The 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, based on the Ferrari 250, is a highly coveted race car that served as inspiration for several iconic automobiles in the 1950s and 1960s. It achieved remarkable success on the racing circuit, winning numerous championships and becoming one of the most successful Ferraris ever produced. Its limited production and elegant design further added to its allure, making it one of the most desirable and valuable cars in Ferrari’s history. Even today, collectors eagerly engage in bidding wars to acquire a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa.
Specifications of the 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa
Introduced in 1957, the first 250 Testa Rossa featured a distinct design element: red valve covers on its V12 engine, giving rise to its name, which translates to “redhead.” The Colombo Tipo 125 V12 engine, with a displacement of 2953ccm, underwent significant tuning to produce a remarkable output of up to 300 horsepower. Under the hood, the 1957 Testa Rossa featured a modified version of the Colombo-designed 3.0-liter V12 engine used in the 250 GT series. Ferrari enhanced its performance by equipping it with six Weber 38 DCN carburetors instead of the standard three. The connecting rods were crafted from billet steel for increased durability, and the cam covers were painted red to pay homage to the Testa Rossa name. This engine, known as ‘Tipo 128,’ produced 300 horsepower at 7,000 RPM, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 100 HP per liter and a top speed of 167 MPH.
Design of the 1957 Ferrari 250 TR
The Testa Rossa boasted a sleek design, featuring a tubular steel frame and independent front suspensions with unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers. The rear suspension included a live axle, radius arms, coil springs, and hydraulic shock absorbers. The Ferrari also featured drum brakes, a 4-speed plus reverse transmission, worm and sector steering, a fuel capacity of 140 liters, 5.50 x 16 front tires, and 6.00 x 16 rear tires. With a two-seater spider body type, a 2350 mm wheelbase, a 1308 mm front track, a 1300 mm rear track, and a dry weight of 800 KG, the Testa Rossa was a true feat of engineering.
The bodywork of the Testa Rossa evolved over time, with Ferrari making design changes alongside production modifications. In 1959, the car received a redesigned body by Pinin Farina, built by Fantuzzi. Subsequent versions showcased the iconic “shark-nose” design, which drew inspiration from Ferrari’s Formula One car of the era, the Ferrari 156.
Racing History of the Testa Rossa
The Testa Rossa’s racing history is rich and illustrious. Chassis number 0704 played a pivotal role in Ferrari’s success on the racetrack. Piloted by Phil Hill and Peter Collins, the car emerged victorious in the 1000 KM Buenos Aires, the first race of the 1958 season. The same drivers secured a win at the 12-hour race of Sebring. However, at the Targa Florio, Collins and Hill finished in fourth place. For the Nurburgring race, Ferrari replaced Hill with Mike Hawthorn, and the duo clinched second place behind the Aston Martin DBR1. Unfortunately, the Testa Rossa failed to finish at Le Mans. Nonetheless, Ferrari had already accumulated enough points in previous races to claim the World Sportscar Championship, leading them to skip the final race of the 1958 season.
The Testa Rossas changed hands multiple times after their racing career, with some fetching staggering prices. While the exact figures are not officially verified, reports suggest that a Testa Rossa with chassis number 0704 was sold for $39 million in a private transaction. Similarly, chassis number 0666 was sold for $16.39 million in 2011, including fees and commission, while chassis number 0714 fetched $12.4 million in 2009.
Legacy of the 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa
Overall, the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa remains a legendary car that brought Ferrari numerous achievements. Its timeless appeal and racing pedigree continue to captivate car enthusiasts and collectors alike, leading to fierce bidding wars at auctions. The Testa Rossa’s remarkable performance on the track during the 1958 racing season further elevated its status and added to its value.
But the Testa Rossa’s impact extended beyond its racing achievements, too. Its innovative design and engineering influenced numerous models produced by Ferrari and other manufacturers throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The aerodynamic lines, elegant curves, and attention to detail set a new standard for automotive design, making the Testa Rossa an icon of its era.
Today, the Testa Rossa continues to be a symbol of automotive excellence and craftsmanship. Its rarity and historical significance contribute to its high value in the collector’s market. Car enthusiasts from around the world actively seek out auction sites and private sales in hopes of acquiring their very own Testa Rossa, often prepared to pay substantial sums of money for the privilege.
Owning a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa represents more than just possessing a valuable car; it is a testament to a rich racing heritage and an appreciation for automotive artistry. The Testa Rossa’s timeless design and outstanding performance continue to captivate the hearts and minds of car collectors, ensuring its enduring legacy as one of the most coveted and desirable cars ever produced by Ferrari.
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