One of just 22 pontoon-fendered 250 TR race cars, the prototype has an extensive, although somewhat unsuccessful, racing history, with no less than three appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as showings at Sebring, the Nurburgring and at the Targa Florio. The car also has an impressive show history, attending the Pebble Beach Concours four times (winning its class twice), and regularly garnering accolades at events like the Cavallino Classic and the Rodeo Drive Concours. It has also appeared several times at the Monterey Historics, most recently in 2008 where it narrowly avoided an accident after spinning at the corkscrew.
The car's current owner and caretaker, just the second in a span of more than forty years, recently restored the 250 TR prototype back to its 1958 Le Mans configuration, installing the original engine, correcting bodywork and applying its 1958 racing livery.
Gooding fully expects this special Ferrari to break the overall sales record for a car sold at auction, and we wouldn't be surprised if they achieved the feat. We'll bring you the news come August 21st, along with the rest of our live coverage from Monterey next month. Until then, check out our gallery of the 1957 Ferrari 250 TR prototype or read more about the car and the auction in the press release after the jump.
"Being in the presence of the 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype is a visceral and breathtaking experience unlike anything I've ever known," says David Gooding, President and founder of Gooding & Company. "We will all witness a historic day when this incredible car - one of the greatest race cars of all time - crosses our stage in Pebble Beach this August."
While it exists in a class of its own, the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype joins an elite list of extraordinary competition Ferraris that have crossed the block at Gooding & Company's auctions, including the record-breaking 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider that sold for $7.26 Million and the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta SEFAC Hot Rod that sold for $6.105 Million last year.
The 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototype, Chassis 0666 TR started it all as the prototype and test-bed for the Testa Rossa line, which is arguably the most successful series of sports racing cars in history. Based on the 290MM, the prototype TR was assembled in 1957 featuring the classic V12 engine, de Dion rear axle and right-hand drive. The car debuted at the Nurburgring 1000kms where Masten Gregory and Olindo Morolli finished in 10th place. As a factory team car, 0666 TR practiced in Sweden and ran the GP of Sweden. After receiving pontoon-fender coachwork by Scaglietti, Ferrari campaigned the car in the Venezuelan Grand Prixand the 1000kms of Buenos Aires, where it placed an impressive 3rd and 2nd, respectively. It has been raced at all of the major events worldwide including Sebring, Nurburgring and Le Mans, as well as SCCA events. Restored to superb condition with its original, matching-numbers engine and 1958 NART livery, the wildly impressive historic racer has won two Best in Class trophies from Pebble Beach, a Platinum Award and the TR Cup at Cavallino, and it is one of only two factory Classiche-certified TRs in existence. With just two owners in 40 years, this car's presentation at auction this August is a once in a lifetime opportunity. If this Testa Rossa sells next month, it will be the most valuable car ever sold at auction in the world.