Pioneering Ferrari headed to Mecum Monterey

Ferrari 0432M front 3/4

An important piece of Ferrari’s racing and production car history is set to cross the auction block at Mecum’s Monterey sale next week. The open-top 1954/1959 Ferrari 0432M has an interesting history and an even more important role, as it marks an evolution of Ferrari’s long-running and much-loved Colombo V-12 engine.

Originally completed as a 1954 Ferrari 250 Monza PF Spyder, and powered by the prototype for 3.0-liter Colombo V-12, this car was driven to victory at the 12 Hours of Hyères by Maurice Trintignant and owner Luigi Piotti. That was the first win for Ferrari’s 3.0-liter Colombo V-12, which was used in many of Ferrari’s most illustrious grand touring and race cars, including the 250 GTO and 250 Testa Rossa.

After competing in several more races and posting a win and two additional podium finishes, a new body was commissioned from Carrozzeria Scaglietti in 1957. With its new body, the car was shipped to America and sold to Ferrari's U.S. distributor Luigi Chinetti, who had it painted in the livery of the North American Racing Team (white with a blue stripe) as a 1959 model.

We asked Ferrari aficionado Rick Carey about the car, and he mentioned the Ferrari’s second-place finish at the 2014 the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, noting that it “is one of the first Ferraris to wear Scaglietti's signature pontoon fender design.” Given the car’s racing pedigree and claim to unique bodywork, it could command a hefty price. RM Sotheby’s sold the car to its previous owner for $2,970,000 at Monterey in 1999. Carey says one of its sister cars, 0442M, sold for $1,705,000 at Monterey in 2002 despite “needing abundant work and without the benefit of the pontoon fender coachwork.”

Mecum has not given an estimate, but the car will carry a reserve, so there’s no telling if it will sell or not. Regardless, this significant piece of Ferrari’s storied racing legacy will definitely be a talking point at Monterey.