A Ferrari that linked James Dean, Porfirio Rubirosa, John Von Neumann and Phil Hill is going under the auctioneers gavel on 17th January 2019.
Fast, furious and a pedigree stronger than Crufts, the photogenic Italian race-car will be the star of Bonhams Scottsdale Auction.
The 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider that was owned, raced and/or admired by four figures central to popular culture, motoring history and California heritage will be featured at the January 17th collectors’ car auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Most recognised – indeed immortalised – in photographs with an admiring James Dean, the Italian sports-racer has the fingerprints of a host of iconic personalities.
When new, the Mondial was owned by one of the world’s greatest playboys of all time, Dominican Republic diplomat and professional bon vivant Porfirio Rubirosa. Accompanied by his then paramour Zsa Zsa Gabor, Rubirosa raced the new Spider in Santa Barbara where the couple was extensively photographed.
Shortly thereafter, it was bought by John von Neumann, the man who introduced Porsche and Volkswagen to California and sold sportscars to the stars through his dealership Competition Motors. Once again at the Santa Barbara road races, an admiring James Dean (who had taken his Porsche Speedster) was shown the car and, too, was extensively photographed.
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While under Neumann’s ownership, the Ferrari was also raced at Palm Springs and then at Torrey Pines by a young driver by the name of Phil Hill – the man who would become a legend of motorsport.
Even without its glamorous history, this is a very special automobile. One of only 12 made, the rare competition Ferrari was restored by the ‘men with the golden hands‘ at Ferrari’s in-house Classiche department in Modena and then, as testament to its quality and history, received 1st in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Platinum Award for Best Restored Ferrari from the Ferrari Club of America, and the Phil Hill Trophy for Best Competition Ferrari by the Ferrari Club of America – an extremely prestigious trio of accolades to say the least.
Associated with such illustrious personalities, this Ferrari Mondial Spider is a very special and highly significant piece of California car and pop culture (click here to see video). The Ferrari Classiche Red Book-certified, highly original, extensively photographed and raced-in-period automobile will be offered alongside an astounding line-up next month.
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Images courtesy Bonhams.