Historic Tour de France Ferrari set for RM Sotheby's Monterey sale

Fangio 66

Fangio 66

2015-07-27 08:52:17

An important and historic 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione ‘Tour de France' is the latest addition to RM Sotheby's hotly anticipated Monterey sale.

Described as "amongst the most historically important Ferrari competition cars ever built", chassis 0557GT is one of just seven first series berlinettas with coachwork by Scalietti. The car was the very first Ferrari to win the 'Tour de France' auto race, earning the designation that was then added to all further examples.

"The ‘Tour de France’ is the first significant model in Ferrari’s successful 250 lineage – it predates the Testa Rossa, the SWB Berlinetta, the 250 GTO and the 250 LM, and, as such, represents an important milestone in the company’s history,” said Alain Squindo, Vice President of RM Sotheby’s.

“0557GT is part of a very exclusive group of Ferrari’s most historically important individual cars, as famous designations like 'Mille Miglia', 'Daytona', and of course 'Tour de France' were earned by singular cars that reigned victorious at those races. 0557GT therefore stands head and shoulders above its fellow stablemates, which it effectively named. Add to that the car’s history with Fon de Portago, its exquisite presentation and freshness to market, and the scene is set for a very, very memorable Monterey auction.”

The car was sold as new to Marquis Alfonso de Portago, the legendary Spanish racing driver who drove the car to victory in the 1956 Tour de France Auto alongside co-driver Ed Nelson. With the daring Portago behind the wheel, the car was also victorious at the 1956 Coupes du Salon and the 1956 Rome Grand Prix, followed by another win at the Coupes USA in 1957.

Following Portago’s tragic death at the Mille Miglia in May 1957, the car passed to his close friend C. Keith W. Schellenberg, who kept the car for moer than 20 years. Having since passed through several notable collections, chassis 0557GT remains in remarkably original condition and is expected to achieve a new record price when  it crosses the block next month.

“Our Monterey sale continues to raise the bar for collector car auctions year after year, and we’re excited to continue the tradition next month," said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “We’re thrilled to round out what is certainly our finest Monterey offering to date with a car of such incredible historical significance as the first ‘Tour de France’-winning, Tour de France!”

The RM Sotheby's Monterey sale takes place at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center on August 13-15.

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