Art of the Automobile
21 November 2013
Ferrari 180 Testa Rossa Children's Car
To be auctioned on Thursday, November 21, 2013
Sold for $126,500
- A 250 Testa Rossa for the young enthusiast
- Built in period and sold new by famed Luigi Chinetti Motors
- One of only about five examples extant
Everything about the 250 Testa Rossa is flowing and sensuous, from the stylish and purposeful “pontoon-fendered” body to the rip-snorting notes emanating from the world-class, race-winning V-12 engine under the hood. Consider the results: the 250 Testa Rossa’s 1958 season included clinching the Constructor’s Title in the World Sportscar Championship that year, headlined by an overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was driven by Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it is the sound and fury, signifying everything, and it has made the “Red Head” one of the most iconic and perpetually desirable sports-racing cars in the world.
Produced by Modena Ferrarina Italia, the car offered here has all of the character and good looks of the 250 Testa Rossa, but it is only a fraction of the size. Its lightweight body is powered by a capable 0.3-horsepower, 180-watt, 12-volt electric motor, which is surely enough power for a pint-sized Ferrarista. It was hand-assembled with handmade steel bodywork and the finest available drivetrain and chassis components, and it was exclusively distributed by Luigi Chinetti Motors, of New York, Ferrari’s sole importer to the United States at the time. Having Ferrarina’s product distributed by Chinetti, to the same customers who were buying race-ready Testa Rossas from the same showroom, was certainly the ultimate endorsement. It is believed that twenty-five 180 Testa Rossas were built, with fewer than five remaining worldwide.
The current owner acquired this 180 Testa Rossa in 1986, from the renowned Ferrari enthusiast and prolific collector Kirk F. White, who had it restored to his usual outstanding standards. White gave the car the same treatment that a full-grown Testa Rossa would receive, with only the best craftsmen—all of them masters at restoring automobiles—sourced to restore all components.
Few children’s cars were built to this standard, and fewer still received the blessing of such a figure as Luigi Chinetti.
This lot will be offered on a Bill of Sale.