1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series 2

Coachwork by Scaglietti

This profile of the Ferrari 500 Mondial by Simon Kidston for Sports Car Market magazine (2009) is reproduced with their kind permission:

It’s a common misconception that Ferrari sports racers of the 1950s can be neatly categorized into production types, and that changes followed uniformly across the board when the great Enzo decreed them. As my learned friend the French Ferrari author and four cylinder expert Antoine Prunet points out, Ferrari at the time was “un grand bordel” (we Brits would politely call it “a bloody shambles”), at least for historians. Any racer from that period therefore needs to be analyzed on a car-by-car basis. Incidentally, the Mondial was named in honour of Ascari’s ’52 and ’53 World Championships (Campionati Mondiali) in single seaters with similar four cylinder power.”

The cars most Ferraristi describe as Series 1 Mondials have a Tipo 501 chassis (round tubes) with front transverse leaves, a 4-speed transaxle and a Tipo 110 (two litre, four cylinder) engine; approximately 22 were built in 1954. Sixteen were bodied by Pinin Farina, two as closed berlinettas, and six by Scaglietti. Ferrari also equipped some Tipo 501 chassis with 3 litre or even 3.5 litre engines.”


“As for the so-called Series 2 Mondials, these were built in 1955, featured a Tipo 510 chassis (oval tubes) with helical springs, a 5-speed transaxle and a Tipo 111 (two litre, four cylinder) engine, and were bodied by Scaglietti. To add confusion, this same chassis was used for the similar looking 750 Monza, and some cars used both 2 and 3 litre engines: generally speaking, if they were delivered with the 2 litre the chassis suffix was ‘MD’, or ‘M’ for the 3 litre. But only generally
…”

The car we offer here is a Series 2 Mondial with open Scaglietti coachwork and a four cylinder Testa Rossa engine; as can be seen from the above, engine swaps were common when the cars were new or almost new, and this engine has been fitted to the car for most of its life- ie since 1958. It is, therefore, a Mondial upgraded in period and accepted as such.

Looking further at this particular car, we have the benefit of a comprehensive inspection report dated 2007 by Keith Bluemel, a member of the IAC/PFA (International Advisory Council for the Preservation of the Ferrari Automobile), based on research of information currently available, and a visual inspection of the car as follows:

History

The car is a 1955 second series Ferrari 500 Mondial, which used a type 510 tubular steel chassis, with a type 111 four cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine of 2 litre capacity, mated to a 5 speed type 509 transaxle. It was supplied new in April 1955 to Italian gentleman racing driver Luigi Taramazzo, who ran in it in the Mille Miglia on race # 628 with Bologna “Prova” registration # BO 46420, on 30th April/ 1st May, days after taking delivery. He was leading his class and 4th overall before retiring on the penultimate stage. Later that year it was exported from Italy to the USA by Luigi Chinetti, and it continued its competition career across the Atlantic.

In 1958 a Testa Rossa engine with “numero Interno” (internal number) 48 TR was installed whilst in the ownership of John Middleton in the USA. According to factory records this engine came from Ferrari 625 LM, chassis # 0644 MDTR, which had been heavily crashed in the USA in late 1957. Being from this model the engine would have a capacity of 2.5 litres. The engine has been overstamped with the chassis number of this car “0536”. At the same time a four speed transaxle with number 58 MD was installed, the work being carried out by Hal Ulrich in Chicago. The car was also repainted at this time, and a pair of bonnet bulges incorporated to clear the cam covers. It is not known why this change took place, or of the current whereabouts of the original engine and transaxle. Equally the remains of the 625 LM, chassis # 0644 MDTR, have not appeared since that time. During the mid eighties an engine with # 0536 is reported as having been installed in Ferrari 750 Monza, chassis # 0554 M, although it is not with that car now.

In period the car competed in both its original form and also with the replacement engine/transaxle. The details of its known competition history and ownership chain are appended at the end of this section. The engine “48 TR” and four speed transaxle “58 MD” have been in the car for almost fifty years, and although not the original units are an integral part of the history of this particular car.

At the beginning of the nineties the car was restored by DK Engineering for the then owner, and at this time a replacement body was constructed by Rod Jolley in the UK, as the original one was showing signs of fatigue.

However, the original body was used as a pattern for the new body to ensure accuracy of line and shape, and the body builder retained the original along with the buck constructed to form the new body. The current owner acquired the original body and the buck soon after he purchased the car in 2000, and they remain with the car to this day.

It is understood that the engine was overhauled by Diena & Silingardi in Modena in 2005, and in 2006 an original type 509 5 speed transaxle was overhauled by the Ferrari Classiche division of Ferrari SpA, which was installed by Ferrari Antwerp the same year.

Competition History

Date  Event    Race # Driver(s)  Result
30.04.1955 Mille Miglia, Italy.  628  Luigi Taramazzo DNF
22.05.1955 5th Trofeo Sardo,  ?  Luigi Taramazzo ?
  Italy.
29.05.1955 Supercortemaggiore 56  L. Taramazzo/ 8th OA/
  Monza, Italy.    Anselmi  3rd Cl.
19.06.1955 2nd Gran Premio   64  Luigi Taramazzo 6th
Shell, Imola, Italy.
10.06.1956 Lawrenceville, USA.  30  B. Goldich  DNS
23.06.1956 Road America June  30  B. Goldich  6th
Sprints, Elkhart Lake,
EM4 Class Race 3
01.07.1956 Milwaukee Sentinel  30  B. Goldich  1st
20.07.1956 Giants Despair  130  B. Goldich  1st Cl.
  Hillclimb, EM Class.
21.07.1956 Brynfan Tyddyn  30  B. Goldich  2nd Cl.
15.09.1956 Watkins Glen Race  130  B. Goldich  7th OA/
  6 Class EM       1st Cl.
??.??.1956 Beardsley, Arizona  59  B. Goldich  ?
12.1956 Bahamas Speed Week
07.12.1956 Governor’s Trophy  80  B. Goldich  5th OA/
  Heat Cl. E & F      4th Cl.
08.12.1956 Ferrari Race   80  B. Goldich  4th
09.12.1956 Nassau Trophy  80  B. Goldich  12th OA/
          5th Cl.
01.06.1958 Dunkirk, NY, Race 6 ?  J. Brewer  DNF
28.06.1958 Watkins Glen   57  J. Brewer  8th
  Classic, Race 6 
??.??.1958 Akron, OH   ?  J. Brewer  ?
??.??.1958 Elkhart Lake, WI  53  J. Brewer  ?
17.05.1959 Cumberland EM4 112  D.C. Peters  15th
Race
31.05.1959 Dunkirk, NY Prelim’  57  D.C. Peters  3rd
31.05.1959 Dunkirk, NY Main  57  D.C. Peters  5th
27.07.1959 Savona, NY Race 6  57  D.C. Peters  DNF
20.09.1959 Harewood, Canada  ?  B. Bucher  DNF
25.09.1959 Watkins Glen   29  D.C. Peters  DNS
26.09.1959 Watkins Glen   29  B. Bucher  14th
Race 7
14.05.1961 Cumberland Race 7  7  J. Moore  9th OA/
          4th Cl.
19.06.1961 Glen Classic, NY  115  J. Moore  5th
  EM Class Race
23.06.1962 Glen Classic, NY  31  C. Kraus  DNS
  EM Race 7

In recent years the car has been used on the Mille Miglia retrospective rally, in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, and other historic gatherings.

Known Ownership Chain

28th April 1955 – Sold by Ferrari to Luigi Taramazzo, Italy.
1955 – Luigi Chinetti, New York, USA.
1956 – Bob Goldich, Chicago, IL, USA.
1957 – John Middleton, Illinois, USA.
1958 – Jack Brewer, Elmira, NY, USA.
1959 – Robert de Graw, USA.
1965 – Carl de Bickero, St Petersburg, Florida, USA
1972 – Dr Hamilton Kelly, San Marion, CA, USA.
1974 - Harley Cluxton III, Scottsdale, AZ, USA.
1978 – Dick Withers, USA.
1979 - John Hadjuk, Chicago, IL, USA
1981 – Karl Dedolph, Wayzata, MN, USA.
1987 – For sale by Sterling Imports and by Foreign Cars Italia, USA.
1988 – For sale by European Auto Sales, CA, USA, and Old Timer Garage,
 Switzerland.
1988 – Stan Zagorski, Mount Tremper, NY, USA.
1989 – For Sale by Nick Harley and Massimo Colombo, Monaco.
1989 – Stenberg Rex Collection, Sweden.
1992 – I & H Mergard, Germany.
1996 – For sale by Symbolic Motor Co. USA, and Talacrest, UK.
1996 – Charles Agg, UK.
1998 – Peter Hosmer, USA.
2000 – For sale by Fantasy Junction, CA, USA.
2000 – Jan Biekens, Belgium.

Comments

The only blemish to the body was a cracked Plexiglass cover to the left side headlight, but it is understood that a replacement is being sourced. From what could be seen of the chassis without a lift, it appears to be in very good order and undamaged, with the number stamping clearly visible, and of the correct style of ciphers, in the correct position on the front cross tube. The wheels on the left side of the car are stamped RW 2976, whilst on those on the right side the markings have been polished out. The tyres are Dunlop Racing, size 5.50 – 16 at the front and 6.00 – 16 at the rear, all with good tread. There was no spare fitted at the time of the inspection, but it is understood that there are three spare wheels/ tyres with the car.

The equipment in the cockpit, i.e. instruments, steering wheel, fuse and relay board are of the correct pattern and appear in good order. The seats are trimmed in black leather, and a fire extinguisher canister is fitted on the passenger side on the floor in front of the seat. Equally the engine bay looks substantially correct for the model, the only items that are obvious replacements are the water radiator and cap, which are replacements of British manufacture.

Overall the car is in very good condition and appears well maintained, whilst the extent of its originality has been addressed in the history section.

Keith Bluemel 05/2007.

Since compilation of Keith Bluemel’s report the Mondial has been inspected by Ferrari Classiche in Maranello who have now issued an Attestation of Historical Interest, given that the modifications to the car were made during its contemporary racing career. The aforementioned five-speed gearbox was fitted as part of the Ferrari Classiche attestation process.

Chassis ‘0536’ successfully completed the 2010 Mille Miglia and is ready to be enjoyed; a voluptuous, raucous and rapid 1950s sports-racing Ferrari. Its 1955 Mille Miglia provenance makes it a favoured entrant for future editions whilst any driver will appreciate having the extra horsepower at his disposal from the TR engine. Classic motoring doesn’t get much more entertaining than this.