A frequently raced 500 Mondial is on its way to be auctioned off - s/n 0438MD

A frequently raced 500 Mondial is on its way to be auctioned off - s/n 0438MD - Retro and Classics

Produced in 1954, this is possibly one of the most frequently raced Ferraris I’ve stumbled upon. It has raced a total of 34 times between 1954 and 1958. In the majority of those races, it didn’t even have its original engine. In 1956 it was fitted with a Tipo 105, which is a 3.0-litre engine, rather than the original 2.0-litre L4. In 1957 (when the most active part of its career started) it was fitted with a Chevy V8, and then raced 19 times with the nickname; “Mondilet” (a portmanteau of Mondial and Chevrolet, I presume).

A frequently raced 500 Mondial is on its way to be auctioned off - s/n 0438MD - Retro and Classics

In 1971 it switched owners a couple of times, and had its engine swapped (again) along the way, this time the 2.5-litre L4 out of s/n 0538M, a 750 Monza (that was raced in the Targa Florio 1955 by Carroll Shelby, and by other names like Richie Ginther). In the ‘70s, 0438MD was bought by a David Black from the UK, who kept the car until the ‘90s… but he didn’t drive it much. The car was eventually bought as a barn find in the ‘90s, and received a full restoration after it was brought back to the US.

A frequently raced 500 Mondial is on its way to be auctioned off - s/n 0438MD - Retro and Classics

After being displayed a couple of times in the US, it was brought to the UK in 1998, where it was for sale for $440k. A German fellow ended up buying the car for 335k PDS, and it stayed in Germany ever since. Funny story; the car was owned by a certain dr. Ulrich Schumacher from off 2005 (I dunno if they’re related, but it wouldn’t be the weirdest coincidence). The car was last restored in 2015, and is now up for auction.

Its first race; Santa Barbera 1954
Its first race; Santa Barbera 1954

What do you think of this 500 Mondial? I quite like the Scaglietti-Pininfarina body this one has, and the fact it has had so many different engines, but as it has been restored by Ferrari themselves, its engine (probably got lost over time) has been reproduced and put into the car so it’s numbers-matching again.

  • MH