When the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was designed, Sergio Scaglietti himself admitted it was not very aerodynamic. But he loved the way the car looked and built it anyway. His decision to put design ahead of racing performance wasn’t a controversial one. Arguably the greatest car producer in the world doesn’t focus on speed alone. A legendary car needs to meet all the standards of greatness, not just a few. It’s this dedication to perfection that makes the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa one of the most iconic cars ever made.
Greatness of the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
Another factor behind the greatness of the 250 Testa Rossa was the fact that only 34 were built, making sales of the ’57 Testa Rossa few and far between. A sale in 2014 recorded a record price of over $39 million for an unrestored model still in its original racing condition. The model was a success on the racetrack in the late 1950s and began a long string of Ferrari victories at Le Mans, Buenos Aires, and Sebring.
This completes the trifecta for a classic car, launching it into the stratosphere of most iconic rigs ever produced. Incredible design, minuscule production numbers, and legendary performance on the race track while maintaining completely original racing condition. These factors coming together in the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, create a special mix of collector car magic that will never be replicated.
The 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa, Chassis 704
The second prototype ever built, chassis #0704, was the car that launched Ferrari into greatness on the race track. Phil Hill and Peter Collins raced the car to win the 1,000km Buenos Aires, the first race of the 1958 season. The next race, 12hr of Sebring, was also won by the same two drivers. That’s two victories in the first two races of the 1958 season, an incredible feat. The third race of the year had Peter Collins and Phil Hill racing at Targa Florio and finished in 4th place.
After Targa Florio, Ferrari made a driver adjustment for the Nurburgring race, keeping Peter Collins at the wheel but swapping Phil Hill out and bringing in Mike Hawthorn. The new duo finished in second place behind the Aston Martin DBR1. Next up was Le Mans, the biggest race of the season. Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn remain at the wheel, but the car wasn’t able to finish. In the 1958 season’s final race, Ferrari didn’t even send a representative, and they didn’t need to. They already had achieved enough points from the previous races to claim the World Sportscar Championship. An incredible success for chassis #0704.
The Perfectly Preserved 704
Soon after the racing successes of chassis #0704, it was sold to a North America Ferrari distributor, John Von Neumann. The car continued to be used in various races until Von Neumann lost the car to his wife during a divorce, along with other incredible Ferrari vehicles and his entire Ferrari dealership! #0704 was immediately sold by Von Neumann’s wife and traded hands a few times after that. The car continued to be raced and notched dozens of additional victories.
The car landed in the hands of a young racer named Arthur True, who had his racing number, #38, painted on the hood and the doors. An unfortunate passing of Mr. True by an illness, had the car, along with some other cars True owned, donated to the Henry Ford Museum, where it would remain on display for the next thirty years. The #38 still remains on the Ferrari.