On August 20th and 21st, 2011, one of the most legendary Ferraris of all time will go down to the auction block for the very first time. The auction will be hosted by Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance. This particular Ferrari, a 1957 250 Testa Rossa, is expected to draw record numbers, solely because of its stature in the history of the Prancing Horse.
We know plenty about rare Ferraris fetching insane bids in past auctions, but this one is expected to trump all other models in the past. Over the past few years, Ferraris have posted record-breaking bids, including a 1961 Ferrari California Spyder that went for over $10 million back in 2008 and a 1958 Ferrari 250 TR that was scooped for a record $12.4 million a year later in 2009.
UPDATE 08/21/11: The numbers are in and just like we anticipated, this rare 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype attracted the heavyweight bidders at the Gooding & Company auction at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance. We all expected it to sell higher than the $12.4 million price tag of another 250 Testa Rossa sold for two years ago and now we have the official price of the winning bid: $16.4 million.
Find out more about the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype after the jump.
This 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa ’Chassis 0666 TR’ is considered the very first prototype and testing vehicle of what would eventually become Ferrari’s own Testa Rossa line. The car was first assembled in 1957 with the classic V12 engine, the de Dion rear axle, and a right-hand drive layout. As a prototype, the 0666 likewise participated in a number of racing events, including the Nurburgring, Le Mans, and Sebring. It didn’t quite have a track record of success - it was a test vehicle, after all - but it accomplished its mission as the very prototype that allowed Ferrari to develop the later models of the Testa Rossa as well as other racing cars in its history.
According to Butch Dennison, the owner of Dession International and where the 0666 has been for nearly ten years, this particular model is different from just about any other 250 Testa Rossas of its time.
For starters, everything about the car is completely unique. The back of the chassis was derived from a Ferrari 290 whereas the front half comes a new design. It also carries what, at that time, were considered ground-breaking innovations including the pontoon fenders. More to its uniqueness, it also had seats tailored in canvas instead of corduroy, as well as a small air vent just aft of the engine cover.
What makes this prototype all the more special is the fact that it still has its original 3.0-liter V12 engine and comes with another spare engine, as well as other competition spare parts.
Dennison made sure that the 0666 would come to Pebble Beach in perfectly restored condition, having done the meticulous and laborious work of bringing it back to its 1958 Le Mans configuration by installing the original engine, correcting the bodywork, and bringing back to life its original racing livery.
The difficult task of restoring a car as unique as this was made more complicated by the fact that it’s a complete one-off that needed hours of seemingly endless research that consisted of leafing through hundreds of photos with a magnifying just to make sure that all the of the car’s pertinent details were covered.
In the end, the car came together like none other of its kind, so much so, in fact, that David Gooding, the president of Gooding & Company, has called it the ’quintessential Ferrari’. Even Ferrari Classiche, the Italian automaker’s official certifier of authenticity, gave its stamp of approval on the car.
How Much Did It Sell?
This rare Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype sol for $16.4 million, which is four million more than what a ’standard’ 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa fetched in an auction in Monterey two years ago. The higher bid price of the prototype model owes itself to the fact that it’s more than just any other classic race car; it’s literally one of the most significant and legendary Ferrari vehicles of all time. You read that right: ALL TIME.
It’s got history written all over it
One of the most iconic Ferraris ever
It’s a Ferrari!
Prepare to dig deep in your pockets
You’ll have stiff competition from other interested buyers