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For Sale at Auction: 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial in Cernobbio,

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Vehicle Description

To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Villa Erba event, 25 May 2019.
€4.250.000 - €4.750.000

  • Ferrari Classiche Certified, retains its original engine, gearbox, and bodywork
  • Raced successfully by Scuderia Parravano in California during the 1950s
  • One of only five Pinin Farina Spiders with "covered headlight" style bodywork
  • Only three long-term owners in the past 60 years
  • Extensive overhaul completed by Ferrari Classiche in April 2019
  • Highly eligible for the world's most prestigious events, including the Mille Miglia

If the 1950's was truly the golden era of sports car racing in the United States, California was at its very epicenter. On any given weekend, well-heeled enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, and hundreds of spectators would come out to watch these fascinating new sports cars go toe to toe on racetracks and airfields. Dangerous, albeit thrilling at the same time, the grid was made up of a cast of extraordinary individuals and automobiles, but some were more extraordinary than others.

Arriving in Southern California from Chicago after the war, Antonio "Tony" Parravano of Inglewood, California quickly made money as a housing developer and entrepreneur in the frozen food industry. While many reckoned a portion of his income was off the books, his choice in sports cars never disappointed. Establishing Scuderia Parravano, Tony regularly employed some of the best American drivers of the time to race a variety of Italian sports cars under his name, including Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, and Dan Gurney. It is said that he at one time owned thirteen Maseratis and eleven Ferraris!

Completed by the factory in October of 1954, chassis number 0448 MD was born as a 500 Mondial, the 12th of a total of 13 Pinin Farina Spiders built and one of only five built with the unique "covered headlight" style bodywork only available in the first series of cars. It was sold new to Parravano on November 5th, 1954. Both the 500 Mondial and Parravano quickly became well known in Californian racing circles and both consistently proved to be frontrunners and major players on the scene.

In the car's maiden outing at Willow Springs in February 1955, it placed 4th Overall and 1st in Class with Bob Drake at the wheel. Bruce Kessler was the next driver to take the helm of 0448 MD the following month in March of 1955 at Palm Springs. Kessler, who would later become famous as a team driver for the formidable Scarab race cars, was forced to retire due to a mechanical issue. 0448 MD had a similar result when raced at Santa Barbara in May of 1955 but in March of 1956, it returned to the site of its previous success at Willow Springs. Chassis number 0448 MD was driven to a 3rd place finish in both the Formula Libre race, as well as the main event by Pat O'Connor.

The car was listed for sale in Motoracing magazine by Tony Parravano in April of 1957, and appears to have been sold, shortly thereafter to a friend, Javier Valesquez in Mexico City. Curiously, later in 1957, Parravano found himself in trouble with the IRS and the Palm Springs races in April of 1957 proved to be the last Scuderia Parravano entry. Some cars still remained in his custody and were later sold in a U.S. government auction held in a North Hollywood parking lot in 1958. After skipping bail, Parravano eventually disappeared on April 8, 1960, never to be heard from again.

Valesquez was the director and organizer of the Mexican Grand Prix, and upon purchasing the car, it is noted that he removed its roll bar, yet the holes for the bodywork were not patched in and remained as-is. Despite being slightly past its prime, Valesquez entered 0448 MD to be raced by Manolo Corte in the Carrera Presidential Race held near Mexico City in November of 1962. Corte finished a respectable 4th overall on race number 4. Valesquez retained ownership of 0448 MD for the following decade, eventually selling to noted Ferrari collector Robert N. Dusek of Solebury in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in June of 1972. At this time, the car was missing its aluminum passenger seat cover, and Dusek sourced one from Charles Betz in California, which had previously been acquired by Charles Betz and Fred Peters as part of a batch of spares from Parravano.

Dusek would go on to own the car for nearly three decades, selling the car in 2000 to the previous owner where it become part of a large collection. In a recent conversation with RM Sotheby's Research & Editorial department, Dusek commented that the car was acquired in good running condition and although he used it sparingly, it proved to be a good performer in vintage racing and never sustained any damage during his ownership.

More recently, the car has returned home to Maranello, where it has been inspected by Ferrari Classiche and undergone a comprehensive cosmetic restoration as part of the process in granting red-book certification. The car was subject to a complete refurbishment of the brakes, suspension, fuel tank and radiator along with new paint, a new interior and a number of additional items were brought back to original specification. Furthermore, the car's certification binder confirms that it retains its original engine, gearbox, and bodywork, truly affirming its status as one of the finest 500 Mondials in existence.

For its next owner, the acquisition of chassis number 0448 MD would be a very exciting opportunity. Eligible for a variety of historic racing and concours events and now boasting Ferrari Classiche certification to its name, it would be a superb addition to any collection of Enzo-era Ferraris.


Certificata da Ferrari Classiche, ancora equipaggiata con motore, cambio e carrozzeria originali
Ha corso con successo in California negli anni '50, con i colori della Scuderia Parravano
Uno dei soli cinque esemplari di Pinin Farina Spider con i fari carenati
Solo tre proprietari, tutti per lungo periodo, negli ultimi 60 anni
Revisione recente completata da Ferrari Classiche
Iscrivibile agli eventi pi� prestigiosi del mondo, tra cui la Mille Miglia

Se gli anni '50 sono davvero stati l'epoca d'oro delle corse automobilistiche negli Stati Uniti, la California ne � stato, senz'altro, l'epicentro. In un qualsiasi fine settimana, ricchi appassionati drogati di adrenalina e centinaia di spettatori, si ritrovavano per vedere dal vivo queste affascinanti nuove auto sportive inseguirsi, in duelli ravvicinati, sui circuiti o sulle piste degli aeroporti. Pericoloso e, al contempo, elettrizzante. La griglia di partenza era composta da una moltitudine di individui, tutti straordinari, ma, qualcuno, era ancora pi� eccezionale degli altri.

Arrivato, dopo la guerra, nel sud della California da Chicago, Antonio "Tony" Parravano di Inglewood, in California, guadagn� rapidamente una discreta fortuna come imprenditore nel settore immobiliare e nell'industria degli alimenti surgelati. Sebbene in molti fossero convinti che una parte del suo reddito non fosse propriamente dichiarato al fisco, le sue scelte nel campo delle automobili sportive non deludevano mai. Con la creazione della Scuderia Parravano, Tony utilizzava regolarmente alcuni dei migliori piloti americani dell'epoca, tra cui Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill e Dan Gurney, facendoli gareggiare, con i suoi colori, su molte e diverse auto sportive italiane. Si dice che ad un certo punto, abbia posseduto tredici Maserati ed undici Ferrari in contemporanea!

Completata dalla fabbrica nell'ottobre del 1954, la 500 Mondial con numero di telaio 0448 MD, � stata la vettur...for more information please contact the seller.

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-1208057
  • Price:Auction Vehicle
  • Location:Cernobbio,
  • Year:1954
  • Make:Ferrari
  • Model:500 Mondial
  • Odometer:0
  • Stock Number:768298