1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta

Bodied by Pininfarina in classic Berlinetta style with oval egg-crate grille, brake cooling scoops over the rear wheel arches, hood tie-downs and sliding lightweight plexiglass windows, the powerful, compact and lightweight 250 MMs were ideal competitors for both long-distance races and shorter hillclimb events. In typical Ferrari fashion, the engines had been tuned to give twenty-five or so more horsepower than the MM’s predecessor, the 250S. They now produced a reliable 240 horsepower at
7,200 rpm.

The 250 MM formed the backbone of both the factory and several privateers’ racing activities for the 1953 season. One car was prepared for the 1953 Mille Miglia event to be driven by Giovanni Bracco. The car shown here, 0256MM, is that car. 0256MM’s chassis was delivered to Pinin Farina on January 31, 1953. Ten weeks later, on April 24, it was driven down the ramp in Brescia by the chain-smoking Bracco, partnered with his ’52 MM co-driver Rolfo. While lying sixth at Pescara, the back axle failed and the car was retired.

Later, 0256MM was assigned to Eugenio Castelotti with the following results: Targa Florio: DNF; Trofeo della Sardegna: DNF, Varese: 1st; Monza: 5th; Bolzano-Mendola hillclimb: 1st. Castelotti purchased the car from the factory and went on to compete with it, taking a notable win in the Messina 10 Hours. 0256MM is unusual among early competition Ferraris in that its history is continuous and unblemished by serious racing accidents. Its only major component to be replaced during its racing life was its back axle, due to its failure in Bracco’s 1953 Mille Miglia run. The axle fitted following the Mille Miglia failure, Number 039CA, has remained with the car throughout its subsequent career, making it completely as prepared by the Scuderia for Castelotti’s entry in the 1953 Targa Florio and subsequent events.