Viral: Junk Ferrari Sold for Nearly $2 Million

At an RM Sotheby’s auction in California, a hulk of dented, torn, and scorched metal that was once a Ferrari race car recently sold for a staggering $1.9 million. The buyer’s identity has been kept confidential, and the purchase price includes the RM auction house commission.

Even though that may come as a surprise, it’s actually not a terrible investment, especially if the buyer wants more than just money—they want a piece of racing history and a chance at personal glory.

1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I 5 fesdem
1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series

This 1954 Ferrari Mondial Spider Series was one of only 13 produced. I wasn’t one of Ferrari’s legendary V12 models; instead, I was a completely unique creation. The four-cylinder car was intended for use on twisting roads with many curves and few straightaways, where a smaller, lighter engine was preferred.

Related: 1995 McLaren F1 Auctioned for Record $20.465 Million

The design of this car helped Ferrari win the world championships in 1952 and 1953, hence the name “Mondial” or “World.” It was initially constructed with a body by the renowned Italian design firm Pinin Farina and is known by its chassis number, 0406 MD. (The company name was later changed to Pininfarina.) Franco Cortese, who had earlier driven a Ferrari to the company’s first racing victory, was the driver of that car back in 1954.

The lucky junk Ferrari auction for $1.9 million

This vintage racing vehicle had a difficult life, just like many others. It was given a new body by the Scaglietti company about a year after it was built and was subsequently shipped to the United States in 1958. The Mondial reportedly crashed and burned at some point in the early 1960s, though the exact year is not known. Now, decades later it’s hard to say what actually happened as its original engine had also been changed by that time. The car was purchased in 1978 by Ferrari collector Walter Medlin and has been in storage for the past 45 years.

1954 ferrari 500 mondial pinin farina spider restricted
Pictured: In September 2021, a different 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Pinin Farina Spider was put up for auction on the website Bring A Trailer.

According to Brian Rabold, vice president for automotive intelligence at Hagerty, a company that closely monitors the values of collectible cars, Ferrari Mondial Spiders in good condition can sell for just over $2 million. Some have recently sold for as much as $5 million. For the car to be restored to its pre-crash condition and be usable once more, Rabold estimated that it could easily cost $1 million. With that total investment, the new owner could at least break even. However, buying a car like this is not typically done for financial gain. Rabold said:

“The sale price doesn’t leave much room for financial upside, but for the new owner the bigger reward may be in getting this historic car back to like-new condition and in front of appreciative enthusiasts again.”

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