RM Sotheby’s is offering a wide selection of historic Ferraris at its forthcoming sale in Monterey.

‘Lost & Found: The Ultimate ‘Barn Find’ Collection of Blue‑Chip Ferraris’ is being offered entirely without reserve, the auction house said.

The vehicle pictured was used in racing and was initially owned by one of Italy’s better-known Scuderia principals.

“This long-secluded 500 Mondial has the history to warrant a thoughtful restoration. Chassis number 0406 MD is sequentially just the second Mondial built, and one of 13 first-series examples originally bodied as Pinin Farina spiders,” the auction house said, adding: “According to the research of marque expert Marcel Massini, and as confirmed by copies of factory build sheets, this Ferrari was assembled during March 1954 and finished in Rosso Corsa paint over a Similpelle Beige vinyl interior. The following month the car was sold by Enzo Ferrari to Franco Cornacchia, the Milan-based sports car dealer who also helmed the Scuderia Guastalla, one of the region’s most significant privateer racing teams.”

In April 1954 the Ferrari was piloted by former factory driver Franco Cortese and co-driver Perruchini at the Coppa della Toscana, finishing 19th overall and 2nd in class. It is interesting to note that Cortese is listed as the owner on the factory build sheets, and his name appears several times in the engineering notes, prompting speculation that the car was purchased by Cornacchia specifically for Cortese’s use.

Cortese was a particularly significant driver for Ferrari during its earliest years, boasting the distinction of piloting the first Ferrari built to the marque’s first overall victory. His win at the 1947 Rome Grand Prix in the new 125 S was an early indication of Maranello’s engineering mettle, and he managed to achieve three more wins during 1947 before easing out of the Ferrari stable by mid-1949.

In May 1954, Cortese and Perruchini drove the Mondial to a 4th in class and 14th overall finish at the Mille Miglia, after which the car was rebodied by Scaglietti. Cortese returned to action in late June, finishing 8th in the Golden Shell race at the Imola Grand Prix.
The RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale is from August 17-19.

PHOTO: 954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series I by Pinin Farina. Darin Schnabel ©2023 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN FULL: https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo23/monterey/lots/r0058-1954-ferrari-500-mondial-spider-series-i-by-pinin-farina/1358217