1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I

The Mondial evokes the larger and more powerful 375 MM. Those who can live without the extra eight cylinders will find their reward in the bank

This Ferrari 1954 500 Mondial was the sixth of 22 Series I motorcars constructed. Scuderia Ferrari prepared a group of Mondials to compete at the 21st Mille Miglia and retained 0418MD for the effort. As the chassis numbers of the participants were of no consequence at the time, accounts differ as to who drove which particular car; however, it has since been determined that it was either Sterzi and Rossi or Pineschi and Landini.

On July 14, 1954, the factory sold the 500 Mondial to Mario and Bianca Maria Piazza, a husband-and-wife racing team. The Piazzas paid 3,500,000 lire for 0418MD, a considerable sum for a car that already had a major race under its belt. They decided to enter it at the Messina 10 Hours, coming 11th overall. In 1955, the car was entered in the Mille Miglia; however, it did not start. By the fall of 1955, it had been exported to Venezuela, where it raced at the Grand Prix in Caracas, finishing 10th.

The last recorded South American race came in 1958 with an unidentified driver using the alias “Guido Lollobrigida.” By the mid-1960s, the car had moved to the U.S. and was campaigned there. By the 1970s, the original engine had been removed. During the next few years, a proper Mondial engine, 0506MD, was installed, and the car passed to collectors David Uihlein and then Bill Jacobs.

Mr. Jacobs participated in the 1984 Mille Miglia Storica before selling the car to Paul Tavilla. It was then completely restored before being campaigned at the Mille Miglia Storica three years in a row. It was awarded a First in Class at the 1992 Cavallino Classic and the FCA National Concours.

Then it was sold to Dennis Machul of Illinois. He entrusted Skip McCabe to perform a comprehensive restoration that brought the 1954 500 Mondial up to outstanding, concours quality throughout. It was shown at Meadow Brook and participated in the FCA Challenge Rally and the Colorado Grand. In 2000, 0418MD returned to the Cavallino Classic and earned the FCA’s prestigious Platinum Award.

Under its current ownership, this car has been campaigned at the 2007 Mille Miglia Storica. It is astounding to consider that this car has successfully completed the Mille Miglia six times. The 500 Mondials are famous for their forgiving, balanced handling, intuitive responses and an unforgettable sound and sensation of speed. As one would expect, this car is offered with FIA and FIVA paperwork, the correct original hood and windscreen, and a report by Marcel Massini that documents its history.

Simon Kidston

Simon Kidston - SCM Editor at Large

Simon is from an old British motor-racing family. He started his career at Coys, leaving to co-found Bonhams Europe in Geneva. Over the next decade, he staged high-profile auctions around the world, branching out on his own in 2006 to found Kidston SA, a consultancy responsible for some of the larger deals you rarely hear about. Simon also judges at Pebble Beach and is “the voice” of the Villa d’Este Concours and the Mille Miglia.

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