Ferrari 500 Mondial Berlinetta

The fifties made Ferrari. The first year of the decade saw Ferrari beating Alfa Romeo for the first time when Froilan Gonzalez won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ferrari had seen the success that Stirling Moss was having with the four-cylinder ALTA-powered HWMs, and when it was announced that the 1952 World Championship would be run under Formula 2 regulations, priority was given to the development of the Aurelio Lampredi-designed four-cylinder engine. Alberto Ascari took Ferrari’s first World Driver’s Championship, winning six of the eight races driving the Type 500. It was an important year in the Scuderia’s history. Not only did they take their first World Championship, but the year also marked the first collaboration between Ferrari and Pinin Farina.

Ascari won the championship again in 1953, and Marzotto, Farina and Ascari won the World Constructors’ Championship for Sports Cars – a feat that they would repeat in 1954 with drivers Farina, Maglioli, Gonzales, Trintignant and Hawthorn, racing 375 MMs and 750 Monzas backed up by the 500 Mondials in the two-liter class.

At the same time that the three-liter Monza was being developed, work had begun on the two-liter Type 500 Mondial, named to commemorate Ferrari’s back-to-back championships with Ascari. The 500 Mondial made its race debut in the 12 Hours of Casablanca in 1953, finishing second behind the 4.5-liter 375 MM. The 500 Mondial would go on to take second place and a class win in the 1954 Mille Miglia with Vittorio Marzotto at the wheel.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

170 bhp at 7,000 rpm, 1,984 cc double overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine, two Weber 50 DCO3 carburetors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent double wishbones and transverse leaf spring front suspension, De Dion rear axle with transverse leaf springs and Houdaille hydraulic shock absorbers, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88.6".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tim Scott/Fluid

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