A 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport will headline the 2014 Rick Cole Auctions Monterey event, scheduled for August 14-17 during Monterey Classic Car Week. As one of the four 410 Sports originally built for the Carrera Panamericana, serial number 0592CM is being offered publicly for the first time in its 59-year history.
The auction of the 410 Sport, together with approximately 35 other cars, will be headquartered at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Monterey. All vehicle sales will be conducted utilizing complimentary registration afforded to attendees, telephone, internet or smartphone bidders. Bidding will take place during the period between August 14th and 17th. Winning bidders will be announced at 12:00 midnight PST on Sunday, August 17th. Visit RickCole.com for additional vehicle and bidding information.
410 Sport s/n 0592CM
The Ferrari 410 Sport CM (Carrera Messicana) was developed for the Carrera Panamericana in Mexico from the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 375 Plus, with an eye toward the increasing importance of the American market. The new 5.0 liter V12 would be more than a match against the Cadillac and Oldsmobile-powered specials then dominating American Sports Car racing.
The demands of the Mexican race and the difficulty of providing support over the extreme distance of 2,096 miles (3,373 km) meant that the 410 Sport would need to be both more powerful and better suited to the crude Mexican road system than the earlier 375 Plus. An all-new Tipo 519C chassis was created for the 410 Sport, based on the elliptical tube frame of the 375 Plus, but lowering the center of gravity, widening the track and moving the engine further back in the chassis. The engine would be the F1-proven, 60-degree long-block Lampredi V-12 with bore and stroke increased to 4,962 cc. This resulted in the now revered 380 hp 4.9-liter Tipo 126 V-12. Power was delivered to the rear axle through a 5-speed transaxle.
The 95.3-inch (2,420 mm) chassis utilized independent front suspension with unequal-length wishbones, coil springs and lever action shock absorbers. The de Dion rear suspension put the power to the ground and was held in place thanks to twin radius arms and a transverse leaf spring. The riveted aluminum fuel tank held 51 gallons (195 liters) and would easily provide for the long distances between stops in the Carrera Panamericana. Large vented alloy Grand Prix drum brakes hauled it down from blistering high speeds which in that era were unparalleled.
Two chassis were built to these specifications. Only one however, s/n 0592, was bodied in the two-seat spider configuration of the 410 Sport. The second chassis was bodied by Scaglietti as a closed Berlinetta delivered to Ferrari SEFAC director Michel Paul-Cavallier in July 1955 for road use.
Development of the 410 Sport spider was halted by two significant events – the terrible crash during the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the increasing number of casualties in the Carrera Panamericana – both of which contributed to the cancellation of the 1955 Carrera Panamericana race. Much to the regret of Enzo Ferrari, 410 Sport s/n 0592 never competed in the event it was purpose-built to dominate. Instead, this prototype 410 Sport was sold to Tony Parravano in California.
Parravano was a Southern California developer whose wealth came from building housing tracts for the new Californians pouring into the region after WWII. Parravano owned and entered a number of early Ferraris in West Coast sports car races. Having 0592 now placed him in direct competition and an intense rivalry with another early Ferrari patron, John Edgar. Both men amassed scores of significant Ferraris and hired only the top drivers of the day to race their cars.
Ferrari 410 Sport CM s/n 0592 was delivered new to Parravano in Los Angeles. Race records show that s/n 0592 was raced for the very first time — and finished 1st overall — at the February Palm Springs road races driven by Carroll Shelby. For reasons not known, s/n 0592 was not raced again until 1957, when it competed in two races at New Smyrna, Florida driven by Eric Hauser and Bart Spiegelman.
At this point, the early history of s/n 0592 became even more interesting. Tony Parravano’s problems were mounting with the dreaded Internal Revenue Service. So Parravano fled California for Mexico in 1957, taking a number of automobiles with him, including his 410 Sport.
Ferrari historian Michael Lynch told of this chapter in 0592’s history in entertaining detail in Cavallino 147 in 2005. The now restored car, then in the long-term ownership of American Ferrari collector Robert Dusek, was also featured on the magazine’s cover.
The cars that Parravano smuggled into Mexico were stored in a warehouse in Ensenada. Parravano would ultimately disappear in Mexico in 1960 and was never seen again. According to Michael Lynch, Pavarrano’s family later settled with the IRS and the cars stored in Mexico were sold.
The next reference to s/n 0592 was in November 1964 when the 410 Sport s/n 0592 competed in the 550-mile “Costa a Costa” race across Mexico, driven by Juan Buchanan. Pennsylvania native and Ferrari collector Robert Dusek would read an account of that race, which included a picture of s/n 0592, in the February 1965 issue of Road & Track. Robert Dusek’s activities as a Ferrari collector would eventually lead him to that same car. In 1970, s/n 0592 having been located by Javier Velasquez, one of the organizers of the Mexican GP, was finally acquired by the persevering Robert Dusek.
Dusek successfully returned s/n 0592 to the U.S. in June 1971. The history of the 410 Sport Carrera Messicana prototype was researched before a restoration was completed. Complete in every respect and accident free from birth, the 5-liter was again painted in Rosso Corsa with a blue-over-white stripe — just as it was when the car raced in the United States for Scuderia Parravano.
This Ferrari would remain in the Pennsylvania collection of Robert Dusek for nearly forty years. Among the highlights during Mr. Dusek’s conservation, the 410 Sport prototype was featured in the 1998 Historic Ferrari Challenge and the 2000 Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge at Elkhart Lake.
A transfer of ownership — only the second fully recorded after 1955 — took place in 2008, when s/n 0592 returned to Europe into a private collection. It had remained there until recently, not having driven a single mile since that acquisition. This significant Ferrari race car, which just finished a complete inspection at the Ferrari factory, would represent a cornerstone automobile in any collection.
Bidders participating in the 2014 Rick Cole Monterey Auction will be given the option to place bids in person on the auction site or by smartphone. Complimentary bidder registration is now available in advance of the auction on the web at RickCole.com or similarly by smartphone, iPad or tablet.
In order to enjoy all of the activities of the Monterey week, bidders will be able to place, review and confirm bids from anywhere they are, eliminating the need entirely to sit or stand for hours in a typical live auction venue. Bidders will be able to inspect the automobiles over a four-day display period and place bids regardless of their location or movements.
The auction will be held at the Monterey Marriott hotel in downtown Monterey, California. The auction begins Thursday, August 14, 2014 and bidding will end at 12:00 pm Sunday August 17, 2014.
[Source: Rick Cole Auctions; photos: Dave Wendt]