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Video: this restored Ferrari 500 is too lovely
Ignore the rousing, Hans Zimmer-aping soundtrack. Ignore the men in suits and lanyards. Instead, simply revel in the utterly gorgeous Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder lurking within this official Ferrari video.
Just restored by Ferrari’s ‘Classiche’ heritage department, this two-seat road-racer surely ranks as one of Maranello’s most gorgeous creations.
The 500 Mondial coupe was introduced in 1953, with aluminium bodywork courtesy of Scaglietti. It dispensed with Ferrari’s traditional V12 engine in favour of a lightweight, 2.0-litre four-cylinder making around 170bhp.
The Pininfarina-bodied open-top followed soon after, reportedly capable of a top speed of 147mph - a speed that, we suspect, felt a trifle lively on crossply tyres and Fifties suspension.
This example was originally built in 1954 for Dominican diplomat and racing driver Porfirio Rubirosa.
Rubirosa was - according to Ferrari’s own description - also a notorious womanizer, romantically liked with Marilyn Monroe, Avan Gardner and Zsa Zsa Gabor among many, many others.
He wasn’t quite so successful on track. Rubirosa competed in just one race in his 500 Mondial - finishing eighth overall in Santa Barbara in September 1985 - before selling the car.
After that, the blue 500 achieved rather more racing form, winning a handful of races across America as it changed hands several times, its original four-cylinder replaced by a V6 and then a V8 engine.
According to the (occasionally slightly vague) production figures, just 14 of these Pininfarina-bodied 500 Mondial Spyders were built in a two-year run.
Now it’s in the hands of Californian collector Tom Peck, who’s had it restored by Ferrari’s Classiche department to its original Fifties specifications, with the goal of competing in the Pebble Beach concours in August. We can’t help noticing, however, that the engine appears very much to be a V8 rather than a four-cylinder?
Anyhow. There’s no word on how much Peck paid to have his 500 returned to its former glory. Whatever it cost, surely it’s worth it?