The Ex-works/Sergio Sighinolfi/Jacques Jonneret/Peter Monteverdi
1954-55 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider Corsa Sports-Racing Two-Seater
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Scaglietti
Chassis no. 0486M
Engine no. 0486M
This painstakingly restored 3-litre 4-cylinder sports-racing Ferrari has been in the ownership of a major European collection since the late 1980s, before which it had been preserved again long-term in the celebrated Nigel Moores Collection, in Ormskirk, Lancashire.
In its heyday this matching-numbers, customer-destined Ferrari Monza was originally as one of the earliest coil-spring suspension works team cars, employing the factorys Tipo 510 chassis design, and powered by the then latest-specification Tipo 119 3-litre 4-cylinder twin-overhead camshaft racing engine.
In that original from, 0486M offered here was driven by the Maranello factorys works team collaudatore (test-driver) Sergio Sighinolfi in no less an International event than that Everest of motor racing attainment at the time the 1955 Mille Miglia.
It was subsequently campaigned in mountain-climb competition plus the occasional significant circuit race - by Jacques Jonneret through 1956 before the well-known Swiss enthusiast, collector and sometime quality car constructor Peter Monteverdi acquired it in 1957. Monteverdi was only 23 years old at the time, and had taken over the family automobile repair shop in Binningen upon his fathers death in 1956. In his teens he had built his first small racing car, based upon Fiat Ballila parts, and into his twenties he began racing Fiat, Porsche and Ferrari sports cars before building his first Monteverdi Formula Junior racing single-seater. He went on, of course, to become, in effect, the Swiss motor industry.
The car was then stripped of its original bodywork and modified with Monteverdi-styled, Sauter-fashioned 750 GT Berlinetta coachwork during 1958. The car was ultimately acquired by the late Nigel Moores in the 1970s, as a powered chassis with the Berlinetta body removed. After its acquisition by the present vendor, a discarded original period Scaglietti body which had been removed from another 4-cylinder Ferrari to make way for brand-new panelling was acquired. Many months of painstaking work by the highly regarded British panel specialists Gomm Metal Developments of Old Woking, Surrey, then went into straightening, patching and saving this original Scaglietti body, in order to return 0486M now offered here as far as possible to the form and fabric it offered in the mid-1950s.
Engine 0486M was rebuilt to running order in the 1990s by celebrated British 4-cylinder Ferrari specialists Hall & Fowler (today Hall & Hall) of Folkingham, Lincolnshire, while mechanical reassembly of the car has been completed in recent years by British specialist Squadron Leader David Nobles Ardua Engineering company. Since completion of this work the car has not been run in earnest, and has instead been preserved in storage and on museum display.
In the 1955 Mille Miglia round-Italy race, Sergio Sighinolfi drove 0486M as race number 724- representing his start time of 7.24am from the famous Brescia ramp and bearing the Bologna registration plate BO 46415. In fact the enthusiastic Ferrari test driver handled this works car brilliantly, powering it all the way round through Pescara, Rome and Florence back to Brescia for an admirable finish in sixth place overall. In this car, his time from Brescia to Rome was recorded as 5hr 33min 23sec, and for the entire 1,000 miles back to Brescia the talented, bold and brave Sighinolfi clocked 11hr 33min 27sec.
The only cars to better this performance in that most charismatic of open road races were the winning and second place Mercedes-Benz 300SLRs of Stirling Moss/Denis Jenkinson and Juan Manuel Fangio, third-placed Umberto Magliolis Ferrari, Francesco Giardinis fantastically well-driven little Maserati fourth and American Mercedes-Benz works driver John Fitch, fifth.
This car was subsequently sold to Swiss owner-driver Jacques Jonneret, who competed in it as early as May 29, 1955, when he shared it with fellow-amateur driver André Canonica in the Hyeres 12-Hours, in France (according to some reports) while others team Canonica with Gino Munaron in a Ferrari Monza, which won outright...
Most notably, on July 24, 1955, Jonneret drove 0486M most notably in the Portuguese sports car Grand Prix at Lisbon, but was forced out of the event after 28 laps of the Monsanto Park circuit.
On August 20, 1955, the car ran in the Goodwood International
9-Hours classic right here in Sussex co-driven by its owner Jonneret and that great British all-rounder, professional racing driver Ken Wharton. In Whartons hands predominantly, the car ran as high as fifth overall during the first two-thirds of that classic day-into-night tussle, before suffering an engine failure which forced Jonneret to retire it during the sixth hour.
In the backwash from the 1955 Le Mans disaster and the Swiss national ban upon circuit motor racing, Jacques Jonneret then concentrated upon mountain Championship events through 1956, including the classic climbs at Mont Ventoux in France and Ste Ursanne-Les Rangiers and Ollon-Villars at home in Switzerland
Jonneret then sold this car to Peter Monteverdi of Basle, Switzerland, who campaigned it in the 1957 Tiefencastel-Lenzerheide mountain-climb, and won the similar-standard Swiss Martigny-La Forclaz event. Unfortunately he subsequently crashed the car during the Turckheim-Les Trois Epis mountain-climb.
The order of events in this cars history have then been variously reported, but either Peter Monteverdi then had 0486M rebodied in Gran Turismo Berlinetta form before selling it to Dr Alfred Hopf of Basle, or he sold the damaged car to Dr Hopf first, who then had Monteverdi manage a rebuild process which saw the car fitted with the new closed bodywork. Peter Monteverdi commissioned the Sauter coachworks to rebody the car to a style which he designed and using methods which he directed. This Ferrari Monzas new Sauter-Monteverdi bodywork was then finished in metallic blue paintwork while we understand that the interior was trimmed in white leather. Peter Monteverdi drove the car in this form to win its class and set 4th fastest time overall in the September 1958 Mitholz-Kandersteg mountain climb.
Following this Dr Hopf/Monteverdi period, 0486M was acquired by enthusiast collector Othmar Graf still in Switzerland and in the early 1970s the car was partially restored and then offered for sale by auction at the 1974 Geneva Salon. It is recorded as having been sold there for SF27,000, and was subsequently in the ownership of Donald K. Nelson in the UK. It was acquired discreetly, like most of that great enthusiasts car collection by British owner-driver Nigel Moores, who intended to restore the car to its original Mille Miglia form, but who sadly lost his life as a passenger in a road accident before serious work could be initiated.
The car survived in warehouse storage having long-since lost the Sauter-Monteverdi GT body until 1987 when it passed into the sympathetic long-term ownership from which it is now offered here.
This is a superb rebuild, combining an original chassis with a substantially original period body the chassis itself embodying a most significant and interesting ex-works, ex-Mille Miglia, ex-prominent private owners, and not least ex-Goodwood 9-Hours, racing history.