It was a long road to best of show for the roadster
A 1958 Ferrari 335 S from the collection of Austrian pharmaceuticals magnate Andreas Mohringer took home the prestigious best of show award at the 2018 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on Sunday.
The rare car, one of four built, was one of 51 road and race cars participating in the event and is now the fifth Italian car named best of show in the past five years.
The car’s beautiful, Scaglietti-designed body is certainly easy on the eyes but what jury members, led by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles design boss Lorenzo Ramaciotti, were particularly pleased with was its rarity and impressive engineering.
“The Ferrari 335 was the most powerful sports car from this marque and for a long time also the fastest,” Ramaciotti explained. “Then there was the fact that the recently completed restoration had been carried out to the very highest standards.”
An evolution of the 315 S, the 335 S features a 4.0-liter V-12 delivering close to 400 horsepower, an incredible figure for its time. It enabled the 335 S to become the first car to set an average speed of over 124 mph in the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1957.
Mohringer picked up his example in late 2013 for $21.5 million in a private sale. His is the youngest of the four 335 S examples built, the most famous being the 1957 example whose crash ended Italy’s Mille Miglia road race. Another 335 S sold in 2016 for $36 million.
Mohringer’s car has an interesting history outside of motorsport. Known as the “wandering Ferrari,” the car back in 1963 was bailed out of a U.S. Customs warehouse in New York for only $1,000. Following its motorsport career, Ferrari sold the car via U.S. distributor Luigi Chinetti to Texan Alan Connell.
Connell in 1959 shipped the car back to Ferrari for some engine work. It’s thought the repairs cost so much that both Chinetti and Connell refused to claim the car from customs upon its return.
That’s where Gordon Tatum, a Maryland car dealer, found it. He paid the storage fee of $1,000 and took ownership. Since then, it’s had owners in the United Kingdom and Japan and now also Austria.