My Car Quest

September 24, 2021

One Man, One Car For Over 50 years…Ferrari Mondial S/N 0446MD

by Wallace Wyss – (with added info from Pete Vack) –

Yes, it’s true, what is today one of the most valuable Ferraris on earth was found languishing at a Rambler dealership (read that and weep, you car hunters who never figured a valuable sports car would be found at such a dud brand dealer).

The guy who bought it for $2,225 was a Navy professional, Robert Phillips who found his 1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Series II at a Rambler dealership in Richmond, VA in 1960 with damage to its body, engine and transmission. The dealer referred Phillips to the actual owner, Robert Ready Davis, and a deal was done. When Phillips scraped off the dirt (oh, excuse me, patina) he discovered it is chassis 0556 (0446)/MD. Only 9 Series II Mondials were built with coachwork by Scaglietti.

1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Series II

When he bought his then battered five year old used car, he wasn’t married, but he subsequently married. Now right here, before going on, I have to congratulate his wife for not forcing him to sell what a lot of wives would view as “that useless old race car.” Phillips stayed in the Navy a long time, enough to work his way up to the rank of Rear Admiral.

1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Series II

He is lucky he didn’t become a full time Ferrari mechanic, admitting to one reporter that he “lost all rational sense when he first wiped the grease from the motor head and saw the letters that spelled out FERRARI.”

According to the auction company the car was originally sold to privateer Francois Picard who had it painted French racing blue. The factory bought the car back and subsequently raced it to a first place in class at the 1955 Grand Prix of Venezuela – the only time ever that a works Ferrari raced in a color other than red.

The Ferrari was raced 35 times in period on three continents. The restored car won Best in Class and Best Ferrari at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Whoever was going to buy this car at auction was bidding on a car that was piloted by some of the greats: Gino Munaron, Harry Schell, Eugenio Castellotti, and the immortal Porfirio Rubirosa.

1955 Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Series II

It was expected to fetch between $5,500,000 to $7,500,000 at Gooding’s Monterey Auction in 2018. Admittedly it doesn’t have a V12 (a rare Ferrari four cylinder instead) but this is a works race car with a racing history…in actually sold for $5,005,000.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is portrait artist in oils, but only of cars (and thoroughbred horses). He can be reached regarding ordering prints at Malibucarart@gmail.com
 
 

 

 

Ferrari 250 MM Logo

Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Series II photos compliments of Gooding.
Summary
One Man, One Car For Over 50 years...Ferrari Mondial S/N 0446MD
Article Name
One Man, One Car For Over 50 years...Ferrari Mondial S/N 0446MD
Description
A Ferrari race car found at a Rambler dealer? Yep, that's what happened.
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Comments

  1. David Beale says

    Balanced. beautiful. Even the colour……………

  2. Robert Feldman says

    For those who have not seen it, Petrolicious has a great video on this car entitled “The Admiral’s Ferrari 500 Mondial”. You can also catch it on YouTube. Worth a look!

  3. Rex OSteen says

    I’ll swap it for my stock 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda. It has bench seats and automatic on the column…(warranty block, needs
    paint)…I can dream, can’t I?

    • SKIP HINOJOS says

      YEAH THERE WOULD ONLY BE A $3 MILLION DOLLAR DISPARITY IN THAT TRADE. ID GIVE BOTH MY TESTICLES. BUT I’M 82 YEARS OLD SO I DON[T NEED THEM ANY MORE.

  4. I saw this car in Arizona a couple yeas ago, stunning. Here are a couple detail shots.

  5. Robert Phillips says

    I found the car in Richmond, California not Virginia. Just a nit pick.

    Best regards,

    Robert

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