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by Brett Davis

An ultra rare 1956 Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa will go up for auction next month at a Gooding and Company event in Arizona, USA. The 1956 classic is the first Ferrari ever to feature an engine with red rocker covers, hence ‘Testa Rossa’.

The Testa Rossa name (translating to ‘red head’) was given to a handful of race cars developed by Ferrari for early Le Mans racing. These early ‘TR’ editions were based on the classic Ferrari 250 and highly desirable 250 GTO models. Only 34 250-based Testa Rossas were made, and just 17 of these 1956 500 versions.

The 500 features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder all-alloy engine, producing around 134kW of power. It may not sound like all that much by today’s racing standards, but for a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four cylinder in 1956, it was very powerful.

This example has lots of history too, as it was raced by classic drivers such as John von Neumann, Bruce Kessler and Pete Lovely in its heyday, and at America’s most famous tracks, like Palm Springs and Laguna Seca.

With all this history and rarity behind it, you’d expect it to fetch quite a bid at the auction. And you would be right. Estimations are in the $2.1-2.6 million range. If you’re in the Scottsdale area, or are interested in buying, you can check out this and many other classics at the event, running from January 20 to 21.




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