1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Spyder
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During the 1950 Formula Two races, Enzo Ferrari noticed that four-cylinder race cars from manufacturers like HWM and Cooper ran with superior fuel efficiency compared to his 12-cylinder cars. The Ferrari V-12 engine was designed by Gioacchino Colombo which in 1949 had dominated the Formula 2 class. In 1947 Aurelio Lampredi had joined Ferrari and became Colombo's assistant. By the close of the 1940's, Ferrari assigned Lampredi to develop a four-cylinder engine that was more fuel-efficient and lighter than the larger 12-cylinder unit. When the sport’s governing body decided that the World Championship would be run under Formula 2 regulations, the development of the four-cylinder engine was given a high priority. Completely constructed of light alloy, the new engine featured a double camshaft head. Two versions were created, a 2 liter and a 2.5-liter. By 1952 the engine was ready and made its debut in the 500 F2 where Alberto Ascari won the World Championship with six victories out of seven races. A year later, he won the title again. In early 1954, Ferrari finally offered the four-cylinder sports/racer to customers as a two-liter model, with each cylinder displacing almost 500 cubic centimeters. It was named after Alberto Ascari's domination in the Formula 2 World Championship. 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 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 first examples were fitted with Pinin Farina built and designed bodies. The Series 1 lasted from 1953 through 1954 with 20 examples being created: 12 spyders by Pinin Farina, 6 spyders by Scaglietti, 2 berlinettas by Pinin Farina. The Series I Mondial debuted in 1953 at the 12 Hours of Casablanca in 1953, finishing second behind the 4.5-litre 375 MM. In 1954 a second series of 10 Scaglietti-bodied cars with slightly more powerful engines followed, resulting in a total of just 30 examples of the 500 Mondial before it gave way to the three-liter 750 Monza. The second series had a different engine block with larger carburetors and a five speed manual gearbox. Dino Ferrari marginally collaborated with Sergio Scaglietti to the design. Unadorned, the design of Pinin Farina had a purposeful appearance. The design of Scaglietti had a body with better aerodynamics. The Mondial was replaced early in 1956 by the 500 TR (Testa Rossa). The Ferrari 500 Mondial played an important role in Ferrari winning its second Sports World Championship in 1954 and improved the relationship between Ferrari and Scaglietti.
This Mondial, chassis number 0410MD, is unique as it has the second series front by Scaglietti and the rear part of the first series, work of Pinin Farina. The Modena designer and body maker had done a number of “rebodies” on Ferrari chassis for clients in the early 1950s. This chassis was probably modified after an accident at Giro dell'Umbria in 1954. The second owner was Gino Cassarotto, the car was raced in hillclimbs and in the Mille Miglia.