The rare roadster is expected to fetch between $5.5 and $8 million at auction next month.
Limited-production Ferraris are nothing new, but only three examples of this model were ever built. And what you’re looking at here is the last remaining example in the world. Set to go under the hammer at the upcoming Bonham's Monaco sale is a 1953 Ferrari 625 Targa Florio, a two-seater racer with an interesting backstory. Originally, the Targa Florio was coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Vignale as a coupe. Enzo Ferrari wasn’t impressed with the result, however, so he had it rebuilt as a roadster.
Scaglietti was later enlisted to modify the body again and fit it with a smaller grille. While Ferrari is best known for producing V8, V12, and occasionally V6-powered cars the engine powering the Targa Florio only has four cylinders. At its heart is a 2.5-liter DOHC inline-four originally designed by Aurelio Lampredi for Formula 2, a unit that allowed the car to enter some of the most gruelling races in the world. The Ferrari 625 Targa Florio competed in events like the Grand Prix dell’Autodromo at Monza and the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti, while notable racers who tamed the car include Mike Hawthorn, who became the first British Formula One champion, ad Umberto Maglioli, winner of the 1954 Carrera Panamericana.
It’s perhaps most famous for competing in the Mille Miglia four times in 1984, 1986, 1989 and 1990. The car made its last public appearance in 2006 at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix. Since retiring from racing, it’s had numerous private owners in Italy and South America but was forgotten for almost a decade before being rediscovered in a scrapyard in Naples in 1974. Since then, the car has had two major restorations: one just before its first appearance in the 1984 Mille Miglia, and another in 2006 by Carrozzeria Nova Rinascente. “This is a racing car par excellence: ex-works, driven by one of the most celebrated British racing drivers of all time, and fastidiously restored,” says Bonhams, the organizers of the auction.
“It is eligible for the most glamorous and exciting motoring events across the globe.” Bonhams expects the rare roadster to fetch between 4.5 and 6.5 million euros ($5.5 - $8 million) when it goes under the hammer on May 11. That sounds like a low estimate for a classic Ferrari – particularly when it’s the last remaining example in the world.