With all the advancements of our modern world, there are few objects as adept at transporting their beholder than period photographs. One glance at a piece of film taken in-period and the observer travels to another place and time.
In the case of our leading image today, the place is Palm Springs, California, while the time in question is regarded as the golden era of sports car racing. A sepia-toned setting which gave rise to the legends of Ferrari and Shelby.
While the memories of the incredible World Sportscar Championship have gradually begun to fade, still-salient names like Fangio, Moss, and Bandini provide a tangible link to the past.
Moreover, the magnificent machines operated by these expert drivers created to contest the races exist today as stunning examples of engineering and design, with cutting-edge technology draped in aluminum coachwork from the leading carrozzerie of Turin and Milan. Today’s edition of our series exploring some of the marvelous, Modena-made sports cars heading to RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2022 auction turns to what has been called the “Best Ferrari ever made,” by Enzo Ferrari himself:
Built to contest the brutal 1900-mile Carrera Pan Americana road race in Mexico, the Ferrari 410 Sport Spider was perfectly adapted to punishing endurance events, boasting a strong and lightweight steel chassis formed of elliptical steel tubes. Housing an enormous 195-liter fuel tank in its trunk, this hard-as-nails prancing horse also sported independent front suspension, and Ferrari’s familiar De Dion axle with leaf springs. Wider and more muscular than the outgoing 375 Plus, the 410S was a true hot rod of a machine and the final model to be powered by a variant of Lampredi’s famed long-block V-12. With a bigger bore and longer stroke than its predecessor, total displacement came to a hair under 5 liters, while output was rated at 335 horsepower. Only 4 examples were built.
Chassis 0598 CM was one of these rare fire-breathing machines. With a suffix that indicated its original intent to race at the “Carrera Messicana,” no. 0598 CM was too much of a thoroughbred to not use after the cancellation of the Carrera Pan-American. A star that burned bright and fast, Ferrari opted to enlist this one-of-four racer in the Y 1956 running of the World Sportscar Championship. When it took to the grid for the 1000 KM of Buenos Aires in 1956, no. 0598 CM had Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel. Despite passing through the speed trap at more than 300 kph and setting fastest laps in the process, both official Ferrari entries in the Argentinian race retired with mechanical problems, paving the way for outside privateers to acquire this rare ex-Scuderia racer.
After leaving the Ferrari stable, 0598 CM lived an enviable 2nd life, acquired by Southern California-based John Edgar Racing Enterprises and piloted with great success throughout 1956 and 1957 by Carroll Shelby, who won everywhere from Palm Springs to Nassau. Shelby, perhaps more than any other driver of his era, knew instinctually how to extract the maximum capability from the massive Lampredi-powered prancing horse. This example put Shelby atop the podium more than any other car, a total of 8 times. In-period, Shelby’s review to a Los Angeles Times reporter was simply, “Nothing can touch this Ferrari if it runs.”
Six years before his death in Y 2012, Shelby was reunited with 0598 CM at the Fabulous Fifties Concours in Gardena, California. It was there that the iconic American driver added an unforgettable inscription to its 195-liter fuel tank: “Mr. Ferrari told me that this was the best Ferrari he ever built.” Perhaps no higher praise could be envisioned for 0598 CM. And no higher honor than being able to hear, see, and even drive it.
Ferrari is The Aristocrat of the automotive sector.
Ferrari is 1 of the most recognizable brands in the world, even becoming the world’s strongest luxury brand in Y 2021, according to Brand Finance. Its Brand Strength Index scored 93.9 pts out of 100 and has a brand strength of AAA+.
Our overall technical outlook is still Bullish, all Key indicators are Bullish long-term. Ferrari reported strong earnings for Q-3 on 3 November and did the same for Q-4 and F-Y 2020 as reported on 2 February. The latest numbers will be out on 2 August.
Ferrari trades at a 62% premium to luxury brands, but at a discount to leader, Hermes, as it has more opportunity to grow via: new customers, new segments and geographically in China & Asia-Pac with its world renowned brand and a 12+ month customer orderbook.
Have a super racing weekend, Keep the Faith!