1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Estimate: $5,000,000 - $5,750,000
Chassis: 0434 MD
Engine: 0434 MD
Herman Roosdorp, Brussels, Belgium (acquired new via Garage Francorchamps in 1954)
Simon Maasland, Netherlands (acquired from the above in 1954)
Chuck Fee, California (acquired circa 1964)
Asa Clark, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above circa 1964)
Edwin K. Niles, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1965)
Kathy and Lyle Tanner, Carson, California (acquired from the above in 1965)
Edwin K. Niles, Los Angeles, California (reacquired from the above in 1965)
James Mitchell, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1966)
Edwin K. Niles, Los Angeles, California (reacquired from the above in 1973)
FAF Motorcars, Tucker, Georgia (acquired from the above in 1979)
Harold Javetz, Savannah, Georgia (acquired from the above circa 1979)
Peter G. Sachs, Stamford, Connecticut (acquired from the above in 1980)
Bill Jacobs, Joliet, Illinois (acquired from the above in 1983)
Frank Gallogly, Englewood, New Jersey (acquired from the above)
Erich Traber, Bern, Switzerland (acquired from the above circa 1989)
David Sydorick, Beverly Hills, California (acquired from the above in 1993)
Bill Jacobs, Joliet, Illinois (reacquired from the above in 2000)
Current Owner (acquired from the estate of the above)
Grand Prix of Sports Cars Spa-Francorchamps, May 1954, Roosdorp (5th in Class)
National Zandvoort, June 1954, Roosdorp (2nd Overall)
Zandvoort, July 1954, Roosdorp (1st in Class, 2nd Overall)
National Zandvoort, July 1954, Roosdorp (1st in Class)
International Zandvoort, August 1954, Roosdorp (5th in Class)
International Whitsunday Sports Car Race, Zandvoort, May 1955, Maasland and van der Lof (Race 1, 1st in Class)
International Whitsunday Sports Car Race, Zandvoort, May 1955, Maasland and van der Lof (Race 2, DNF)
Zandvoort, May 1955, van der Lof (DNF)
National Zandvoort, May 1956, Maasland
National Zandvoort, August 1956, Maasland (1st in Class)
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach, California, August 1978
Concours of Long Beach, Long Beach, California, 1979
Road Atlanta Walter Mitty Challenge, 1983
Mille Miglia Retrospective, May 1990
Mille Miglia Retrospective, May 1994
Ferrari Club of America National Meet and Concours, Monterey, California, August 1994
Ferrari Yearbook, 1954, pictured with Herman Roosdorp
Ferrari Owners’ Club USA Magazine, vol. 14, no. 4, 1979, featured
Ferrari Club Nederland Magazine, no. 75, Fall 2001, “Gli Amici della Ferrari,” featured
Ferrari Club Nederland Magazine, no. 76, March 2002, “Gli Amici della Ferrari,” pictured
By the early 1950s, postwar Europe was regaining its economic footing as passions and pursuits returned to happier times. Sharing in this renewed prosperity was Ferrari, one of the continent’s greatest sports and race car builders. Amid a burgeoning demand for high-performance sports cars from professionals and gentleman racers, Ferrari entered what would become its golden age – producing cars that cemented the company’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest automakers.
While Ferrari was known for its legendary V-12 engines, chief engineer Aurelio Lampredi was fully aware of the torque and weight advantages inherent in the four-cylinder engines employed by Ferrari’s competition. That idea developed into a two-liter, inline four-cylinder engine for use in Ferrari’s tipo 500 Formula 2 monoposto race car, which dominated Grand Prix racing from 1952 to 1953 and set a record for consecutive World Championship wins by driver Alberto Ascari that would stand until 2013.
To transfer that success to sports car racing, Ferrari introduced the 500 Mondial in 1953. Based upon a tubular-steel chassis with a modern De Dion rear suspension, the barchetta would be stylishly bodied by both Pinin Farina and Scaglietti, the latter reserved mostly for the second-series cars. The Pinin Farina Spider is arguably the more graceful and desirable of the two designs, evoking comparisons to the similarly sublime Ferrari 375 MM.
This Pinin Farina-bodied Spider, chassis 0434 MD, is one of the 30 original 500 Mondials produced from 1953 to 1955, and features a 501 Series chassis, distinguished from Series II cars by its round, versus oval, tubing and front suspension with transverse leaf spring. According to documentation from noted Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, it was delivered with a tipo 110 twoliter engine and a tipo 501 four-speed transaxle.
As chronicled by copies of factory documents compiled by Mr. Massini, Ferrari delivered 0434 MD new on May 17, 1954, to Jacques Swaters’ Garage Francorchamps in Ixelles, Brussels, destined for racer Herman Roosdorp of Belgium. Swaters, who was also a race driver and team manager, endeared himself to Enzo Ferrari during early dealings with the automaker and became the official Ferrari importer in Benelux. The relationship would span 50 years and make Swaters one of the world’s most important Ferrari dealers and collectors.
Roosdorp promptly began campaigning this Mondial, first at the Grand Prix of Sports Cars Spa-Francorchamps on May 23, where he achieved a 5th in Class. Greater successes quickly followed. Only a month later at Zandvoort, Roosdorp piloted the Mondial to 2nd Overall, and in July he posted a pair of 1st in Class finishes. That year’s Ferrari yearbook recognized Roosdorp’s success by including a photo of him with 0434 MD.
Late in 1954, Simon Maasland of the Netherlands acquired the Mondial so that it could be used by his son, Hans. In May 1955, Hans Maasland and Dries van der Lof drove the Mondial to 1st in Class at Zandvoort’s International Whitsunday Sports Car Race. As testimony to its enduring competitiveness, 0434 MD again won 1st in Class at Zandvoort with Maasland as late as August 1956. Many photographs of 0434 MD in competition accompany the car.
Advertised for sale in the German car magazine Auto Motor und Sport in October 1956, the Ferrari in 1964 was imported to the US by Chuck Fee and later was sold to Asa Clark of Los Angeles. Over the next decade 0434 MD was owned by noted West Coast Ferrari enthusiasts Lyle Tanner, James Mitchell, and Ed Niles. In the mid-1970s, Mr. Niles had the Mondial restored for exhibition, and it was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in August 1978 before he finally parted ways with 0434 MD in June 1979.
Throughout the following years, the Ferrari would become part of esteemed collections including those of Erich Traber, Peter G. Sachs, and David Sydorick. These owners would fully enjoy the car in the many capacities in which it excelled: vintage racing, Ferrari club meetings, and prominent international touring events. Mr. Traber loaned the car to Alfred Lienhard for the running of the Mille Miglia in 1990, while Mr. Sydorick and co-driver Steve Tillack drove itin the same event in May 1994.
The 500 Mondial was a fixture in Mr. Sydorick’s collection of early competition Ferrraris from 1993 to 2000, when it was sold to Bill Jacobs, who had owned the car briefly in the 1980s. The Ferrari remained a cherished prize in his collection for the next decade. Following Mr. Jacobs’ passing in 2010, this 500 Mondial was sold to its current steward, joining one of the greatest collections of sports and racing Ferraris in the world.
Early Ferrari race cars often suffered high attrition and indignities throughout the years. As racing classes and formulas changed, and older race cars simply became street cars, original engines were swapped with different powerplants in an effort to stay contemporary. What remains extraordinary about 0434 MD is that it retains its original engine, as confirmed by the internal engine number, 17MD, recorded on the factory build sheet.
It is believed that 0434 MD retains the majority of its original Pinin Farina coachwork. A photograph of the Ferrari in bare metal during the initial stages of Mr. Niles’ restoration suggests that the original body panels had been carefully preserved by the car’s knowledgeable stewards. Indeed, the only seemingly notable deviation from factory specifications is the fitment of Weber 45DCOE carburetors in place of the Mondial’s original 42 DOE carburetors, as listed on the build sheet.
In the care of its current owner, this Mondial has been held in prolonged static storage, and it likely will need recommissioning prior to optimal performance on the road or track.
The fascinating tale of 0434 MD weaves its way through the last half-century, touching historic places and prominent figures within the mythos of the Maranello automaker. With period racing history and rich provenance of notable enthusiasts, 0434 MD, an important example of Ferrari’s first four-cylinder barchetta, is poised to star in its next owner’s stable. Rare for its largely uncompromised condition, this well-documented example of one of Ferrari’s most endearing models cannot be overlooked, and represents an opportunity that may not come again for some time.
The Scottsdale Auctions
January 19 & 20, 2018