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Unique 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa at Gooding

The star at the Gooding and Company in Scottsdale, Arizona on 20 and 21 January, 2012 auction this year will no doubt be this rare and unique 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa.


The gist is when a car as exceptional as this one comes up for sale, the collector world becomes abuzz. This unique 1956 is not only the first one to use the legendary “Testa Rossa” name, but was also one of the most raced in the U.S. and well known amongst collectors. Driven by, Pete Lovely, Bruce Kessler, John von Neumann, amongst a few, the Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa has been seen racing on some of the country’s most prestigious and gruesome racetracks, Pomona, Lime Rock, Riverside, Paramount, Palm Springs and Laguna Seca. Ah, the good old days!

What’s So Important About The Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa? Glad you should ask. The historical value of the 500 Testa Rossa is of great importance. In 1955, Ferrari was competing with the stunning and amazing Maserati new two-liter A6GCS that was dominating everything in this category. Maserati had moved away from big engines to smaller 4 cylinder that could run longer on less fuels than the traditional V12 and V8. The then 500 Mondial could not keep up Maserati’s pace. The 500 Testa Rossa used the same Mondial Lampedri 1984cc 4 cylinder with dual overhead cams but with redesigned heads it now produced 180 horsepower at 7000 rpm. It also left the traditional transaxle and de Dion rear suspension. Ferrari chose to mount the transmission on the engine with a live rear axle located by parallel trailing arms and suspended by coil springs. Some Testa Rossas were powered by a 2498cc versions capable of producing 190 horsepower at 7400 RPM.

From The Grapevine. By now your curiosity should be picked and any car aficionado will want to know… how much? The rumored prices are in between $2.1 - $2.6 million for this well known car. OK, not your garden variety Ferrari but you would get a full blown collector’s item, well raced and well known in the collector community, as well as open invitation to any collector rallies and races.

Can’t afford it? We hear you. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to acquire your dream Ferrari. How about a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 expected to reach $1,300,000 - $1,600,000? A little too much? Then, how about a 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast for about $950,000 - $1,250,000? Still too much? You drive a hard bargain, so you how about a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona estimated at $370,000 - $420,000, in the more affordable range.

My personal favorites are and will always be a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Cabriolet, estimated between $350,000 to 450,000 and the 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Drop Head Coupe estimated between $750,000 to 850,000. My wallet says otherwise though…