Ferrari 857 Sport photo

1955 Ferrari 857 Sport

1955 Ferrari 857 Sport 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport Sold for $6,270,000 at 2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction.
Ferrari was coming off a tremendous 1954 season, having secured the World Sportscar Championship with their Lampredi-designed four-cylinder engine. For 1955, their two-liter 500 Mondial and three-liter 750 Monza were poised to continuing the winning tradition, though Ferrari was well aware there was always room for improvement. The 500 Mondial was soon replaced by the 500 TR. The 750 Monza was used during the 1955 racing season while development continued on larger displacement alternatives. A new and improved alternative was soon needed when Mercedes-Benz unleashed their 300 SLR.

Ferrari experimented with a six-cylinder powerplant in the 118 LM and 121 LM, but neither chassis were able to compete with the 300SLR. Ferrari then set about modifying the 750 Monza chassis and installed a newly enlarged Lamprei four-cylinder engine into the bay. The powerplant displaced 3.5-liters and had an increase in horsepower by 30 HP. This new version was called the 857 Sport.

The engine, known as the Tipo 129, featured a light-alloy block and head. The head featured twin overhead camshafts and had room for two plugs per cylinder. The engine breathed through two large twin-choke Weber carburetors. The engine, offering nearly 400 NM of torque, was mated to a five-speed gearbox.

The frame of the chassis was constructed from elliptical tubes and the suspension was comprised of double wishbones and coil springs at the front. In the back was a DeDion axle setup with a transverse leaf spring. At all four corners were hydraulic drums, while most of their competition had opted for disc brakes.

The completed chassis were sent to Sergio Scaglietti in Modena who created the elegant and aerodynamic aluminum bodies.

The Ferrari 857 Sport, also known as the 857 S, was named after its unitary displacement.

The 857 S made its debut at the RAC Tourist Trophy in Ireland. Three works 857 models were entered by Ferrari to compete against the Mercedes-Benz. One of those 3 works cars was chassis number 0588 M, the last of the four 857 Sports built. The car was driven by Olivier Gendebien who - unfortunately - shunted the Ferrari before the end of practice. The car's bodywork was damaged and so was Gendebien, who was hospitalized with an injured arm.

The works Ferrari 857 S were raced briefly by the factory with a victory in the Giro di Sicilia in 1956 as the best result. The cars were used briefly by the Scuderia as they were quickly followed by the 860 Monza. It featured the same Tipo 129 engine with a Tipo 520 chassis. The new chassis featured tubular reinforcements and a four-speed gearbox. Just three examples of the 860 Monza were built, with one that was later converted to 290 MM specification.

After chassis 0588 M's accident, it was sent back to Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena, Italy for repairs. During the repairs, the car was given a tail fin to the headrest in similar fashion to a Jaguar D-Type. It was the only Monza to be given this feature. From October of 1955 through January 1956, the car major mechanical components were rebuilt. The work was completed on January 31st. It was then sold to the United States and purchased by John Edgar of Hollywood, California. The order was placed with Luigi Chinetti and the car arrived on February 18, 1956. Edgar was rather disappointed, as he had hopes of receiving the newest Monza, perhaps an 860. Instead, his $17,500 got him last year's Monza. Since there was no time to get a replacement prior to the Palm Springs Road Races, the car was prepared for competition.

On February 26th, the team headed to Palm Springs, California with the car. Lined up next to Jack McAfee, Edgar's driver, was Carroll Shelby in Scuderia Parravano's 410 S. Alongside them was a D-Type. The two Ferrari's quickly pulled ahead of the Jaguar, but McAfee was unable to keep pace with Shelby. It finished 2nd overall.

A few weeks later at the Stockton Road Races, Ernie McAfee drove the Ferrari to a 1st overall victory. It raced in April at the 7th Annual (and the last running of the race) Pebble Beach Road Races. Jack McAfee took the 857 Sport to a 3rd overall.

The 857 S next race was at Cumberland but failed to start, having dropped a valve in practice. Next was a 6th place finish at Eagle Mountain Air Force base in Fort Worth, Texas. At Road America on June 24th, McAfee failed to finish. In July, McAfee finished 5th overall at the race at Beverly. For the SCCA Nationals Seafair Road Races outside of Seattle, Edgar gave driving duties to Masten Gregory. The car would finish the race prematurely due to gearbox trouble.

The car was flown to New York in order to fix the gearbox prior to the race at Montgomery on August 19th. For the New York race, Carroll Shelby piloted the 857 for the first time. In race four, he won outright, and repeated the result in race nine.

The following month, at Thompson Raceway, Shelby ended up in the dirt after the brakes failed. In November, the driving duties returned to McAfee, who placed 5th overall at the 1st Annual Palm Springs National Championship Races. In December, the car traveled with the team to Nassau, Bahamas, but did not race. At Pomona in January of 1957, Shelby again drove the car but without success.

The car was sold to Stan Sugarman of Scottsdale, Arizona. In April, McAfee borrowed the Ferrari from Mr. Sugarman to compete in the 2nd Annual Palm Springs National Championship races where he took 4th place. Jim Connor drove the car to a 1st place in the novice race in Salt Lake City, Utah in June of that year. McAfee drove the car at the Palm Springs races and finished in 4th place and then 5th in the main event. Richie Ginther finished 3rd, later that month, in prelims and 4th in the main event at the inaugural race at Laguna Seca.

Several more outings for the car earned it an 8th overall at Riverside and a 3rd overall in Palm Springs.

During the late 1950s, the car made its way to Texas. In 1962 James E. Hall facilitated the purchase of 0588 M by Oscar Koveleski of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Koveleski installed a Corvette V-8 engine and raced the car over the next three years. In 13 recorded outings, Koveleski drove the car to at least four podium finishes including two 1st in class results.

The car was subsequently painted yellow with black wheels and a black grille. In 1966, it was sold to Andy Warhol who wanted to make a parody of the film The Yellow Rolls-Royce. For whatever reason, the film was not produced and the Ferrari was said to be driven by Warhol's then-agent around the streets of New York.

Ownership eventually passed to Tiny Gould. In the early 1970s, Christopher Renwick sold the car to Luigi P. Rezzonico Castelbarco of Imberssago, Italy. During his ownership, the car appeared at the 1973 LeMans Historics driven by Corrado Cupellini. By 1982, a Los Angeles, California attorney was offering hate motor and transaxle of a 'Super Monza.' It was later found out to be 0588, the original 3.5-liter four-cylinder motor to the 857 Sport 0588 M. David Cottingham of DK Engineering in the UK purchased the engine and transaxle.

The car was next owned by Cupellini and was offered for sale in August 1997 with a 250 GT 12-cylinder engine. It was purchased by French Ferrari collector Jean-Claude Bajol who used the car frequently during his 13 years of ownership. The car was sold to Mr. Cottingham.

In 2011, the 857 S was disassembled and given a comprehensive restoration by DK Engineering. The body, which was found to be original, was restored. The original engine and gearbox were rebuilt and reunited with the chassis. Missing parts were properly sources and correctly installed. By September of 2011, the car was returned to its John Edgar livery and raced at the Goodwood Revival. The car was on pole by three seconds and only narrowly missed the win.

The 3421cc dual overhead cam Lampredi Tipo 129 4-cylinder engine is fitted with twin Weber 58 DCO/A3 carburetors and produces 290 horsepower. There is a five-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, California. It was estimated to sell for $5,000,000 - $7,000,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $6,270,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2012
1955 Ferrari 857 Sport 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport 1955 Ferrari 857 Sport Sold for $6,270,000 at 2012 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auction.
Ferrari created three 857S Spyders using a modified 750 Monza chassis and a new Lampredi-designed 3.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The completed chassis were sent to Sergio Scaglietti in Modena, who created their aerodynamic aluminum bodies. The three cars made their debut at the 1955 RAC Tourist Trophy in Ireland. This car was driven by Olivier Gendebien, who sadly crashed before the end of practice. Scaglietti was given the task of rebuilding the car, giving it a tailfin similar to the Jaguar D-Type; it is the only 857S to have this feature. Upon completion, it was sold to John Edgar in California who prepared the car for Jack McAfee to drive in Sports Car Club of America competitions. In April 1956 at the seventh annual Pebble Beach Road Races, Jack McAfee took the 857S to a third overall in the Del Monte Trophy. Sadly, this would be the last running of the Pebble Beach Road Races, due to a fatal accident involving Jack's close friend Ernie McAfee. This car continued to be raced by Jack as well as Carroll Shelby and Rithie Ginter until 1960. It was also once owned, but never raced, by Andy Warhol.

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