A 1956 Ferrari 290 MM achieved $28 million at RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption Sale in New York as the most-expensive car sold at public auction in 2015. This 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, is also the third most-expensive car ever sold at public auction – only the 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO that Bonhams sold for $38 million in 2014 and the 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R that Bonhams sold for $30 million in 2013 achieved higher results. The car was an official Scuderia Ferrari works team car and famously driven by Juan Manuel Fangio to a fine fourth place overall at the 1956 Mille Miglia. It was also driven in competition by amongst others Phil Hill, Marquis Alfonso de Portago, Peter Collins, Wolfgang von Trips, Masten Gregory, Eugenio Castelloti, and Luigi Musso.
|1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti (Tim Scott ©2015 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s)|
1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti
The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, sold for $28,050,000 million a the RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption classic car auction in New York on 10 December 2015. The pre-auction estimate was $28,000,000 – $30,000,000.
The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti was the most-expensive car sold at public auction in 2015 – it achieved almost $10 million more than the $18.2 million paid for the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider from the Baillon Collection sold by Artcurial in Paris in February 2015.
The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti was the third most-expensive car ever sold at public auction. The record for most-expensive car in history remains with the 1962/3 Ferrari 250 GTO that achieved $38,115,000 at the Bonhams 2014 Quail Lodge auction in California, USA. A 1954 Mercedes Benz W196R Formula 1 racer sold for $29,650,095 (£19,691,500) by Bonhams at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed sale in the UK.
Fangio’s Ferrari 290 MM at the 1956 Mille Miglia
Ferrari designed the 290 MM to contest the World Sportscar Championship (WSC). The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at the Mille Miglia race, the third round of the WSC series.
Fangio competed as car #600. He was last of the 365 cars to start the race and finished fourth behind three other Ferraris; Eugenio Castellotti won in another 290 MM. The result was a major achievement for these solo drivers that completed a 1,000-mile race in open-top cars in torrential rain and without the aid of navigators.
1956 Ferrari 290 MM Races
The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, competed as a Ferrari Works entry at further races in 1956 and 1957. It was driven by amongst others Phil Hill, Marquis Alfonso de Portago, Peter Collins, and Wolfgang von Trips.
Its best finish was overall victory at the 1957 Mil Kilometros Ciudad de Buenos Aires driven by Masten Gregory, Eugenio Castelloti, and Luigi Musso.
In spring 1957, the car was sold to Temple Buell in New York and continued to compete but now racing in blue and white. Its best results were second place at the 1957 Portuguese and Belgium (Spa) grand prix races.
The 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, continued to race competitively in North America until 1964. The car has the rare distinction of never having been seriously crashed and thus is in a very original condition.
From 1970, the 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, chassis no. 0626, was in Pierre Bardinon’s famous Collection Mas du Clos in Aubusson, France, for over three decades.
The car has been returned to its 1956 Mille Miglia livery and regular maintenance makes it possible to compete in a range of historic events.
Works Ferraris, especially ones raced by drivers such as Fangio, and with a WSC victory record rarely come to market. These cars are rare, as is reflected by the price achieved at the RM Sotheby’s Driven by Disruption sale in New York.