodline when raised, they figure in the pecking order of Mercedes coachwork only just below the showstopping Roadsters and Special Roadsters, with the notable difference that roadsters are now between five and ten million dollars! Of course in an era when the word ‘bespoke’ meant exactly that, the good men at Sindelfingen would expect to have to accommodate the customers’ special wishes, for instance for individual fender versions, rear-end designs or interior appointments.
According to the built sheet from Daimler Benz, chassis 154146 was delivered to Sindelfingen Karosserie on 16th November 1936 by the works in chassis form and is one of only ten cars built in this body style, Series 826200, with longer front and rear wings and a boot mounted spare wheel as found on Special Roadsters.
Ordered by Miss Martha Jordans of Paris, the car was delivered on the 12th February 1937 to her German home on Albertusstrasse in Mönchengladbach via Daimler Benz Düsseldorf according to the commission sheet. We are told that Miss Jordans, who was apparently also was a friend of Mr. Alfred Krupp, the German steel magnate, and on the inside of the hood frame there is indeed a plaque with his name. Miss Jordans later emigrated via Paris to the USA and so she exported her beloved Sport cabriolet with her.
154146 is a well known car as it features in the books by Jan Melin, the Swedish authority on Mercedes Benz Supercharged Cars, including in photographs. Volume 2 on page 220 shows the car in 1965 with Jan Melin`s wife in New Jersey, and then again in 2002. There are additional pictures available of 154146 taken by Jan Melin in 1958 and 1968 in the USA and one later and undated, showing him and another person with the car.
In 1989 the 540K was featured in the US magazine ‘Car Collector’ while in the ownership of noted American Mercedes-Benz expert Tom Kreid, who had purchased the car in 1981. In 1996 154146 returned to Germany, having been exported by David Clark of San Diego and purchased by a Dr. Stoffel of Straubing in Germany, who in turn sold it in 1997 to the current owner.
While in his ownership the vendor has undertaken a comprehensive programme of improvement work on the car, including the refurbishment of its original engine by noted pre-war engine specialists Wagner of Landshut, refinishing of the paintwork in silver grey, reupholstering the interior in dark blue leather, fitting a new hood and hood cover and the restoration of all interior woodwork. The car is still complete with its original Telefunken radio and fitted luggage and is supplied with a reprint of the owner’s manual, parts list and wireless manual.
The Mercedes-Benz 540K is the ultimate example of pre-war German engineering and as such is an extremely valuable and collectible motor car. This extremely rare sport cabriolet is a particularly desirable variant because of its rare and beautiful coachwork, lovely condition and unusually complete history and provenance. Ready to use or to show, this 540K will be the centrepiece of any significant collection of rare and collectible motor cars.
228Ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari
1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spider
Chassis no. 8513033
Engine no. 8513033
In motor racing legend, few names rank higher than that of Enzo Ferrari, the former racing driver and mechanic who, after establishing himself as sole dealer for the Alfa Romeo marque in the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy, at the end of 1929 joined with three wealthy motor racing enthusiasts, plus Alfa Romeo and Pirelli, to establish a racing stable “to buy, race and perhaps someday build, high-performance cars”. The first race in which the Scuderia Ferrari competed was the 1930 Mille Miglia, the fourth running of the classic endurance event, for which a team of three Alfa Romeos was entered, driven by Ferrari’s partners Alfredo Caniato and Mario Tadini and the political activist and amateur racing driver Luigi Scarfiotti, at the wheel of the car offered here, 6C1750 GS chassis 8513033.
Scarfiotti, a Deputy in the Italian parliament, had, it seems, wanted a car that was distinctive, elegant and sporty, and could be used not only for racing but also driven in local political parades.
His choice fell on the new supercharged twin-cam GS (Gran Sport) version of the 1750cc version of the Fourth Series of the 6C Alfa Romeo designed by the gifted Vittorio Jano, which had been launched at the 1929 Rome Automobile Show. It was the latest iteration of Jano’s 6C series first seen in prototype (and much tamer) single-cam form at the 1925 Salone di Milano.
For 1930 the 6C1750 was available in three versions, according to Alfa Romeo production figures quoted in Angela Cherrett’s authoritative book Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C; the naturally-aspirated 3rd series Turismo with a single overhead camshaft, the 2nd and 3rd series twin-cam Super Sport available with or without a supercharger and the 4th series supercharged Gran Sport. Both supercharged models had Alfa-built twin-lobe Roots-type blowers, the main difference between the Super Sport and the Gran Sport being the supercharger installation: the Super Sport had a smaller, geared-up supercharger, while that on the Gran Sport was driven at engine speed, which eliminated the high-pitched supercharger whine emitted by the SS. Power output of the GS was quoted as 102hp at 5000rpm, and the car was built on the short 1.745m/ 9ft wheelbase, with the engine set back some 15 inches in the frame and a distinctive sloping radiator.
Alfa Romeo production figures quoted by Angela Cherrett give a total of between 206 and 213 cars for the combined production of the 4th and 5th Series 6C1500 and 6C1750 Gran Sport, for both the SS and the GS were produced in the smaller capacity for specific racing classes.
Supplied by Enzo Ferrari’s agency, Luigi Scarfiotti’s car – first registered on 1 April 1930 with the local Macerata provincial index “MC 2012” – still carries the “Concessionaria Emilia Romagna-Marche – Cav. Enzo Ferrari – Scuderia Ferrari” plaque on its dashboard. Its declared value at registration was the significant sum of Lire 70,000 – approximately $4200 at the then rate of exchange – and its two-seater body was built by Zagato.
Recalled Scarfiotti 40 years later: “I confirm that the body is by Zagato; as Scuderia Ferrari, we asked him for a lightweight body for the Mille Miglia.”
And, indeed, the image of the Madonna of Loreto on the badge on this car’s steering wheel might well be a subtle reference to Ugo Zagato’s old nickname of “el gagà de Loret” (“the dandy from Loreto”) from the days when, as a young man, he lived near the Piazzale Loreto in Milan and dressed in the latest of fashions.
Ugo Zagato, who had learned his trade in the old-established “Varesina” coachworks of Cesare Belli in Milan, had set up on his own account after the Great war, using the skills that he had acquired while building fighter aircraft for the Italian Air Force to create automobile bodies that were as light as they were beautiful. Among his appreciative customers was the newly-elected leader of Italy, Benito Mussolini, who expressed his “highest compliments” for the “magnificent motor with the very best coachwork” on a telegram to Ugo Zagato.
His attention to detail was legendary; his bodies were costly, and when a wealthy Milanese family took Zagato to court on the grounds that their son had been “mad” to order a “shockingly expensive” Zagato-bodied 8C2300 Alfa, the judge rejected their claim on the grounds that “the search for beauty is a most normal thing in a man”.
Zagato’s painstaking approach was highly appreciated by the top drivers of the day, and his circle of friends included Giuseppe Campari, Baconin Borzacchini, Giulio Ramponi… and Enzo Ferrari.
The majority of Zagato’s output in the 1920s and ’30s was built on Alfa Romeo chassis, and Enzo Ferrari recalled in after years “the first ultralight structures that [Ugo Zagato] realized with speed at the last moment in the old coachworks at 10 Viale Brianza in Milan in 1927, and think of how much motoring history was made in those Zagato spiders, first on the RL, then on the 1500 and 1750. It was a glorious series, the fruit of an avant-garde mechanism and a brilliant improvisation that lasted for years and brought so many victories.”
Ferrari’s connection with Alfa Romeo went back to the 1920 Targa Florio, in which he had competed at the wheel of a 6.2-liter 40/60 Alfa and finished second; he was a works driver until setting up his agency in Modena in 1929 and racing quasi works cars under the Scuderia Ferrari name. He had also acted as go-between in the negotiations that lured the brilliant engineer Vittorio Jano away from Fiat to join Alfa Romeo in 1923. And when Jano created the six-cylinder Alfa Romeo 6C1500, Enzo Ferrari drove an early 6C1500 S to victory in the 360km Circuit of Modena – the new car’s racing debut – at an average of 107.6km/h. So his links with the Alfa Romeo company went far deeper than the normal agent-manufacturer relationship.
Scarfiotti’s car was an apt choice for a man in his position, for Italy’s leader and the head of his party, Benito Mussolini, was the proud owner of a Zagato-bodied 6C1750SS.
Less than two weeks after he had taken delivery of his new car, Scarfiotti drove it in the Mille Miglia (1000 Mile) road race as one of the Scuderia Ferrari team; his co-driver and mechanic was the Scuderia Ferrari’s Guglielmo Carraroli, who had been Enzo Ferrari’s riding mechanic as far back as 1920, when the duo raced a mighty 1914 7.2-liter Isotta Fraschini in local events.
Sadly, though 6C1750 Alfas swept the board in the Mille Miglia, with Nuvolari finishing first and averaging over 60mph, and the 1500cc version won its class, none of the Scuderia Ferrari cars finished, Scarfiotti being eliminated by a broken leaf spring. Years later, Luigi Scarfiotti recalled his “friendly battles with Cavalieri Ferrari, because he was not pleased with the result!”
Scarfiotti continued to campaign his Alfa during 1930, coming second overall and winning his class at the Colle di Paterno in July, and competing in the Circuito di Senigallia the following month (he failed to finish). The Alfa finished fifth overall in the Coppa Gran Sasso, came fourth in the 12-mile Teramo-Civitella del Tronto hillclimb and was fourth overall in the Coppa Pierazzi.
With those events under his belt, in 1931 Scarfiotti was ready to make another attempt at the Mille Miglia with this car, again running as part of the Scuderia Ferrari team; his co-driver/mechanic was Piero Bucci. This time, there was no mistake, and the Alfa finished sixth overall, in the excellent time of 17 hr 27 min 36 sec, coming in 1 hr 17 minutes behind the winning SSK Mercedes driven by Rudi Caracciola. A further measure of the excellent performance of Scarfiotti’s 6C1750 GS was that it finished three places and 21 minutes ahead of the highly favored new 8C2300 driven by Tazio Nuvolari.
We are informed that a scrutineer’s lead seal that comes with the car had “finally fallen off fairly recently” – apparently from the steering column – and has the numbers “1931” and “117” stamped on both sides, indicating that it was applied during the 1931 Mille Miglia, in which Scarfiotti’s Alfa ran as No 117.
That sixth place was a convincing enough result for Scarfiotti to be invited to co-drive one of the Scuderia Ferrari’s cycle-winged Alfa Romeo 6C1750 racing cars in the 1932 Mille Miglia, partnered by Guido d’Ippolito: they finished third overall.
That same year, Scarfiotti sold his 6C1750 GS back to Alfa Romeo, possibly in part-payment for the spectacular new Alfa Romeo 8C2300 “Corto” Zagato-bodied streamlined coupé that was first registered by him on 6 February, but was mysteriously re-registered “as new” two months later to the Scuderia Ferrari with two-seat spider bodywork. ” 8513033 was registered to the Alfa Romeo Company Milan on May 18th that year with registration number MI 38883. Subsequently
in 1935 it encountered either a mechanical issue or the bodywork may have been damaged and the car was unregistered and taken off the road following this incident.
It seems certain, however, that at this stage its competition career was over, and its subsequent history is unclear until it was discovered “in 1960 in Modena by an Italian gentleman who rescued it”.
We are informed that its rescuer, Giuseppe Bruni, took the car to a restoration shop in Florence for recommissioning. In 1973 he wrote to Luigi Scarfiotti at his home in the seaside town of Porto Recanati in the Marche region.
“I remember the car very well, because it gave me a lot of satisfaction, both in races and private life,” replied Scarfiotti, whose interest in motor sport had died with his son, the highly respected racing driver Ludovico, who, like his father, had driven with success in the Mille Miglia, but been killed in practice for a mountain championship climb in Germany in the summer of 1968.
The car remained in the Bruni family for many years and it is believed that additional restoration was completed by Autofficina Faralli, near Pisa, Italy, between 1999 and most probably receiving a largely new body in the original style at this moment. The car then came to Switzerland to a museum near Geneva and Chris Gardner who drove it, had it on his website for sale in 2005.
Detailed examination of the car has been carried out by a renowned marque expert who declares that “85130333” retains its original engine, gearbox, rear axle, front axle, steering box and chassis. These parts were found to be number correct and matching, with identical numbers stamped on mating faces to show that they had always been together.
The car came to the United States in 2005 and became part of a private collection in Texas before being purchased by the current European owner in 2008. In 2011the chassis frame and the engine were analysed by 2 different institutes one being the RWTH in Aachen, Germany and both clearly concluded that the materials, the steel and aluminium are from the time the car was built by Alfa Romeo. The samples were even compared to those taken from a 1930s Mercedes S chassis and were found to be practically identical, there can therefore be no doubt about the originality of these parts.
We are told that when the engine was overhauled, five pistons out of the six were marked with the logo “SF” (Scuderia Ferrari), claimed to be the earliest documented example of Ferrari’s signature on a race car.
An old Ferrari hand has stated that all the spare parts changed by the mechanics of the Scuderia Ferrari were initially marked with a little “SF” logo and from mid 1932 a little rampant horse.
The same source avers that the “SF” logo on a small brass cylinder with a plug found inside the rear baggage trunk was fitted during the Mille Miglia to mark the fact that the Scuderia’s mechanics had checked the car.
The supercharger is said to have undergone a “recent rebuild”, while an interesting detail is that the Memini Type DOA twin-throat carburetor has a cast-in auxiliary fuel chamber of truncated triangular section hidden behind the normal float chamber; this is believed to have been a modification made on competition cars to eliminate a “flat spot” that occurred during circuit racing, possibly due to fuel surge on banked tracks like Brooklands and Monza.
This remarkable “matching numbers” car is a unique link with the birth of the Scuderia Ferrari: it is, quite simply, a car from the very first team to race under the banner of the prancing horse.
Estimate:€850,000 – 950,000
£680,000 – 760,000
US$ 1.1 million – 1.2 million
1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I “Honeymoon Express” Two-Seater Drophead Coupé
by Freestone & Webb
Available Upon Request
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
178 bhp, 4,887cc F-head six-cylinder engine, two SU carburettors, four-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs and wishbones, semi-elliptic rear springs with electrically controlled shock absorbers, power-assisted steering, and power-assisted hydraulic front and hydro-mechanical rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 3,124 mm (123″)
• One of the rarest and most important post-war, coach built Rolls-Royces in existence
• Sensational original “finned” Freestone & Webb two-seater coachwork with disappearing top
• Christened the “Honeymoon Express” by design journalists at the Earl’s Court Show
• An unrepeatable opportunity; one of only two such Rolls-Royces built
• Only 42,070 original miles after three decades of single ownership
Aside from its breathtaking presentation, the Rolls-Royce we have the pleasure of offering here is exceptionally rare, as one of only one percent of all Silver Clouds to carry truly bespoke coachwork. The body was produced by the highly respected firm of Freestone & Webb and is one of just three with this radically-designed drophead coupé style, two produced for the Cloud I and a third on a Bentley S1 chassis. The firm was a design leader throughout its existence and is especially revered for its creations from the 1920s and 1930s, winning a Gold Medal in the Private Coachbuilders competition an astounding nine years in a row. Their workmanship on this particular chassis, SGE270, is second to none.
The first owner of SGE270 was Arnold Moreton of Manchester, England. A high-ranking Freemason; in 1976, Moreton was installed as Supreme Ruler, Intendent Ruler of the Lancashire Province Western Division and later became Deputy Grand Supreme Ruler, a position he held until his death in 1982. The rolling chassis was delivered to Freestone & Webb in London on 11 March 1958, and Moreton took delivery of the completed car on 16 June. Compared to the more typical four-seater drophead coupés, the Freestone & Webb “Honeymoon Express” truly represented out-of-the-box design. Whilst most mid-1950s Rolls-Royces had graceful, gently rounded side panels, the body sides of this car featured concave coves that stretched from stem to stern, with rear wings that feature aggressive vertical tail fins. Designed for only two passengers, the bucket front seats had a pair of fold-down armrests with adjustable seat backs. This limited seating capacity, which along with the ample boot, lent itself to the “Honeymoon Express” moniker, a name that stuck after design journalists first saw this style début at the Freestone & Webb stand at the Earl’s Court Show.
Finished in two-tone Lugano blue with Silver Chalice coves, chassis SGE270 possesses every convenience. Each door features a round pull-out ashtray. Another smoker’s tray slides out from under the original radio. A pair of cocktail cabinets flanks the rear storage area and each contains a cocktail shaker and four crystal whiskey tumblers. A tilt-up vanity mirror is fitted to the left-side cubby box door, and a pair of gallery posts front the driver’s side open cubby box, perhaps to prevent contents from slipping out on brisk acceleration. Power-assisted steering, along with power windows, was also rare for the time and fitted car radios were not common. This car retains its original Radiomobile “His Master’s Voice” medium- and long-wave radio with power antenna. The spacious luggage compartment is fitted with scarlet wool carpet and leather binding, and an extensive hand tool tray is tucked below the floor. All original road tools and the jack and inspection torch remain in place. Moreton also ordered a unique pair of gauges: an outside temperature thermometer and an altimeter. A tachometer is paired with the speedometer, which was rarely specified for the Silver Cloud.
The scarlet red Connolly leather interior and matching red carpets are fitted with British Wilton wool broadloom. Burled Circassian walnut veneers define the fascia, trim and window sills. Luxury aside, the most fascinating feature on this car is the hydraulic top. Metal flaps on either side “pop” open, along with the rear cover, and allow for the top to effortlessly rise. When lowered, the navy blue canvas power top disappears below the belt line, completely hidden under the electrically operated metal cover. With the top down, rear vision for the driver is completely unobstructed, unlike many European convertibles whose tops retreat to a rather bulky position under the canvas cover.
One must consider this Rolls-Royce then, in the context of its contemporaries. From the fins and coves of the bodywork to the extraordinary interior and upholstery, such design was not only daring in its day but unlike anything the average British motorist would have ever seen before.
Extensive records and original Rolls-Royce, Freestone & Webb and H. R. Owen chassis cards confirm this car’s provenance, as well as the presence from new of every single option. This unique car, like its siblings, is featured in archival publications, including Lawrence Dalton’s Rolls-Royce: The Elegance Continues, Graham Robson’s The Rolls-Royce and Bentley: Coachbuilt Models 1945–1985, Volume 2 and Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club, Inc., publication, The Flying Lady, issue 1964/5.
Bespoke motorcars like this one are valued like fine art, antiques and other rare commodities and will always be treasured. One of only two Rolls-Royce Silver Clouds produced with this exceptional drophead coupé body design, chassis SGE270 still carries its original engine, stamped SE385, with only 42,070 miles and even its original British registration plate, AM2375. This example has been in single ownership since it was brought to the United States when its first owner died in 1982. It has been meticulously maintained and offers many more years of enjoyment and appreciation for its next owner. Its place in Rolls-Royce history is assured, and its significance to enthusiasts is impossible to overstate, as this may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire the Honeymoon Express.
1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 Sports Racer
105 800 23
To be auctioned on
Saturday, May 12, 2012
440 bhp, 2,998 cc DOHC V-8 four-valve engine, Lucas indirect fuel-injection, five-speed manual gearbox, independent front and rear suspension with double wishbones, coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,240 mm (88.2″)
• Built and raced by Autodelta
• Sold directly from Carlo Chiti’s Autodelta, as last raced, to its first owner in 1973
• A virtual ‘time warp’ with recent, full mechanical and sympathetic body restoration
• Only test mileage since restoration in 2006
Once Autodelta was designated the competition arm of Alfa Romeo, work began on the successful TZ and TZ2. By 1966, Orazio Satta and Giuseppi Busso were working on the prototype known as 105.33 and when a two-litre, four-cam, 90-degree V-8 was installed, the Tipo 33 program was on the road. The T33 ‘Periscopa’ (for its overhead intake to the Lucas fuel-injection) weighed only 1,278 pounds and its top speed approached 185 mph.
The T33’s first competition outing was at the Belgian hill climb at Fleron in early 1967, the only event it could get to before Sebring, to which Chiti had committed a team. It won in the hands of Teodoro Zeccoli, and then Andrea de Adamich, who figures significantly in this particular T33’s story and broke the GT lap record at Zolder. At Sebring, de Adamich and Zeccoli qualified, and de Adamich led the first two laps, but the Porsches and Ferrari Dinos got past and both Alfas retired.
Four cars were entered for the Targa Florio with de Adamich and Jean Rolland in one car. The rough roads broke the front suspension on all four cars, although de Adamich led the two-litre class for some time. A similar fate overtook the team at the Nürburgring on 1 June, though de Adamich and Nino Galli finished 5th, after taking over the Bissinello/Zeccoli car when the front suspension broke on their own car. The team won several hill climbs but withdrew from Le Mans in June and the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch in July. Then French rally driver Jean Rolland crashed at Montlhéry and was killed. Success came at Vallelunga in October, however, when de Adamich and Ignazio Giunti achieved a 1 – 2 finish.
Introduction of the T33/2
As pretty as the T33 was, it just didn’t hold up, and the stakes were getting higher. The 1968 Daytona 24 Hours was a qualified success with three T33/2s finishing 5th, 6th and 7th. Three cars were entered for the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch as well.
Autodelta entered four T33/2s for the ‘68 Targa Florio, and whilst Vic Elford won in his Porsche 907, Galli/Giunti were 2nd and won the two-litre class, whilst the other T33s finished 3rd, 5th and 6th, a much better showing. The Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometres saw a 2.5-litre T33 entered, along with four two-litre cars. Nino Vaccarella and Herbert Schultze finished 5th and won the two-litre class, whilst other T33s were 7th, 10th, 13th and 29th. This time, problems were electrical. Finally, the team won at Mugello, with Galli/Varella/Bianchi 1st and Jo Siffert 2nd. The T33s now seemed to be showing real promise and finally managed a 1-2-3 at Imola, with Giunti/Galli taking the win. The pair would be 4th at Le Mans, with other T33s finishing 5th and 6th.
One might think 1969 would build on this improvement, but it was not to be. Daytona and Sebring were marked by breakdowns and crashes, and then Lucien Bianchi was killed during testing at Le Mans. Scooter Patrick was winning races in the U.S., and hill climb results were good, but Alberti/Pinto only scored a 5th in the Targa Florio, though the race did mark the return of Andrea de Adamich, who DNF’d. Still, Carlos Pace won the Rio 3 Hours in Brazil, whilst Nino Vaccarella managed a 2nd in Sicily in the T33 coupé, Giunti a 2nd at Imola in heavy rain and Weber a 1st at Hockenheim in dense fog.
By 1970, it was clear just how challenging this series would be, but the schedule was expanded to cover any races of merit. The new cars were also given star names, as one of Chiti’s fancies, but the DNFs continued. Still, Piers Courage and de Adamich won the Buenos Aires 200 in Argentina and then were 8th at Sebring, behind Gregory/Hezemans, who were 3rd. Galli/Rolf Stommelen were 7th at Monza, with Courage and de Adamich 13th.
The T33/3 followed, with notable results including 3rd at the Argentine 1,000 Km at Buenos Aires with Stommelen/Galli followed by Pescaraolo/de Adamich in 4th, with these pairings repeated their positions at Sebring. Bob Wollek won at Albi, and then de Adamich/Pescarolo won the Brands Hatch 1,000 Km. At Imola, de Adamich/Pescarolo were 3rd, ahead of Stommelen/Galli in 4th and Hezemans and Vaccarella in 5th. De Adamich/Pescarolo were 3rd at Spa and then 2nd in the Targa Florio, behind Vacarella/Hezemans. At the Nürburgring 1,000 Km, Adamich/Pescarolo 4th and Vaccarella/Hezemans 5th, whilst the latter team was 2nd in Austria, with Stommelen/Galli 3rd. De Adamich/Ronnie Peterson won the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and de Adamich managed 7th in the Can-Am race by himself the next day, after his mechanics were too tired to install the new four-litre motor.
T33/3 Chassis No. 105 800 23
It is well-known to Alfa Romeo enthusiasts and confirmed by the authors of the definitive Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 text, Peter Collins and Ed McDonough, that the marque’s chassis records are notoriously difficult to track. In fact, many records were kept only in Carlo Chiti’s head, and he died in 1994. However, the car offered here, Tipo 33/3 chassis no. 23, was purchased from Carlo Chitti’s Autodelta directly by its first owner on the 10th November 1973, as confirmed by a copy of the original sales invoice from Autodelta S.p.a. to Milan’s Weiss-Siam company for 5,000,000 lire. Weiss–Siam was the company responsible for importing Koni shock absorbers for Italy, hence the connection to Autodelta and Carlo Chiti, as Koni was the supplier of shock absorbers to Autodelta.
The car remained in the collection of the first private owner for 30 years, until 2003 when it was sold to its second Italian owner. The car was totally original when purchased in 2003, marking a true “time warp” example of an Alfa Romeo 33. Photographs of the car at this juncture provided confirmation that the car remained in the state in which it was sold by Autodelta back in 1973, having virtually not turned a wheel since then. Given the remarkable originality of Chassis 023, the second owner elected to leave it untouched and placed it within his collection.
In 2004, Chassis 023 was sold to the current owner who imported the car to the UK, where it has formed part of an important private collection. In 2006, it was entrusted to Pearsons Engineering Ltd. for examination and the restoration of the car was started with originality as a priority, as the car had remained untouched since it left Autodelta in 1973. Garry Pearson carefully dismantled the car to remove the engine and gearbox, the front and rear suspension was stripped and the fuel cells were removed. All the suspension parts and wheels were crack-tested and x-rayed and then cleaned and readied for re-assembly. The engine block, cylinder heads, and assorted components were sent for ultrasonic cleaning and then the crankcase and connecting rods were Magnafluxed and then checked for any cracks. Both the engine and gearbox were then rebuilt. All the instruments were cleaned and serviced and the car was reassembled using as many original parts as possible, keeping the originality of the car. Detailed restoration invoices are available for inspection within the car’s history file, totalling almost £100,000 for the mechanical restoration.
Carlo Chiti and Autodelta never kept exacting records of the races; however, on close inspection, it is interesting to find the name ‘de Adamich’ on the rear of the original seat of Chassis 023 and the electrical cut-out switch positioning, which makes it likely that this was in fact the car used by de Adamich and Piers Courage throughout the 1970-racing season.
Sympathetically restored, Chassis 023 remains a true ‘time warp’ example, with the body being left as original as possible. It is very rare to find a car in this condition, being so original yet mechanically restored by one of the UK’s best race-preparers. Since the restoration of the car in 2006, it has not yet been raced and it was only used a few times for shakedown runs and test miles only. Chassis 023 is simply breathtaking throughout – it is an extraordinary historical document and a racing car of supreme technical prowess and unmatched driving pleasure.