Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa – Car Profile Page Four
Having garnered innumerable accolades from leading Ferrari experts, Pebble Beach judges, journalists, pundits and enthusiasts alike, 0666 TR’s grand tour culminated in an appearance on the cover of Cavallino magazine (Issue 170) in 2009.
Beyond its warm reception on the concours circuit, the Testa Rossa has remained active in vintage racing, participating in the Coronado Speed Festival, the Northwest Historic Races and the Rolex Monterey Historics. Those interested in campaigning 0666 TR should note that the sale is accompanied by a collection of racing components that includes four wheels and tires, a differential, ring and pinion, drive gears and a racing fuel cell, as well as a complete, spare race engine that is reported to produce over 300 hp.
When the Ferrari Classiche department was established, the current owner seized the opportunity to have this historic car inspected and evaluated by its maker. As a testament to the reputation of both caretaker and car, members of the Classiche department traveled from Italy to the owner’s facility where they performed a meticulous, detailed inspection of the prototype Testa Rossa.
In December 2008, after all necessary information was gathered and analyzed, the Certificate of Authenticity was issued for the Testa Rossa prototype, confirming that the chassis, body and engine are all original to 0666 TR. To date, the Ferrari Classiche program has certified just one pontoon-fender 250 Testa Rossa team car, 0666 TR.
Further attesting to the Testa Rossa’s rich heritage is a remarkable collection of archival material. Nearly every major outing has been captured in photographs, and the books that feature this Testa Rossa are simply too numerous to count. Offered with the sale are both sets of original build sheets, the first attesting to its service as a Scuderia Ferrari team car and the second, printed in purple ink, marking its sale to Luigi Chinetti in 1958. Finally, noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini has produced a detailed history report of this car tracing its remarkable journey since its inception.
As the original prototype for the 250 Testa Rossa, 0666 TR will always carry a special significance, having served as the original test bed for one of the greatest series of sports racing cars. While earlier Ferrari models found their niche, it was the profound success of the 250 TR that cemented the firm’s reputation as the ultimate manufacturer of racing machines, doing so during one of the great eras in the history of motor sport. Today, a Testa Rossa is immediately recognizable to anyone with even a passing interest in automobiles.
Not only were the Testa Rossas hugely successful in competition, the early pontoon-fender versions are widely considered to be the most beautiful, radically styled automobiles ever to race. It is no wonder that Sergio Scaglietti considered the design to be his finest work for Ferrari. In their combination of aesthetic brilliance and technical superiority, these exceptional Ferraris epitomize the glory and bravado found in the greatest Italian sports cars.
Given their hand-built nature and varied applications, no two examples are the same, each bearing its own character and unique details. Without a doubt, 0666 TR is one of, if not the most attractive of this exclusive group. Its sinuous lines, voluptuous forms, large front grille and seductive details stand out as being especially refined and elegant when compared to its brethren.
During its spectacular eight-year career, 0666 TR accomplished everything Ferrari set out to achieve with the Testa Rossa program. Not only is it the only 250 TR to capture podium finishes in 1957 and 1958 – years in which Ferrari won the World Sportscar Championship – but the prototype also continued to race in international events for three years and dominated its class in West Coast SCCA events.
Throughout that period, this Ferrari was raced by some of the greatest drivers of the post-war era: Gregory, Von Trips, Gendebien, Seidel, Gurney, Musso, Hill, Kessler and Carveth. As a factory-team car, NART entrant and privateer, it left its mark on three continents, competing at Nürburgring, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Targa Florio, Sebring, Laguna Seca and Le Mans.
With its prototype status, exquisite beauty, proud race record and uncommon authenticity, 0666 TR must be considered one of the great Ferrari sports racing cars, and thus, one of the finest competition cars of the post-war era.
Since 1970, just two caretakers have had the immense privilege of owning this magnificent Ferrari – the fortunate new owner will be acquiring an exceptionally rare prize.
This 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype, chassis number 0666TR, sold for $16,390,000 at the 2012 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach sale, held August 20-21 in Pebble Beach, California. The price represented a world record for an automobile sold at public auction.
Auction Editor Rick Carey reported on 0666TR:
Lot # 18 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Sports Racer, Body by Scaglietti; S/N 0666TR; Engine # 0666TR; Red; White, Blue stripes/Beige cloth; Estimate $13,000,000 -; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $14,900,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $16,390,000 — Silver painted Borrani wire wheels. The first 250 TR. Raced by Ferrari in the 1000km of the Nürburgring, the Swedish GP, then rebodied in the current pontoon fender style and shipped to Venezuela for the Caracas GP where Von Trips and Seidel finished 3rd. It was 2nd in Buenos Aires with Von Trips, Gendebien and Musso, then a dnf after being crashed by Seidel in the Targa Florio. Raced at Le Mans for NART by Gurney and Bruce Kessler where it crashed and burned. Rebodied again it was sold to Rod Carveth and raced at Sebring and Le Mans. Later burned again in an insurance scam. Freshly restored in 2008 by Dennison International, Ferrari Classiche certified. Excellent paint and interior. Restored like new with some road grime from use and less than assiduous pre-sale detailing. The highest price ever paid for a collector car at auction accompanied by unusual auction theater as Gooding’s Jakob Greisen represented a bidder standing outside the tent hidden from view. Reserve was met at $12 million, but the bidding went on between “the man behind the curtain” and a phone bidder in $100K bumps. This result is patently huge, nearly 25% over the reserve, which itself would have been a generous price for a car, even a race car, with 0666 TR’s history of crashes, fires, repairs, rebodies, no significant wins and only two significant finishes. Do not expect to see this combination of exuberance recur any time soon.
[Source: Gooding & Company; photos: ©2011 Pawel Litwinski]