Ferrari 500 Mondial photo

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial

History

The Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder was produced from 1954 through 1956 with 14 being bodied by Pinin Farina and 16 by Scaglietti.

There were two series for the 500 Mondial, the Series 1 and Series 2. The Series 1 lasted from 1953 through 1954 with 20 examples being created. During this time Pinin Farina was tasked with providing the coachwork on 14 Berlinettas and Spyders. The designs produced were similar to the 375 MM, produced during the same time. The remaining six examples were bodied by Scaglietti, all in Spyder configurations. These designs were similar to the 750 Monza but instead of a three-liter engine they were equipped with a two-liter unit. In total there were 37 examples of the 750 Monza built in 1954 and 1955, five of which began life as 500 Mondial models.

The Second series was produced in 1955 with Scaglietti outfitting all ten examples in Spyder configuration. This series had a different engine block with larger carburetors and a five speed manual gearbox. Their bodies were slightly modified in comparison to the Series 1.

The 2-liter four-cylinder engine with 2 Weber Carburetors was placed in the front of the vehicle and drove the rear wheels. The 170 horsepower proved its worth by propelling the 1500 pound vehicle to a second place victory in 1954 at the Mille Miglia. A class victory was achieved in 1956 at the 12-Hours of Sebring endurance race.

The famous Ferrari V-12 engine was designed by Gioacchino Colombo which in 1949 had dominated the Formula 2 class. In 1947 Aurelio Lambredi had joined Ferrari and became Colombo's assistant. By the close of the 1940's, Lambredi was tasked by Enzo to design and built a smaller engine that was more fuel-efficient and lighter than the larger 12-cylinder unit. When changes to the World Championship regulations stated that Formula 2 rules would be used, the four-cylinder engine was given a high prioirty.

The engine created by Lambredi was constructed completely of light alloy and double camshaft heads. Two versions of the engine were created, a 2- and a 2.5-liter version. By 1952 the engine was ready and made its debut in the 500 F2 where Alberto Ascari captured the World Championship with six victories out of seven races. A year later, he captured the title again. In honor of the accomplishment, a 2-liter production car was created and dubbed the 500 Mondial.

The four-cylinder engine design would last until 1956, where it was campaigned successfully in a 500 TR, meaning Testa Rossa or Red Head because of its red cylinder heads. In 1957 the four-cylinder engine was replaced by a V6 engine.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2017

1954 Vehicle Profiles

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Spyder
Designer: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0408

Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder with coachwork by Pininfarina and having chassis number 0408MD was created in March of 1954. It was sold to Valdemar Stener who used it in competition during the 1954 and 1955 season. His first outing was at the Helsinki ....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Berlinetta
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0422MD

This Ferrari 500 is the 16th of 22 Series I Mondials and one of two Berlinettas built by Pininfarina in 1954. This 2.0-liter Ferrari was built for the 1954 Tour de France when it was driven by Lino Fayen and its owner Mario Dustaritz. Sadly this car,....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Spyder
Designer: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0418MD
Engine Num: 0506MD

Though the company is known for their front-engine V-12 road cars, they also produced several models of four-cylinder sports/racers during the 1950s. Manufacturers such as HWM and Cooper were having success with their lightweight four-cylinder engine....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Spyder
Designer: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0468MD
Engine Num: 0468 MD

Aurelio Lampredi designed a 4-cylinder, 2.5-liter for the F1 World Championship; Alberto Ascari won with it in 1952 and 1953. Subsequently a 2-liter/170 horsepower version was dropped in their deDion tube sports car chassis, and named Mondial in cele....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Berlinetta
Coachwork: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0452MD

This Berlinetta is the 16th of 22 Series I Mondials produced and the second of only two Berlinettas built (the other example is chassis number 0422MD).....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Spyder
Designer: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0438MD
Engine Num: 0438MD

This is the 12th of 22 Series 1 Pinin Farina 500 Mondials and was sold new to Porfirio Rubirosa in July 1954. Rubi shipped the car to California and raced it at Santa Barbara, accompanied by the recently divorced Zsa Zsa Gabor. Shortly afterwards he ....[continue reading]

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial vehicle information

Spyder
Designer: Pininfarina

Chassis Num: 0448 MD
Engine Num: 0448 MD

In the early to mid-1950s, Ferrari experimented with by Ferrari, one being the 735 engine. It made its debut in 1953 and had a displacement size of 2.9-liters and was fitted with dual-overhead camshafts and twin Weber 50DCOA/3 carburetors, making it ....[continue reading]

Spyder
Chassis #: 0408 
Berlinetta by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 0422MD 
Spyder
Chassis #: 0418MD 
Spyder
Chassis #: 0468MD 
Berlinetta by Pininfarina
Chassis #: 0452MD 
Spyder
Chassis #: 0438MD 
Spyder
Chassis #: 0448 MD 


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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Ferrari
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)
1949Ford (1,118,308)Chevrolet (1,010,013)Plymouth (520,385)

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