OCT 06th 2015

Video: The special story of a special Ferrari

‘I sincerely consider the finished result is as close as anybody could get to how the car was when delivered in February ’56,’ says founder of DK Engineering, David Cottingham. Certainly, the quality and accuracy of the restoration of the car in question is exquisite, but for many years the prospect of seeing the car presented as it was when in its first condition seemed highly unlikely to say the least …

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We are talking here about the last of only four Ferrari 857 Sports built. Despite winning the World Sportscar Championship in 1954 with the 750 Monza, Ferrari felt that there was some room for improvement, which became an actual necessity when Mercedes-Benz introduced its mighty 300SLR. An experiment with a six-cylinder motor didn’t yield the required results and so Ferrari modified a 750 Monza frame and fitted a larger four cylinder power plant of almost 3.5 litres. With each cylinder displacing 857cc the new car was christened the 857S.


Sergio Scaglietti was entrusted with creating the gorgeous bodywork for the cars and three of them were sent to compete in the RAC Tourist Trophy in Ireland, one being this car – chassis 0588M. Things didn’t go according to plan though and it was crashed heavily by Olivier Gendebien, after which it returned to Scaglietti who added a D-Type-esque fin behind the headrest. A mechanical renovation followed after which the car was sold though Luigi Chinetti to a new owner in Hollywood.


None other than Carroll Shelby found himself behind the wheel for a number of races, winning a couple in the process. Ritchie Ginther also had some seat time after the car had been sold and relocated to Arizona after which it made its way to Texas in the late Fifties. In 1962, it found itself in Pennsylvania where the original four-cylinder motor was replaced with a far more powerful Chevrolet Corvette V8. The transplant would appear to have been a success, with its owner Oscar Koveleski regularly making the podium and recording class wins.


Chassis 0588M’s story took an unexpected turn when it was acquired by celebrated Pop Artist Andy Warhol who it’s believed intended to make a parody of the famous The Yellow Rolls-Royce film. It didn’t happen in the end, even though it had apparently been painted yellow in anticipation of the project being a success. Legend has it that at this point Warhol’s agent drove it on the streets of New York for a short while. A couple of owners later the car found itself back in Italy and it was driven in the 1973 Le Mans Historic. 


1982 was the point at which DK Engineering’s interest in the car began when a gentleman in Los Angeles offered for sale by auction a ‘Super Monza’ motor and transaxle. DK acquired it and established that it was originally fitted to 0588M. It then stayed at DK’s premises, waiting to be reunited …


In 1997 the car was sold with a 250 GT V12 motor to a French Ferrari collector who used the car often before it was acquired 13 years later by Mr Cottingham. A full rebuild ensued and the original motor was reunited with the car a full 38 years after it had been removed. With the restoration complete it made its post-restoration debut at the Goodwood Revival in 2011 where it sat on pole position by three seconds, although a minor mechanical issue denied it the win.

A year later the car was sold once again to a Californian enthusiast where, as far as we’re aware, it remains today. What a story and what a car …

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