1954-1955 Ferrari 2-Liter 500 Mondial

This delightful little Ferrari sports-racing car is a very low-mileage historic competition car from the Maranello marque. 0468MD comes from a European ownership which it entered as a two-owners-only vehicle in 1988 when it was purchased at auction in Monte Carlo.

The car had been supplied originally in late 1954 as-new to an Italian amateur owner-driver named Guido Petracchi who registered it as ER 22289, apparently in the former Italian colony on the Horn of Africa, Eritrea. He then competed in his new acquisition in the Ethiopian Grand Prix in Eritrea, coming home the winner. Later that year it was driven in competitive events by Baetano Baroni and on November 4 it was displayed at the Italian Pavilion during the Addis Ababa Silver Jubilee Fair, a photograph of the scene later appearing in the Ferrari Year Book.

Reputedly an Imperial edict was then issued by Emperor Haile Selassie ending road racing, as what some regarded as a colonial hangover from Italian presence before World War II. Thereafter 0468MD survived in storage for the following 15 years until it was acquired around 1970 by the British enthusiast/dealer Mr. Colin Crabbe. After a period of some two years, the car was then sold in August 1972 to J. F. Robinson of Penrith – still more or less in as-found condition.

He applied for and obtained the UK registration number 500 MON, which was retained at the time of the car’s eventual sale into Continental European ownership in 1988. Once rebuilt, 0468MD was used very sparingly in competitive events, running at Oulton Park and in the Prescott hill-climb. Otherwise the car was used only very occasionally upon the open road – a high days and holidays car.

By the early 1980s, it was decided that the Mondial was looking “rather scruffy and tired” and well-known British specialists DK Engineering were commissioned to restore the car to their high standards. This work was carried out during 1980-81, after which the car was very little further work.

The car had covered little more than 200-400 miles per year during that 16-year ownership, so it seemed probably at that point that it had completed no more than 10,000 miles during its entire life.

After being sold at Monaco in May1988, it ran in the 1989 Mille Miglia Retro, driven by Meier/Kellenberger on Swiss plates, ZH 14880. It reappeared in that event in 1990, 1991, and 1992. The Ferrari 500 Mondial originated around the type of four-cylinder twin-overhead-camshaft racing engine designed by the great Ing. Aurelio Lampredi which brought Ferrari its first two Drivers’ World Championship titles with Alberto Ascari at the wheel in 1952-53.

The title Mondial refers to Ferrari’s double World Championship (Mondiale) success of 1952-53 immediately preceding this sports model’s introduction. It marks the springboard which eventually led to the bigger-engined four-cylinder cars headed by the famous (or in some ways infamous) model 750 Monza 3-liter.