Acquiring an automobile that has been driven by big-name drivers like Juan Manuel Fangio is a source of pride for any serious collector. Fangio, who won the Formula One World Championship five times, has driven a number of brands, including Ferrari.
Now, those who are looking for a car that links Fangio and the automobile maker can head over to RM Sotheby’s “Driven By Disruption” sale event which will take place on December 10 in New York City. There, they can find a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM.
Bearing the chassis number 0626, the Ferrari 290 MM will be auctioned to the public during the event. If you’re particular about a car’s history, you’ll be delighted to know that the model was once driven to races by several of Ferrari’s F1 drivers including Fangio himself.
Other names that have sat in the cockpit of the 290 MM include Phil Hill, another World Champion following in the steps of the five-time F1 champion Juan Manual Fangio. However, the fact that will definitely draw car collectors to Chassis 0626 is the fact that this was custom-made for Fangio himself.
Fangio took to the 1956 Mille Miglia with Chassis 0626. Despite the difficult conditions of the race, Fangio outdid himself and other races by finishing fourth in what was seen as a killer competition held in appalling weather conditions.
As it is custom-made for Fangio, Chassis 0626 bears the distinctive Argentinian color scheme that the racer was known for. However, inside the hood, is a brand-new V-12 3.5 liter engine. Chassis 0626 is just one out of the four units produced under the limited edition model.
The Ferrari 290 MM also retained its original chassis, matching-numbers engine, gearbox and body assembly. Aside from Hill and Fangio, Chassis 0626 also saw action in the hands of other remarkable racers like Eugenio Castellotti, Luigi Musso, and Masten Gregory.
All three piloted the 290 MM during the 1957 1000 KM race in Buenos Aires. Gregory also piloted Chassis 0626 in the Portugal Grand Pix in June 1957. Other names to have handled Chassis 0626 from April 1956 to June 1957 include Alfonso de Portago, Peter Collins, Olivier Gendebien, and Joakim Bonnier.
After June 1957, Chassis 0626 was transferred first to enthusiast Temple Buell, and then to a Ferrari team, whose two owners continued racing it until 1964. After being retired, Chassis 0626 first went to the private collection of Pierre Bardinon.
It remains under Mr. Bardinon’s custody for 34 years. While it was piloted by renowned Ferrari drivers during its racing days, Chassis 0626 became a centerpiece of different car shows while it stayed with Bardinon’s Mas du Clos Collection.
It appeared, for example, in the “Hommage to Ferrari” showcase in 1987, hosted by Cartier. It also traveled to the United Kingdom as well for the Concours of Elegance, and then it returned to Mille Miglia Storica.
The lucky bidder who wins the auction for Chassis 0626 will get, in addition to Chassis 0626, an extensive history file. Chassis 0626 also remains eligible for milestone events, which include the 60th anniversary of Fangio’s racing of the car at the Mille Miglia race in 2016.
Peter Wallman, a car specialist at RM Sotheby’s, described Chassis 0626 as one of the most valuable classic automobiles to be put up on auction. He cited Enzo Ferrari’s involvement in the design and manufacturing of the car, and Fangio’s piloting of the extraordinary Ferrari racing car in the 1000 KM event in 1956. He also noted Chassis 0626’s valuable role in the history of the Italian car manufacturer.
Aside from Chassis 0626, RM Sotheby’s will also be auctioning another Ferrari race car during the New York event. The second car will be a 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial, which competed in the period just before the 290 MM chassis 0626 debuted with Juan Miguel Fangio at the helm. This particular Mondial bears chassis number 0564MD/0424MD.
Chassis 0564MD/0424MD first raced successfully at the 12 heures de Hyères in May 1955, shortly after it was purchased by Yves Dupont in the same year. Its last race under the ownership of Mr. Dupont was at the Liège-Rome-Liège race.
After 1955, Mr. Dupont left chassis 0564MD/0424MD at the Ferrari factory but he never returned to reclaim the 500 Mondial. For 20 years, it resided at the Monza Museum. For this, it replaced the original French Blue finish on the 0564MD/0424MD with a layer of red.
It was eventually purchased by Jean-Francois du Montant in 1975. From 1975 until 2008, 0564MD/0424MD was owned by various car enthusiasts. It was also in 2008 that the removal of the red paint was undertaken at the request of the person who owned 0564MD/0424MD at the time.
It took a body shop in Padova until 2011 to finally peel off the museum paint and reveal the original French Blu paint that 0564MD/0424MD had when it was raced during Mr. Dupont’s ownership. The car continues to carry the original paint until today.
It has also been refurbished with a brand new ampredi four-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts. With this new engine, 0564MD/0424MD once again made an appearance at the race track. Among its notable appearances are the recent Mille Miglia Storica and Salon Prive.
It carries a Ferrari Classiche certificate and remains eligible to join historic events, and is expected to be auctioned between $5 million to $7 million. The Driven by Disruption auction will take place at Sotheby’s Manhattan headquarters in New York.
In addition to the 290 MM chassis 0626 and Mondial 500 0564MD/0424MD, it will also put up for sale 28 other pioneering motor cars. All of the cars that will be put up for auction have been carefully selected by the auction house’s car specialists.
All have important roles in the history of motoring, and all are the products of groundbreaking innovations by various brand engineers and designers. Scheduled for December 10, it will be preceded by a six-day exhibition which begins on December 5. It will take place on the 10th floor of Sotheby’s Manhattan.