A 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II with in period racing history as a private and a works car is an early highlight for the Gooding Pebble Beach 2018 sale.
A French racing blue 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II (estimate: $5,500,000 – $7,500,000) will be on offer at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2018 sale in Monterey, California, in August 2018. The Ferrari was originally sold to privateer Francois Picar who had it painted French racing blue. The factory bought the car back and subsequently raced it to a first place in class at the 1955 Grand Prix of Venezuela – the only time ever that a works Ferrari raced in a color other than red. The well-documented Ferrari 500 Mondial has been in the ownership of Admiral Robert Phillips since 1960. The Ferrari was raced 35 times in period on three continents. The restored car won Best in Class and Best Ferrari at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Gooding Pebble Beach Classic Car Auction 2018
Gooding & Company, the official auctioneer of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, will have it annual Pebble Beach classic car auction on 24 and 25 August 2018. The auction is at Equestrian Center, Pebble Beach, California, USA, during the annual Monterey motor week that is held in 2018 a week later than usual to prevent a clash with a major golf tournament.
In 2017, Gooding earned $91.5 million with sell-through rate of 81% – 110 of the 135 lots on offer sold. 22 cars achieved a million dollar with two of these over $10 million. A new marque record of $14,080,000 was set by a 1970 Porsche 917K that was used in the filming of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans.
In 2016, Gooding set a company record when $129.8 million was earned by selling 115 of 138 lots (83%). 26 cars achieved over a million dollar with four selling for over $10 million.
1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II
The first high profile car announced for the Gooding Pebble Beach 2018 sale is the 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II, chassis 0556 (0446)/MD, estimate $5,500,000 – $7,500,000. Only 9 Series II spyders were built with coachwork by Scaglietti.
The 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II was campaigned in period at least 35 times and has the distinction of being the only Ferrari ever raced officially in a color other than red. This car is sold by Admiral Robert Phillips, one of the world’s definitive authorities on Ferrari Mondials, who owned the Ferrari since 1960.
French Racing Blue 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II
The story of the Admiral’s Ferrari Mondial, chassis 0556 (0446)/MD, begins with the car being delivered new to famed privateer racer François Picard. Picard requested the Scaglietti coachwork be painted a light blue, the customary national racing color of France. He then raced 0556 (0446)/MD at the 24 Heures Grand Prix de Paris at Montlhéry, France.
From there, the Ferrari was raced by Gino Munaron in several prominent Italian circuit races and hill climbs.
Works 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II in Venezuela
Gino Munaron transferred ownership of 0556 (0446)/MD back to Scuderia Ferrari in October 1955. Enzo Ferrari was offered free transportation of his racecars to the inaugural Grand Prix of Venezuela, which took place on November 6, 1955 in Proceres, Caracas.
Since the Series II Mondial was not being campaigned at the time, it was one of three cars selected by Enzo Ferrari to compete in the Grand Prix. This proved to be a great choice, as the Series II Ferraris had numerous upgrades from the original Series I cars, which included a revised four-cylinder style engine (Tipo 111) based on the 553 Grand Prix car; a new five-speed transaxle; a more complex oval-tube chassis; and a larger capacity (150 litre) fuel tank.
The Grand Prix featured six clienti Ferraris and three works Ferraris backed by the factory. The Ferrari was initially driven by Harry Schell at the Grand Prix of Venezuela, but halfway through the race he was replaced by Eugenio Castellotti, after the drivetrain in Castellotti’s Ferrari 857 failed. Castellotti dominated in 0556 (0446)/MD, and his driving prowess earned him fifth overall and first in class.
The Admiral’s Ferrari Mondial was the only Series II Mondial campaigned by the Scuderia Ferrari factory team at the Grand Prix of Venezuela and was the only time the Ferrari factory campaigned a car that was not painted in the customary red livery.
1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II Raced in North America
Shortly after the Grand Prix of Venezuela, Dominican diplomat and international playboy Porfirio Rubirosa purchased this Mondial from Scuderia Ferrari. Rubirosa campaigned the car, earning class wins at the 1955 Governor’s Trophy in Nassau and the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring before selling the car to Raymond Hassan of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hassan raced the car at various events until being sold to a traveling salesman named Robert Ready Davis of Indiana. Davis raced the car until the differential seized at Road America in 1959. Davis was transferred to Northern California and trailered 0556 (0446)/MD to a Rambler dealership in hopes of one day returning the car to a functioning racecar. After four years and 28 races in three different continents, the Ferrari was in desperate need of repair.
Admiral Philips’ 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II
In the spring of 1960, a young Naval officer named Robert Phillips went on a quest to find this Ferrari, having heard about it in passing from fellow automotive enthusiasts. Phillips went to the Rambler dealership expecting to see the prized Ferrari displayed prominently. Not finding it, he recalls that he was told by a salesperson, “I think there may be one out in the shop. Go ahead and look.” Phillips scanned the shop, seeking the treasure. Something in the corner, perched on jack stands with no wheels in sight, caught his eye. He grabbed a rag and wiped off the mud-covered valve cover to reveal the name: FERRARI.
The young officer negotiated a purchase price and convinced the auto shop manager at the Naval Air Station in Oakland, California to allow him to store and work on his newly discovered Ferrari on the base. The following nine months proved to be quite an education in Ferrari mechanics for Phillips, as he repaired the engine, transaxle, and bodywork.
Philips began racing the car at events throughout California, until the Navy transferred him to Turkey and then to New Jersey. Refusing to part with his beloved Mondial, he flew back out to Oakland and drove the car across the country to his new post in New Jersey.
About 10 years ago, the Admiral’s Mondial completed an eight-year full restoration with conservation in mind by renowned marque specialist David Carte. Admiral Phillips, now considered one of the foremost experts on four-cylinder Ferraris, had completed an enormous amount of research prior to restoration. The body was repainted in its original French Racing Blue, just as it raced at the first Grand Prix of Venezuela.
Restored 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II
Following the restoration, 0556 (0446)/MD was displayed at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® and won First in Class honors, as well as the Enzo Ferrari Trophy for the Best Ferrari on the Field. The Mondial has also gone on to win several awards at the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic Concorso d’Eleganza, which included the Scuderia Ferrari Cup for the Best of Show.
There are very few, if any, Ferraris that have been kept by the same owner for as long as Admiral Phillips has owned 0556 (0446)/MD. The chance to acquire such an exceptional Mondial, with a story that resonates with every enthusiast and collector alike, may never be repeated.
Noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini exclaims, “this French Racing Blue open sports Ferrari was raced 35 times in period and has been in the same ownership for more than 58 years. It also must be the best documented competition Ferrari ever. A new owner can go straight to Laguna Seca, the Mille Miglia or Goodwood. It doesn’t get better than this!”
David Gooding, President and Founder of Gooding & Company, states, “we are grateful and honored to be entrusted with selling Admiral Phillips’ Ferrari Mondial. This Ferrari epitomizes the highest of quality and pedigree, as well as illustrates the Admiral’s deep understanding and reverence for the marque, as he has researched every last detail of his beloved sports racer.”
2018 Monterey Week Classic Car Auctions
Bonhams Quail Lodge 2018:
- Golden Age Automobiles: 1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport, 1931 Bentley 8-Liter Saloon and 1911 Mercedes 28/60 Tourer
Gooding Pebble Beach 2018:
- 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series II: the only Ferrari factory team entry not to have raced in red!
RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2018:
- Pebble Beach Winners – 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Victoria by Dietrich & 1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood
- 1956 Maserati A6G/2000 Zagato Berlinetta
- 1968 Porsche 908 K Works Racer
- 1966 Ford GT40 – third place at Le Mans
Book Fun Tours and Adventures in the Monterey Region of California: