Ferrari is known for producing eight- and twelve-cylinder engines. It’s even made its fair share of V6s. This one, however, has only four cylinders. Not that it’ll stop it from selling for millions when it crosses the auction block in Monaco next month.
The car in question is a 1953 Ferrari 625 Targa Florio. It’s one of only three ever made, and the only one known to have survived.
At its heart sits a 2.5-liter DOHC inline-four originally designed by Aurelio Lampredi for Formula 2, where it motivated the legendary Alberto Ascari to two back-to-back championships. Shoehorned into a sports-car chassis, the compact engine left the vehicle light and nimble.
What really sets it apart, though, is its bodywork. The TF was originally coachbuilt by Vignale as an aerodynamic coupe. Enzo Ferrari was apparently unimpressed and had it rebuilt as a roadster. Scaglietti was subsequently charged with modifying the bodywork again and fitting it with a smaller grille.
The Last Of Its Kind
It raced in events like the Grand Prix dell’Autodromo at Monza and the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Noted racers Mike Hawthorn (who would become Britain’s first F1 champ) and Umberto Maglioli (winner of the 1954 Carrera Panamericana) drove it and it performed admirably, albeit without a major win to its name.
After retiring from works duty, it passed through the hands of several private owners in Italy and South America. It, however, was then forgotten for over a decade before it was discovered at a scrapyard in Naples in 1974. Restored to its former glory, the 625 TF was campaigned in more events, and it’s now coming up for auction.
Bonhams expects it will sell for €4.5-6.5 million ($5.5-8m) when the gavel drops on May 11 at the Villa La Vigie in Monaco Beach. By classic Ferrari standards that’s not as much as it sounds, especially since it’s the sole example in existence today.