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This gorgeous 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa could sell for up to £30m

Sound the 'Really Rare Old Ferrari' klaxon: RM Sotheby’s will oversee the sale of this one-of-19 ‘pontoon fender’ 250 TR next month

Published: 11 Jan 2024

Aside from the unequivocally gorgeous two-seat, open-top design, the storied Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (TR) is one of the greatest cars ever to emerge from Maranello. And rarest; just 33 were ever made in total over five years. And now, a one-of-19 ‘pontoon fender’ example from 1958 is being prepped for auction in February at RM Sotheby’s and has a pre-auction estimate of £26-£30 million. Gesù Cristo.

This particular car, chassis no. 0738, was hammered together by the late Italian coachbuilder Sergio Scaligetti and had four victories in 20 official races to its name as an active competition vehicle for over a decade. It remains one of the last TRs to retain its matching engine and gearbox pairing. It even underwent a full restoration at Ferrari Classiche in 2013, after which it presumably lived a wild life as a pizza delivery vehicle.

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Of course, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact set of performance figures with a car as old and as rare as this. Still, factory numbers suggest its longitudinal-mounted 3.0-litre ‘Colombo’ V12 - which features a unique six twin-choke carburettor setup - should send around 296bhp and 221lb ft of torque to the rear wheels through a four-speed transmission. Top speed is capped at 167mph, and while it may not sound like much, it’s worth noting the 250 TR weighs just 794kg. So you’d better think twice about a kebab for lunch.

Those who’ve seen the new Ferrari film will note the car’s appearance in the biopic of Enzo, which documents its success in the fabled Mille Miglia race across Italy. The 250 TR went on to add a then-unprecedented four 24 Hours of Le Mans victories to its name, alongside a triumvirate of 12 Hours of Sebring wins and triumphs at other events like the Targa Florio. It’s fair to say the four-time World Sports Car Championship-winning 250 TR was better at being a racing car than Walter White was at being a chemist. That’s saying something.

“I have always believed that the 250 Testa Rossa should be the most desirable automobile in the world, especially in the context of Ferrari,” says Shelby Myers, global head of private sales at RM Sotheby’s. “When compared to the most revered prancing horse model, the 250 GTO, the TR far outpaces the GTO's competition record.”

Once the 250 TR in question does finally meet its new owner, it will do some having comfortably broken into the list of the 20 most expensive cars ever sold at auction - likely even knocking on the door of the top five. Not a bad swansong for the former Papa John's employee.

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