The latest look back at old classified advertisements features a 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial offered for sale in the September 1985 issue of Hemmingsfor $145,000.
In the early 1950s, Ferrari shifted from using the compact Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine in its smallest class of sports racers to a line of four cylinder engines designed by Aurelio Lampredi. Inspired by the success of the light and reliable 2.5 liter F1 cars, the four cylinder Ferrari sports racers competed successfully through the late 1950s, culminating with the 500 Mondial and 750 Monza.
Named to mark the world or “Mondial” championships won by Alberto Ascari, the 500 Mondial featured a 2.0 liter version of Lampredi’s four cylinder engine in a small and light body with an advanced suspension.
The 500 Mondial’s 2.0 liter engine was taken from the 500 F2 which won the world championship but was detuned to produce 170 hp. The Mondial was extremely light at 1590 lb and handled well with a modern de Dion tube rear suspension.
Initial 500 Mondials were coupes bodied by Carrozzeria Scaglietti, but Pinin Farina later created a series of barchettas, including the one profiled here.
This particular “absolutely superb” 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial, chassis 0434, with its “magnificent restoration” reportedly won first in class at Zandvoort in 1954 driven by Herman Roosdorp. Chassis 0434 was last publicly seen at the RM Auctions Monterey sale in 2002 where it failed to sell at $590,000.
Price guides are not very helpful with such an obscure Ferrari race car, so SCD estimates the market for a Ferrari 500 Mondial at $1,800,000 – $2,500,000 in today’s tumultuous times.
If you bought the Ferrari for $145,000 in 1985, then your investment would have returned approximately 13% over 23 years.