In addition to auto shows and vehicle debuts, auctions are a major part of the draw to Monterey Car Week. All sales are now over, and the 1955 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider by Scaglietti is the highest selling lot of the year. The hammer fell at $22.005,000.
As the selling price shows, this is a very special Ferrari. Carroll Shelby won more races in this car than any other vehicle in his driving career. He amassed eight wins and 10 podiums in this 410 Sport Spider.
For a closer Shelby connection, the auction includes trophies from his first win in a car in 1956 and his last victory in 1958. The original 1957 Nassau racing license plate is also included with the engine.
Ferrari originally built this car as one of two special vehicles to compete in the 1955 Carrera Panamericana. Sergio Scaglietti designed the body and also formed the panels. Power came from a 4.9-liter V12 engine, which was the largest engine Ferrari had built up to that point. To maximize output, the factory had two spark plugs per cylinder. Plus, there are three twin-choke Weber 46 DCF carburetors. The total output is about 400 horsepower.
Organizers canceled the Carrera Panamericana in 1955 due to a fatal accident that killed 83 spectators at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. Instead, the car made its competitive debut at 1,000 Kilometers Buenos Aires 1956 in January 1956 with Juan Manual Fangio and Eugenio Castellotti as the driving team.
Later, team leader John Edgar bought a car to campaign for him as a privateer in the United States. He put Carroll Shelby in a Ferrari that won his first race at the wheel at the Seafair event in Bremerton, Washington.
From 1956 to 1958, the car competed in nearly 40 races, including 11 wins and 19 total finishes. After that, he often appeared at events for historic Ferraris, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
In 2006, Carroll Shelby saw the car again at the Fabulous Fifties Concours in Gardena, California. There, he wrote a fuel tank with the message: “Mr Ferrari told me this is the best Ferrari he has ever built.” The message is still in the car today.