Ferrari 412 S 1958
RM Auctions, North America’s premier collector car auction house, is honored to present the legendary 1958 Ferrari 412 S race car at the 2006 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction on Saturday, August 19, 2006 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California. This one-of-a-kind racing Ferrari, one of the greatest racers in Ferrari’s famed motor sports history, driven by legendary drivers like Phil Hill and Richie Ginther, is the most valuable car ever offered before at a North American auction. The 412 S is predicted to smash RM’s own record-breaking sale of the Le Mans winning 1962 Ferrari Testa Rossa 330 TRI/LM that sold at RM’s 2002 Monterey sale for $6.5 Million.
“The 412 S is by far, one of the most valuable automobiles in the world,” said Rob Myers of RM Auctions. “From the dominant engine to the long list of racing giants who have climbed behind the wheel, the 412 S has everything serious collectors could ask for. We anticipate significant international bidding at our Monterey sale for the opportunity to own one of the rarest Ferraris in history.”
There is no question the ex-Scuderia 1958 Ferrari 412 S (with chassis number “0744”) with coachwork originally by Scaglietti is one of, if not the greatest, sports racing Ferraris ever built. This historically significant car represents one of the only examples Ferrari built specifically to challenge American racers on the North American SCCA circuit. Throughout its life and different owners, the 412 S was continually raced by a who’s who of famed drivers such as Phil Hill, Richie Ginther, Skip Hudson, Fred Knoop and Steve Earle, who used it to promote the first Monterey Historic Races in 1973.
This absolutely singular and peerless racecar is capable of developing more than 440 horsepower from its Vittorio Bellantani-designed four-cam, twelve-cylinder engine, the most powerful engine offered by Ferrari at the time. The engine installed by the Ferrari Factory in the 412 S was originally used in the De Portago 335 S racer that had been constructed for use in the 1957 Mille Miglia race. Following the race, the engine was returned to the Factory where it was further improved and essentially hot rodded for use in the single seat racecar entered in the “Race of Two Worlds”. At the Monza Indianapolis “Race of Two Worlds,” Luigi Musso qualified for the pole, pushing the car to speeds in excess of 174 mph on one of the world’s most competitive tracks.
Following the race and at the request of its first privateer owner, John Von Neumann, the special engine was mated to a new sports racing chassis which had just finished competing as a Ferrari factory team car. It was at this juncture that the nomenclature of the 412 S became widely known and designated as the 412 MI (Monza Indianapolis). Von Neumann campaigned the car until he sold it to J.B. Nethercutt in 1959. The 412 S has since changed several times and has competed in some of the world’s premier vintage racing events.
The 412 S represents the ultimate opportunity to own a singular example of Ferrari’s greatest achievements with a provenance that includes nearly every major racing event around the world while offering, as the great Phil Hill describes, “the most delicious sound of any vintage Ferrari.” The 412 S was visually inspected, scrutinized and certified in 2005 by the Factory, which verified that the engine and drivetrain have been maintained regularly while in the stable of its current owner for the last 11 years.