The Scuderia Ferrari marque was founded in 1946. Their first major international victory occurred in 1949 with Alberto Ascari at the wheel of a Tipo 125. The victory was at the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten, though it was achieved when the dominant Alfa Romeo's were not on the starting grid.
The supercharged 1.5-liter V12 engine was no match for the Alfas, so Enzo selected to use a normally aspirated engine which allowed a maximum displacement of 4.5-liters in Grand Prix competition.
It did well in the first Formula 1 World Championship in 1950. The following year, the true potential of the engine was realized, with Argentinean Froilan Gonzales securing the team's first F1 victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. For 1952, the World Drivers' Championship rules were switched to Formula 2 regulations. For Ferrari, this meant a completely new engine was needed. Though in all respects, they were in rather good condition. They had been active in F2 competition since 1948 and had the necessary experience and skill to create a potent competitor. They turned to Aurelio Lampredi to construct a new four-cylinder 2-liter engine.
The new engine was first tested during the summer of 1951. The Tipo 500 engine produced 165 horsepower and fitted in a tubular steel ladder frame with an independent front setup and a DeDion rear suspension. For 1952, the horsepower was increased to 180 which was enough to keep the 500 F2 at the front of the pack. Alberto Ascari secured six Grand Prix victories and the World Championship. This was the first World Championship title for the prancing horse marque. The 1953 season would have similar results, with Ascari again winning the championship. When it was retired it had won 30 out of 33 races.
In modern times, the Tipo 500 F2 are among the more expensive vehicles on the market. The cost of ownership is very high. So, a number of replicas have been created, most conforming to similar specifications as the originals. This example had a body and chassis constructed in New Zealand by M. Paton. It is fitted with a 2-liter Alfa Romeo engine with similar horsepower out to the Ferrari.
In 2007 it was brought to the Bonhams Auction, An Important Sale of Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia, held at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in Carmel, California. The car had an estimated value of $65,000-$75,000 but was not sold.