Mike Stevens | May 19, 2009

It must be Ferrari Tuesday (perhaps we should reschedule these posts for Ferrari Friday), with Graham's piece showing what people are getting up to with the latest breed of Fezzas, but what's going on with the old school?

In the case of the famed Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa - clearly the inspiration for Speed Racer's 'Mach Five' race car - a stunning 1957 example, bearing the chassis number #0714TR and one of only 22 'pontoon-fender' models built, was recently auctioned by RM Auctions at the third annual Ferrari Leggenda e Passione for the record price of €9,020,000.

That's about $18 million in Aussie dollars.

ferrari_250_testa-rossa_02

And what record did it break? That of a 1961 250 GT California Spyder, which sold at the previous year's event for around AU$14 million.

"The historical significance of this car attracted a bidding war as collectors from around the world - both in the room and on the telephone – competed to secure one of the most alluring and iconic of all Ferrari racing cars," said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe.

ferrari_250_testa-rossa_07

The Scaglietti-designed 250 TR was built from 1957 to 1958, and despite only 22 examples being produced, a number of the topless Ferraris entered 19 international championship races from 1958 to 1961, with 10 victories coming from their efforts.

"This legendary 250 TR is one of the most exciting motor cars ever to be presented in auction history," said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe.

ferrari_250_testa-rossa_08

"The Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event, now in its third year, is firmly established as the place to sell important road and race going Ferraris, and we are delighted to present this stunning 250 TR at its Maranello birthplace," he added.

MARANELLO, Italy (May 17, 2009) – RM Auctions, in association with Sotheby's, made history at the Ferrari factory in Maranello today as a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR, chassis no. 0714TR sold for €9,020,000 at the third annual Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event to set a new world record for the most expensive motor car ever to be sold at auction.

Returning to its Maranello birthplace for its auction debut, the €9,020,000 sale price for 0714TR represents €1,980,000 more than the previous auction world record which was set at the same sale last year.

"The historical significance of this car attracted a bidding war as collectors from around the world - both in the room and on the telephone – competed to secure one of the most alluring and iconic of all Ferrari racing cars," said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe.

"The eyes of the world were watching today's sale as cars of this quality are so rarely offered to the market. The quality and the provenance of the Testa Rossa speaks for itself and the price we achieved today is testament to that. We are delighted with the result the car achieved today," he added.

The beautiful and immediately recognizable Scaglietti-designed 'pontoon-fender' 250 TR was produced from 1957 to 1958 during which only 22 examples were constructed. The Ferrari 250 TRs entered 19 international championship races from 1958 through 1961 emerging with 10 victories and earning them legendary status among discerning collectors, as well as the honor of being one of the most desirable and competitive racing Ferraris ever built. 0714TR was extensively campaigned in its day with significant finishes at the world's most important racing events including the 1000 km Buenos Aires in January 1958.

Presented by RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's, Ferrari Leggenda e Passione is the only auction of its kind dedicated to the Ferrari marque, held at the Maranello factory grounds and endorsed by the Ferrari factory.

About the car

Considered one of the most alluring, competitive and iconic of all Ferrari racing cars, the beautiful and immediately recognizable Scaglietti-designed, 'pontoon-fender' 250 TR was produced from 1957 to 1958 during which only 22 were constructed. The Ferrari 250 TRs entered 19 international championship races from 1958 through 1961 emerging with 10 victories and earning them legendary status among discerning collectors, as well as the honor of being one of the most desirable and competitive racing Ferraris ever built.

"This legendary 250 TR is one of the most exciting motor cars ever to be presented in auction history," said Max Girardo, Managing Director of RM Europe.

"The Ferrari Leggenda e Passione event, now in its third year, is firmly established as the place to sell important road and race going Ferraris, and we are delighted to present this stunning 250 TR at its Maranello birthplace," he added.

0714TR was extensively campaigned in its day with significant finishes at the world's most important racing events and is now being offered at auction for the first time. The car is resplendent in its period race-correct black livery and red nose.

In December 1957, this car was delivered to its first owner, racing driver and future coachbuilder, Piero Drogo in Modena, Italy. Drogo debuted the car as a privateer in the celebrated 1000 km Buenos Aires in January 1958 with a respectable fourth place finish competing with such legendary drivers as Phil Hill, Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips and Olivier Gendebien. Following entries in the Grand Prix of Cuba and Portugal, the car was sold by American Ferrari agent Luigi Chinetti to Texas rancher and entrepreneur Alan Connell whose competitive driving skills and affluence afforded him several wins on the 1959 North American racing circuit. 0714TR continued its prowess on the track with subsequent owners and competed in its last professional race in June 1963 at the Elkhart Lake 500.

The Ferrari 250 TR has become an enduring and exceedingly valuable classic whose soaring lines and sculptural elegance give it a sense of speed even when standing still. The legendary s/n 0714TR is by far the most campaigned of the 250TR cliente series cars with a fascinating ownership and racing history, establishing its rarified place in the collector world as one of the most beautiful and valuable Ferraris ever offered in auction history.

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