A hugely-significant 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti race car is heading to auction in August thanks to RM Sotheby’s.
Enzo Ferrari dreamt up the 410 Sport Spider while looking to secure the 1955 FIA World Sportscar Championship. To do so, he needed to create a car that could race well on circuits while also successfully completing the five-day Carrera Panamericana rally through Mexico.
The Italian car manufacturer designed its new type 519/C chassis for the championship, complete with a low-riding tubular spaceframe. The race car was fitted with a 5.0-liter V12 complete with twin-plug ignition per cylinder, a quadruple distributor, and a coil ignition system to develop almost 400 hp. Just two 410 Sports were built to these specifications and while the Carrera Panamericana event was cancelled before the cars could compete, they instead ran in the 1956 World Sportscar Championship.
This particular example is known as 0598 CM and was initially driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Eugenio Castellotti. After an unsuccessful debut at the 1000 km of Buenos Aires in January 1956, the car was sent back to the Ferrari factory and acquired by John Edgar. Chassis 0598 CM was then raced frequently by Carroll Shelby for Team Edgar, securing a number of victories in the process.
The car proved so successful that Shelby once told a Los Angeles Times reporter “Nothing can touch this Ferrari if it runs.” Team Edgar later started to court Maserati and reached a deal with the Italian brand for Shelby to start driving for them. Still with the 410 Sport in his racing fleet, Edgar handed over the reigns to Phil Hill. The car was later raced by the likes of Richie Ginther and others.
John Edgar retired the car from racing in 1960 when he sold it. However, it was pulled from retirement by its new owner for the 1963 Daytona Continental 3 Hours. New regulations stipulated race cars needed a fixed roof so one was fashioned for the car but it poorly impacted aerodynamics and the new owner decided to race a 250 GTO instead.
The car was then retired again and remained in a collection for two decades. It was acquired by Howard Cohen in 1980 and underwent a restoration. Chassis 0598 CM has passed through the hands of numerous owners since. It is so special that the original fuel tank has an inscription from Carroll Shelby reading, “Mr. Ferrari told me that this was the best Ferrari he ever built.”