Scuderia Ferrari Factory Entry at the 1955 Mille Miglia, Finishing 6th Overall. Original Matching-Numbers Engine Rebuilt by Hall & Hall. Le Mans Classic Class Winner. Thoroughly Documented by Marcel Massini and Offered with a Significant History File.
1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti
s/n 0486/M, engine no. 0486/M
Rosso Corsa with Black Interior
In the early 1950s, Enzo Ferrari realized it was time to acknowledge the value of lighter weight cars powered by fuel-saving small displacement engines. The V12 engine had always been the chosen mount for Ferrari but times were changing quickly as technology and engineering revealed how to pack more power from smaller displacement engines. While the venerable V12 would always serve as the cornerstone for raw power and performance, racetracks with tight corners and limited straightaways, proved that these smaller capacity sports cars could be highly competitive against larger, heavier, big-engine competition.
Enzo called upon Aurelio Lampredi to immediately develop a robust and high revving engine, an engine that would ultimately lead to the Ferrari Mondial 500, claiming multiple wins at the hands of some of the most capable drivers, including Alberto Ascari who would achieve consecutive championships in an F2 monoposto, clinching the 1952 and 1953 title. By 1954 the smaller displacement concept had proven to be so successful that the next iteration would further the same goals for a lightweight four-cylinder car capable of beating the competition. The result would not only become one of the most agile race cars of the period, the stunning Scaglietti alloy body design would become an iconic vision for expressing the pinnacle of sports car design to this day.
The most important improvement to the Ferrari 750 Monza was the powerful 3.0 liter twin-cam engine capable of 250 hp while offering plenty of low end torque. The durable unitary block and cylinder head employed screwed-in cylinder liners, twin 58 DCOA3 Weber carburetors, and a rear mounted gearbox for optimum weight distribution. The 88.5” wheelbase Monza type 510 chassis was constructed using tubular space frame geometry, employing rear de Dion suspension and front unequal length A-arms. Earlier series cars were outfitted with transverse leaf springs, but later cars were updated to coil spring suspension, making them even more capable in tight road courses and grueling hill climbs. Of course, the combination of raw power and lightweight construction delivered remarkable results in race after race, but ultimately the durability and fuel efficiency of the Monza package proved to be a fantastically balanced combination for Ferrari factory entries and privateer racers all over the world.
This Ferrari Monza 750 is a very special and rare example. The first of the Monza series cars to be fitted with desirable coil spring suspension, the accompanying Marcel Massini report has copiously documented the history of #0486 including numerous period races with secondary source indications and photo references. Period photos and publications further support the early history of this car. The Massini report outlines details of various races and transactions, some of which are cited here. The first competition outing for #0486 occurred January 23, 1955 at the Buenos Aires 1000 kms piloted by Umberto Maglioli and Clemar Bucci. A few months later, on April 30, 1955, as a factory entry, #0486 competed at the 22nd Mille Miglia with Sergio Sighinolfi at the wheel. Here, with tensions high as Germans and Italians were vying in a field of top drivers in one of the most challenging races of the time, Sighinolfi delivered for the Italians with a remarkable 6th place, beating out Olivier Gendebien in his Mercedes-Benz 300SL, and handily beating a Porsche 550 Spyder, Maserati A6GCS, an Aston Martin DB2/4, and a litany of other top race cars of the period. Of note, the mighty 750 Monza #0486 was only 19 minutes behind the other Scuderia Ferrari top ten finisher, Umberto Maglioli who finished 3rd in a Ferrari 376 S Scaglietti. Maglioli himself had previously piloted #0486 just a few months earlier that same year.
By May 1955 the Ferrari factory would sell #0486 to the first owner, Jacques Jonneret, Geneva, Switzerland. Jonneret would go on to compete in numerous races during his two-year period of ownership, amassing notable wins including 2nd place at the Kilometre d’Eaumorte, September 1955, Geneva Switzerland, race #6, where that same year #0486 would be pictured in the 1955 Official Ferrari Yearbook.
By 1956, Jonneret would continue racing, achieving another 2nd place victory at the Saint Ursanne-Les Rangiers, June 24th hillclimb, followed by another 2nd place overall and 1st in class at the Mont Ventoux hillclimb, June 29th. On September 16, 1955 #0486 continued to perform at the highest levels achieving another 1st in class at Annemass-Geneva. At this time, it was once again featured proudly for the second consecutive year in the 1956 Official Ferrari Yearbook. The acclaim this car was achieving did not go unnoticed by seasoned enthusiasts of racing. Thus, on August 1, 1957 Jonneret sold the car to Peter Monteverdi, of Binningen-Basel, Switzerland, who just that year would acquire the Swiss franchise for Ferrari, among other prestigious brands, for his newly opened dealership. Monteverdi would go on to build a significant presence in the automobile industry, including the construction of his own line of cars, but his passion always remained rooted in racing.
Under Monteverdi’s ownership #0486 would continue participation in further races often driving the car himself, including an August 15, 1957 2nd place overall achieved at the Gaisberg hillclimb in Austria, a 1st place finish at the August 25, 1957 Tiefencastel-Lenzerhelde hillclimb, Switzerland, and again 1st place overall at the September 1, 1957 Martigny-La Forclaz hillclimb, Switzerland. In late 1957/early 1958, Monteverdi, possibly eager to showcase his individuality, commissioned Carrozzeria Sauter of Basel to rebody the car in a coupe configuration utilizing gullwing-type doors and a Fiat 1100 windscreen. The resultant car was quite well executed in a striking metallic blue finish with white interior. In 1958, Monteverdi sold the car to Dr. Alfred Hopf, Basel, Switzerland. Hopf, a banker of some means, was a major client and financial backer of Monteverdi’s Ferrari dealership as well as the head of Ecurie HOBA (HOpf-BAsil). By September 1957, Monteverdi was once again behind the wheel of #0486, this time at the Mitholz-Kandersteg hillclimb, Switzerland, where he would emerge victorious yet again, finishing 1st place overall. In April 1959 the Monza 750 still wearing the coupe body, would be advertised for sale in “Road & Track” magazine, and later in March 1960 “Sports Car Illustrated” magazine, subsequently being sold to Othmar Graf, Feuerthalen, Switzerland where it is known to have been registered on Swiss plates, Zurich, ZH 20812.
In 1974 Christie’s Auction house offered #0486 as Lot #65, selling to Donald Nelson, Desford, Leicestershire, England. At that time, the car still retained the Monteverdi commissioned gullwing coupe body. However, at some point in his ownership, the body was removed and thought to have been discarded as scrap, though contemporary photos of the body shell indicate otherwise. The complete rolling chassis along with the original engine was then sold to Nigel Moores, Ormskirk, Lancashire, England. Moores, the heir to Littlewood Pools. Moores would retain the rolling chassis until his estate would liquidate it in 1987, selling it to The Louwman Collection. By 1993, The Louwman Collection would commission the respected craftsmen at Prowess Ltd., Robert Brooks, London, England, to engage in a total restoration. At that time, a period-correct alloy body was located for fitting and first brought into consideration for restoration to Aubrey Finburgh, Classic Autos. Upon examination, Finburgh demurred, citing the alloy was likely too challenging for his preferred methods of restoration.
The Louwman Collection, being known to favor preservation and authenticity even in the early years of collecting, moved the body shell to preservation expert and metal craftsman Maurice Gomm, of Gomm Metal Developments of Old Woking, Surrey. The team was expressly instructed to retain as much of the period bodywork as possible, consistent with Louwman and Gomm standards of preservation. Recollections of these details are documented in letters accompanying the car as well as period photos showing the body at various locations before being restored. While the body work was being prepared, the matching numbers engine was restored by Hall & Fowler, and mechanical reassembly performed by Squadron leader David Noble’s Ardua Engineering. In 2004, #0486 was offered at the Bonhams Auction, Goodwood, England as Lot #180 where it was sold to the current and consigning owner who has thoughtfully maintained and serviced the car with continued exemplary standards in keeping with a car of this important historic and aesthetic provenance.
Today this 750 Monza presents in beautiful condition with stunning paint and overall cosmetics that represent the iconic Scaglietti body design with excellence and authenticity. The exquisite finish is not only highly lustrous and smooth, the alloy body surfaces and contours are executed with fine details and competition accents. Continuing the history of racing victories spanning the original 1955 Mille Miglia to the 2006 Le Mans Classic, #0486 has performed flawlessly driven by Rick Hall, proprietor of Hall & Hall. In June 2006, Hall drove #0486 at the Le Mans Legends, achieving strong results, and again in July 2006 at the Le Mans Classic, Hall piloted #0486 to win Plateau 2 (cars from 1947 – 1955), beating out more than 60 competitors including many Ferraris, Maseratis, and Jaguar C and D types, among many other top cars. A skilled veteran of vintage collecting and an active participator in numerous events, the current owner has also run this Ferrari with co-pilot Rick Hall at the Mille Miglia Historico. Like all his cars, #0486 is mechanically prepared to the highest level. The visual qualities of the car are consistent with the mechanical excellence with all components being very well balanced cosmetically, showing just the right amount of maturity to the variously detailed finishes and matching numbers engine.
Under previous ownership, Hall & Hall performed a comprehensive rebuild of the original engine. Under current ownership, the car has returned to Hall & Hall for additional servicing, including rebuilding the gearbox, generator, and overhauling the brakes, documented by invoices from Hall & Hall totaling $260,000.00. Over the past few years, #0486 has remained in California where it has been serviced and maintained by experts at Antique Auto Restoration.
With so much history and racing lineage, it’s even more remarkable that such a purposeful machine delivers such a surprising level of beauty in the body design. The dynamic and fluid body lines are accented by Borrani wire wheels, angled fender vents, diving wheel opening lines, and an aerodynamic head fairing stretching back over the rear of the car. The gentle sweeping lines of the body are low, lean, and beautifully executed at every corner. Inside the cockpit, the interior is simple and purposeful with traditional black seats poised over a metal and aluminum inner structure. The finishes show evidence of use over the years, validating the continued competition spirit originally intended for this car. The instruments are beautifully finished with excellent color, clarity, and detail while the steering wheel whispers decades of tension spooled up and released from the 3 liter engine.
Unlatching the leather bonnet straps, and gently swinging away the finely sprung chrome clasps, the lightweight alloy hood is removed to reveal the wondrous Ferrari twin-cam engine. With recent preparation by Hall & Hall, this timeless work of engineering has been properly maintained and serviced, in keeping with the excellence and heritage of these great racing cars. The massive 58DCOE3 Twin Weber carburetors sit tucked under the front fender edge, authentic and refined, but here again wearing cosmetics that truly embody the spirit of competition. The tuned exhaust cascades through the body exiting to a modest exhaust shield that dares not shroud the sonorous vibrato of Italian pride.
Inside the trunk area, a beautifully riveted fuel tank is a visual delight for the eyes. The transaxle, and supporting framework are further indications of the sublime artistry in engineering that so perfectly assembled this lightweight champion. The underside of the car presents honestly with correct period construction evident in the main frame tubes and supporting structure. Correct lightweight, finned cast aluminum brake drums and other period components further validate the originality and attention to detail on this exceptional Ferrari.
Stunning by any measure, and vividly featured as a seminal part of Ferrari competition history, Boasting Factory entry at the 1955 Mille Miglia, where it placed 6th against a field of top competitors, this Ferrari 750 Monza Spider represents a rare opportunity for entry to virtually any future premier competition, top level concours, or vintage motorsports event. Top level ownership and premier maintenance assure that this Ferrari will continue to perform as one of the most beautifully conceived competition cars ever realized. This beautiful and powerful Ferrari 750 Monza #0486 will forever hold a unique and important place as both a competition car and exquisite work of sculptural art.
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