This 1954 500 Mondial Spider Is An Extremely Rare Piece Of Ferrari Racing History With Its Own Illustrious Past
The 1950s signaled an era of big changes at Ferrari, inspired by the successes of the small and nimble four-cylinder competition, it introduced its own Aurelio Lampredi-designed four-cylinder series of race cars. Of these the 2.0-liter 500 Mondial models became some of the most successful on track, and the handful that survive are highly prized. This particular 1954 500 Mondial Spider is one of only 13 Pininfarina Spiders built and features the covered headlights bodywork style that was applied to only five of these race cars.
Chassis number 0448 MD was originally sold in November 1954 to Antonio “Tony” Parravano of Inglewood, California. A man of considerable if slightly dubious means, he established Scuderia Parravano and, in the hands of professional racing drivers like Bruce Kessler, Bob Drake and Pat O’Connor, successfully campaigned the Mondial Spider at numerous events around California. Parravano sold the car on to a friend in early 1957 and after getting into trouble with the IRS he skipped bail in 1960 and disappeared from the racing scene and quite possibly California altogether.
Most of his remaining fleet of cars were auctioned off by the US government. The Mondial Spider, by then owned by Javier Valesquez of Mexico City, competed in a few more races right into the early 1960s. It then changed owners a few more times over the intervening decades and the car’s more recent racing excursions have been at various vintage events. It is said to be in good running condition and comes with Ferrari Classiche certification, which confirms that 0448 MD retains its original engine, gearbox and bodywork. Being eligible for a variety of historic racing and concours events further increases its appeal and interested parties should head on over to RM Sotheby’s site for more information on their upcoming Villa Erba auction, to be held on 25 May on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
Images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s