Following Aurelio Lampredi's departure from Ferrari in 1955, a new engineering team was formed for 1956. It soon came up with a new two-liter sports racing car-the 500 TR. This was the first Ferrari designated with the mystical name "Testa Rossa," Italian for "red head," the color the camshaft covers were painted.

For the 1957 season new Appendix C rules for modified sports cars became effective. The windscreen now had to be 100 centimeters wide, 15 centimeters high, and symmetrical over the axis of the car. A soft top was required, the gas tank capacity was to be 120 liters, and a passenger door was mandated. At the end of 1956, Ferrari announced the 500 TRC. The "C" in the model's name reflected the Appendix C rules.

The Ferrari factory sold the TRC to private customers all over the world. Less than one year after the 500 TRC was introduced, it was replaced by the new 250 Testa Rossa with a 3-liter V12 engine. The 500 TRC marked the end of an era: it was Ferrari's last official 4-cylinder-engined sports car. All further models were equipped with either 6- or 8- (Dino) or 12-cylinder engines.

This 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider is the sixth of 19 cars (17 500 TRCs plus two 625 TRCs). In the past 49 years, it has had only five owners. It was sold new to Bernardo Cammarata, a businessman from Palermo, Sicily. He raced the car in Sicily up until 1963.

No fewer than five times 0670 MDTR was entered in the legendary Targa Florio, and seven years after its production, it won the famous Monte Pellegrino hillclimb in Palermo. Original owner Cammarata then sold the car to Francesco Tagliavia, another Sicilian who continued to race it for the next three years.

Italian Ferrari collector Giulio Dubbini bought 0670 MDTR in 1966 and campaigned it over the next 20 years in historic events. The Ferrari remained in Dubbini's estate until April 1998. Historic racer Corrado Cupellini of Bergamo then took it over and for the next five years entered it in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Challenge race series in Europe.

In 2003 the Ferrari was sold to its current owner, who has shown it on two occasions at the Palm Beach Cavallino Classic and campaigned it in historic races.

The comprehensive documentation includes a Ferrari Factory Heritage Certificate, FIA Papers, Factory Assembly Sheets, an original letter written by the Ferrari Factory which references 0670 MDTR, an original Certificato di Proprietà issued by the Automobile Club Italia, many period racing photographs, and restoration receipts and photos.

Chassis 0670 MDTR has matching numbers and is totally authentic. Its entire history is known and has been very carefully documented by marque experts. It sells with a spare 625 TRC engine and spare 500 TR gearbox. It is eligible for almost every historic event in the world. The overall condition is stunning, and this exceptional and significant Ferrari is now ready for road, track, or show.

SCM Analysis


Years Produced:1957
Number Produced:19
Original List Price:10,000
Distributor Caps:$600 (two required)
Chassis Number Location:On front cross member
Engine Number Location:Center left crankcase above water inlet
Club Info:Ferrari Club of America, P.O. Box 720597, Atlanta, GA 30358
Investment Grade:A

This car sold at RM’s 2006 Monterey Auction for $2,282,500.

The 1950s were the golden age of sports car racing. Hill climbs, time trials, serious long-distance rallies, and track racing regularly took place on almost every continent. Casual competitors fought it out with serious privateers and factory-backed professionals.

Enzo Ferrari keenly anticipated the demand for ammunition for this warfare and reacted with a rapidly evolving arsenal.

Ferrari built a dizzying array of race cars during this period. There were 12-cylinder cars, inline 6-cylinder cars, V6 cylinder cars, and 4-cylinder cars like 500 TRC, S/N 0670 MDTR. It’s difficult to follow early Ferrari nomenclature. Engine identifiers are usually part of a Ferrari’s model name, but the mixture of identifying some engines by single cylinder displacement, some by total displacement, and some by project numbers can be maddening. Engine identifiers were complemented by a bewildering assortment of model names, and even equipped with a good reference library and a wall-sized genealogy chart, it is not easy to follow the lineage.

If you dismiss 4-cylinder engines as rubber bands for econoboxes, then listen up. Grand Prix rules were changing in the early ’50s, and Enzo Ferrari sought an edge. The rules looked to be favorable for campaigning a 2-liter car in Formula 2. Ferrari had been impressed that Norton had designed a 100-hp per liter motorcycle engine and decided that a large bore 4-cylinder power plant might be tuned to deliver higher performance than that of the current twelve. He was rewarded with 1952 and 1953 World Championships. Several years later, a similar engine would establish Ferrari’s name in sports car racing.

The 4-cylinder Ferrari engine is as impressive in appearance as it is in performance. It is topped with a cylinder head with a large V, each side housing an overhead camshaft. The cams are turned by large gears rather than a chain or belt. It is a twin-plug design with neatly routed wires dressing up the topside. A pair of 2-barrel Weber carburetors feed the machine, and the assembly is like no 4-cylinder you’ve ever seen.

The mechanical sounds of the Ferrari 4 are in a class of their own. At one end is the whirling cadence of the cam gears, and at the other is the buzzing gear set running the magnetos. The big-bore intake adds another note to the orchestra and a thumper exhaust provides the base. It’s a symphony you won’t forget. I suggest reading Thor Thorson’s excellent review of a Ferrari 860 Monza (SCM November 2003, or online under Profiles at for more information on 4-cylinder Ferrari engines.

Until 1988, Ferrari production was divided into two camps: the even-numbered cars and the odd-numbered cars. The odd chassis numbers were assigned to models that were primarily designed as street cars, and the even chassis numbers were reserved for the true race cars like 500 TRC S/N 0670. There were few even-numbered Ferraris built, and they are coveted by collectors. Owners tend to horde them, often using them as bargaining chips to trade toward a more important car. It is rare to see a top example at a public sale.

500 TRC S/N 0670 MDTR is truly one of the best even-numbered Ferraris ever to be offered at auction. Race car histories often become vague and incomplete. This car has an exceptionally complete and documented history.

The vendor purchased the car in 2003 and decided to return it to its Mille Miglia period appearance. To his credit, he personally researched the car’s history and directed vintage Ferrari race car specialists, Intrepid Motor Car Company, to spare no expense. Upon completion, he campaigned it extensively on the vintage race circuit until another race car caught his fancy.

The sale price was confirmation of the car’s importance, and while well within the presale estimate, this was one of the highest 4-cylinder Ferrari sales ever. The vendor should be pleased, as he recouped his purchase price, restoration cost, and a few extra bucks. The buyer should be pleased, as he is now guardian of a major piece of Ferrari history with a pedigree and preparation that are hard to beat.

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