Home The Market A rare beauty, 1953 Ferrari racer offered at Bonhams' Monaco sale

A rare beauty, 1953 Ferrari racer offered at Bonhams’ Monaco sale


A remarkably rare 1953 Ferrari 625 Targa Florio spider, with a bespoke body by acclaimed designer Alfredo Vignale and raced by some of the greatest drivers of the period, will be auctioned May 11 in Monaco by Bonhams.

One of just three of the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder twin-overhead camshaft 625 Targa Florio cars built, the historic Ferrari goes to auction with an estimated value of €4.5 million to €6.5 million ($5.5 million to nearly $8 million), according to a Bonhams news release.

The spider competed in period in Italy and South America

The two-seat spider is the unmitigated star of the Bonhams sale, which will feature more than 50 special sports cars and GTs, celebrated race cars, pre-war classics and other collector cars at Villa La Vigie at Monaco Beach.

The Targa Florio spider started out at Monza with legendary British driver Mike Hawthorne at the wheel. After that debut, it underwent some body modifications by Scaglietti, particularly a styling change to the grille, which the car still wears today.

The Ferrari was subsequently campaigned by Umberto Maglioli and Luis Milan. After its Italian racing career, it passed through five owners in Brazil and Argentina, where it took part in a number of South American competitions.

The Ferrari has been immaculately restored, Bonhams says

In the mid-1960s, it returned to Italy where apparently the beautiful roadster was considered just another used-up race car and eventually went to a scrapyard in Naples. The 625 was rediscovered there in 1974 by Ferrari historian Franco Lombardi, who recognized its heritage.

The spider was sent back by its new owner to Modena, where it underwent a complete restoration in preparation for the Mille Miglia, an event in which the Ferrari was entered four times, in 1984, 1986, 1989 and 1990.

The car was once again restored in time to compete in the 2006 Monaco Historic Grand Prix, where it was raced by its current owner. The most-recent restoration was performed by Carrozzeria Nova Rinascente near Padova, Italy.

A revised grille was designed by Scaglietti

The historic Ferrari stands ready to add to a prestigious collection or put back on the track in vintage racing events, according to Bonhams.

“This is a racing car par excellence: ex-works, driven by one of the most celebrated British racing drivers of all time, and fastidiously restored,” Bonhams said in the release. “It is eligible for the most glamorous and exciting motoring events across the globe and, as Maglioli himself claimed, ‘It is suitable for even the most tortuous routes’.”

For more information about Bonhams’ Monaco sale, visit the auction website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


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