From Ashes To Auction: The Rs 15 Crore Ferrari Story

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From Ashes To Auction: The Rs 15 Crore Ferrari Story

Ferrari 500 Mondial

Ferrari is not just a luxury brand of cars but also a symbol of prestige and owning one would mean that you are in the top tier of racing car connoisseurs. Owning a perfectly immaculate Ferrari vs purchasing a scorched one at an auction does raise many eyebrows.

Ferrari 500 Mondial Spider Series (1954) fetched a whooping Rs.15 crore or $1,875,000 at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction. However, the value is still approximate, as the purchaser might need to invest even more to restore the car to its former glory, potentially costing double the purchase amount.

Why would a scorched Ferrari get sold for approx. Rs.15 crore at an auction? Let us find out all about it. 

Ferrari 500 Mondial Facts

  • Crafted by Italian design firm Pinin Farina.
  • The first ever owner of the famed car was Franco Cortese who purchased it in year 1954.
  • He became the first ever Ferrari race car driver to successfully drive it to victory.
  • 500 Mondial was built to commemorate Alberto Ascari's winning streak at FIA Formula One World Drivers' Championships in 1952-1953.
  • It was powered by a 2.0 Liter four-cylinder engine derived from their 500 Formula 2 car.
  • The digits '500' represent the displacement of each individual cylinder, which is 500cc.
  • It became a part of the four-cylinder car race (customer race) organized in Italy in 1950’s prior to landing in US in 1958.
  • What’s special about 500 Mondial is that there are only 13 of these ever manufactured.  

The unfortunate incident that scorched 500 Mondial Ferrari

The fateful incident, or more accurately, the accident, occurred in 1960 when the 500 Mondial caught fire during a racing event.

The damage was so severe that all its wheels and some vital parts were scorched, rendering the car completely immobile and reducing it to mere scrap.

It sat abandoned in a scrapyard until 1978 when Ferrari collector Walter Medlin discovered it. It only caught the public's attention when Hurricane Charlie tore down the shed housing it, along with 19 other damaged Ferraris, in 2004.

These 20 Ferrari were featured in the ‘Lost and Found collection’ and later auctioned during the Monterey Car Week.

Why is it worth Rs.15 Crore?

Certainly, the 500 Mondial is one of a kind, but what further elevates its value is the fact that, despite the crash and burn incident, it still retains several of its valuable parts.

The original chassis plate, gearbox, rear axle corners, and its 3.0-liter Tipo 119 Lampredi inline-four engine have miraculously remained intact, showcasing its resilience to fire.

In another development, the current owner plans to restore the car, making it race-ready once again. However, the restoration's cost might be as significant as the purchase price itself!