1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider by Scaglietti

Following engineer Aurelio Lampredi’s departure from Ferrari in 1955, a new engineering team was formed for 1956. These highly skilled men soon came up with a new 2-liter sports racing car: the 500 TR. This was the first Ferrari designated with the now-legendary name “Testa Rossa.” The 4-cylinder-engined Type 500 TR was introduced in 1956 and was the successor to the 500 Mondial. Seventeen examples were built, and they became favorite sports racers for privateers the world over.

Half a year later, the FIA issued new regulations. The 500 TR was outlawed, the windscreen now had to be symmetrical over the axis of the car with a height of at least 5.9 inches, a soft top was required, and the gas tank capacity was to be 31.7 gallons. A passenger door was mandated as well.

Engineers, mechanics and designers began a race against the clock. By the end of 1956, Ferrari announced the 500 TRC, a new model which adhered to all of the new FIA regulations. Pininfarina designed an entirely new body for the car, which was built by Scaglietti, and it is rightly regarded as one of the most beautiful Ferrari racing spiders ever built.

The Ferrari factory sold the TRC to private customers all over the world as a winning weapon for sports car racing. The small group of 19 cars was produced within one year. Less than twelve months after its introduction, however, the 500 TRC was replaced by the 12-cylinder 250 Testa Rossa. As Ferrari’s last 4-cylinder sports racing car, the 500 TRC truly marked the end of an era.

The car on offer today is the sixth of these 19 total cars. It has been owned by a succession of enthusiasts, the first two of which actively raced the car in period. The third owner and his family owned the car for more than three decades.

The 500 TRC, with its clean and elegant lines, is regarded as one of the most beautiful sports racing Ferraris ever built. Chassis 0670MDTR is a matching-numbers car and totally authentic. Its entire history is known and has been very carefully researched and documented by marque experts. Moreover, it is eligible for almost every historic event in the world, be it an open road, closed race course or manicured show field.

Some Ferraris may have achieved greater notoriety, but to the connoisseurs, none of the front-engined cars are more important and prestigious than the highly sophisticated 4-cylinder 500 TRCs, which combine perfect aesthetics with tremendous driving pleasure.

Steve Ahlgrim

Steve Ahlgrim - SCM Contributing Editor

Steve taught high school auto shop before moving to Atlanta, GA, where his love of sports cars led him to FAF Motorcars, the former Ferrari dealer where he served as General Manager and Vice President. He has been a self-proclaimed “one-trick pony,” coveting the Ferrari marque. He has been involved in concours judging for over 25 years and is a member of the IAC/PFA, an international committee overseeing high-level Ferrari concours judging. He is chief judge of the Celebration Exotic Car Show in Celebration, FL.

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