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Sotheby’s at Ferrari

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ferrariSotheby’s has announced that on Monday, May 23, 2005, it will hold a landmark sale of cars and related memorabilia at Ferrari’s legendary premises in Maranello, Italy. The sale will be held at 6pm in the Ferrari Logistics Building – birthplace of some of the greatest racing and sports cars ever produced – adjacent to the famous Fiorano test track near Modena. The first ever auction of such material to be supported by Ferrari, May’s sale will include items ranging from historic memorabilia to some of the most important cars ever produced under the aegis of Enzo Ferrari and his successors – from historic racing cars to some of the finest, fastest modern sports cars ever to have graced the road and track, including the F2004 driven by Michael Schumacher in the first five Grand Prix races of 2004, all of which he won.

Every car will be vetted by a Ferrari engineer, and a number of items in the sale will be offered direct from the company’s own holdings. The Ferrari research and test centre at Maranello is one of the holy sites of the motor racing world, and access is normally strictly limited. Those attending the sale will, however, have a unique opportunity to follow in the tyre tracks of champions and visit the famous centre.

The Man and the Marque

Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898, in Modena. He was taken by his father to a race at the age of 10 and there began his lifelong passion for racing and fast cars. Orphaned at the age of 18, he made a living as a test driver and journalist, and soon came to work for the famous Alfa Romeo company. There he quickly rose through the ranks to become head of the Alfa motor racing division, designing and driving many of the most successful cars of the 1920s.

In 1929, Ferrari formed the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena. In the beginning, the Scuderia was essentially a “club” for people who liked to race, organising racing outings and events for its members. From these informal beginnings, however, the Scuderia quickly developed – first into an official team, racing both cars (mainly Alfas) and motorbikes, and ultimately into the engineering-racing division of Alfa Romeo.

Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo in 1939, and although he was under contract not to use his own name in connection with racing for five years after that, he rapidly began work on developing cars and engines to compete with his former employers. The demands of the war meant that progress was slow, but in 1947 the first independently-produced Ferrari finally emerged from Enzo’s workshop. Although the engine was only 1500cc in capacity, it was an ambitious 12 cylinder design – an engine layout which was to define the future engineering history of the marque.

From the earliest days of the Ferrari company, its cars have proudly borne the distinctive emblem of the Prancing Horse – a symbol which originates from Enzo’s own successes as a racing driver. Following his victory in an important race in 1923, he met the illustrious Contessa Baracca who, enchanted by his racing prowess, suggested he adopt her prancing horse symbol as a good luck charm on his cars. The Prancing Horse remains at the forefront of racing achievement to this very day, having graced some of the most distinguished cars in history – most notably, perhaps, those driven by the current and seven-times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher.

Highlights of the Sale

The sale will be highlighted by the F2004 (chassis number 234), in which Schumacher won the Australian, Malaysian, Bahrain, Imola and Spanish races. The car represents a further evolution of the concepts already seen in the F2003-GA and a further step forward in the history of Ferrari single-seaters. When the F2004 appears at auction next May, it will be the first time that Ferrari has offered a Formula 1 car from the past season. Estimate on request.

At the other end of the spectrum the sale will feature historic racing cars from many important moments in the history of motor sport: ScuderiaFerrari team cars and classic Maserati.

Founded by the legendary Maserati brothers in 1914 in Bologna, today Maserati is one of the world’s most fascinating automobile companies. From the outset, the House of the Trident created innovative and winning vehicles, causing a stir in the automotive world. Success came first in competition and later in road-going Gran Turismo cars. Maserati’s single-seaters dominated legendary races like the Indianapolis 500 and in 1957 Juan Manuel Fangio won the Formula 1 Championship driving a Maserati.

The sale will include the Maserati MCC12 factory car (chassis number 071), a two-seater long-tail coupe-spider with a long wheel base (2800 mm). It has a typical racing set-up with a removable hard top, powered by a naturally aspirated 12-cylinder 65° V engine that displaces 5998 cc and punches out 465 kW at 7500 rpm. Highly advanced composites and alloys have enhanced its structural rigidity and kept its overall weight to a minimum. This particular model won the 2004 FIA GT championship race at Oschersleben, the first victory for Maserati in 37 years. It is estimated to fetch in excess of €1,200,000.

Chief among the highlights of the historic cars in the sale, is the Ferrari 412 S, 1958 #0744, which has an illustrious past in North American racing, having been driven by giants such as Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and John von Neumann. It is a unique car with the most powerful front engine offered by Ferrari at that time. This is without doubt one of the greatest cars ever to be offered for sale. Estimate available on request.


The sale can be viewed at the Fiorano Circuit in Maranello, Italy

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15, 2005 from 10am – 5pm.

Admission by catalogue only


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