Hourly Standings and Time Sheets for Sebring 1964-1967
[This catalog description was used in the RM Auctions catalog for the 2001 Monterey Sports Car Auction and is used by permission. ©2001 RM Auctions, Inc. and R.S. Carey.]
The ex-Scuderia Ferrari, Peter Collins/Luigi Musso, Sture Nottorp
1956 Ferrari 410 Sport Spider
Chassis No. 0596 CM
Engine No. 0596 CM
380 hp @ 7000rpm, 4,962cc. single overhead camshaft V12 engine, 5-speed manual transaxle, independent front, de Dion rear suspension, 4-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase 2,420mm.
Ferrari created the 410 Sport to dominate the 1955 Carrera Panamericana. It was the ultimate high speed Ferrari hot rod; the biggest, baddest, meanest sports racer Ferrari had ever built.
During the mid-Fifties, cars, engines and chassis of all sorts poured out of Maranello in a steady stream of competitive enthusiasm. The factory and its clients dreamed up combinations they thought would be competitive in a series, or even in a specific race, and Maranello’s craftsmen obliged with a racing car to suit. The Ferrari 410 Sport was one of those cars, conceived, constructed and developed specifically for Scuderia Ferrari to respond to the extreme and unique conditions of the 1955 Carrera Panamericana. They were among the most powerful sports racing cars built in the 1950s with 4.9 liter engines of nearly 400 horsepower and even more torque, over 400 lb-ft. Just two cars were produced and during their heyday the 410 Sport was virtually unbeatable.
Ferrari had been dealt a stinging defeat by Lancia in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, nearly costing Ferrari the Manufacturers Championship. In 1954, despite capturing the first two places with Umberto Maglioli’s 375 Plus and the Phil Hill/Richie Ginther 340/375 MM Spider, the Porsche 550s of Hans Herrmann and Jaroslav Juhan had nipped at the big Ferraris’ heels throughout the race, eventually finishing ahead of Franco Cornacchia (250 Monza) and Luigi Chinetti/John Shakespeare (375 MM) who in turn barely beat Ak Miller’s Oldsmobile-powered hot rod, “Caballo de Hierro” (Horse of Iron).
The big 4.9 liter 375 Plus proved to be a handful for its drivers on the Carrera’s long but bumpy straightaways. The long wheelbase, narrow track, high center of gravity and forward weight bias made the big cars unstable at high speeds. Jack McAfee, a highly competent driver with plenty of Carrera experience, driving Tony Parravano’s 375 Plus lost control on the first leg of the race and crashed heavily resulting in the death of his co-driver Ford Robinson.
The 1955 Carrera Panamericana clearly required something new and radically different. That, Ferrari determined, would be the 410 Sport. Their purpose was clear from Ferrari’s chassis and engine number suffixes: CM for “Carrera Mexicana”. They were not, however, to fulfill their destiny in Mexico. The racing world’s upheaval following seven deaths in the ’54 Carrera and the devastating accident at Le Mans in ’55 meant there would not be a 1955 Carrera Panamericana, yet the two 410 Sports created for it became legends, the most awesome of the Ferrari racing cars based on Aurelio Lampredi’s “long block” V12.
Ferrari created a total of four cars in this series. The first two, 0592 CM and 0594 CM, were client cars called 410 Speciales and went to Tony Parravano in California and Michel-Paul Cavallier in France respectively. The two 410 Sports, 0596 CM and 0598 CM, were intended from inception as Scuderia Ferrari’s factory team racing cars.
The 410 Sport was a major departure from Ferrari’s earlier sports racers, a different and unique automobile that established the direction Ferrari would take until the front-engined sports racers were supplanted by mid-engined designs. A completely new frame design was created and given the designation Tipo 519C. Its wheelbase of 2,420mm, the same as the later 250 Testa Rossa customer cars which are universally praised for their handling, stability and responsiveness, was much shorter than the 2,600mm of the 375 Plus. All subsequent Ferrari sports racers would use similar wheelbase lengths. The frame itself was a brand new design, unprecedented in earlier practice and never used again. It was built around unusually high aspect ratio (much taller than wide) oval main tubes with two sets of smaller parallel tubes, one above and one outboard of the main tubes. Forming a triangle in cross section, these frame rails were joined by a multitude of smaller tubes creating what is, in effect, nearly a space-frame chassis, a structure of exceptional strength and rigidity, designed and executed to cope with an immensely powerful engine and the rough roads and high speeds of the Carrera Panamericana highways.
The independent front suspension used parallel A-arms with coil springs. At the rear Ferrari adopted its reliable and well developed transverse leaf spring de Dion suspension located by trailing arms and a sliding block in a track integral with the differential. The suspension used Houdaille lever shocks all around.
The 375 Plus had demonstrated that although its power was capable of delivering 185 mph on the Carrera’s long straights it had a steep torque curve that peaked at high rpm. With only four speeds in its gearbox it was impossible to keep the engine at the peak of its power curve. The 410 would have to address and remedy that shortcoming which Ferrari accomplished by adding a fifth gear to the transaxle. Drivers now had a choice of ratios for the Carrera’s widely different conditions and closer spacing to deliver the engine’s power more effectively.
Ferrari chose the new Tipo 126 cylinder block being developed for the Superamerica and Superfast GT cars, a brand new short stroke design, as the basis for the engine. Designated Tipo 126C, the engines of the first two 410 Speciales used single ignition and three Weber W40 DCF/3 carburetors to give 345hp. The final two cars in the series, the Scuderia Ferrari 410 Sports, benefited from the factory’s Formula One experience with spark plugs located both inside the engine’s vee and outside next to the exhaust headers. With 24 plugs fired by four distributors or magnetos combustion chamber flame spread was uniform, particularly with fuels of questionable octane rating which they might be forced to use in Mexico. The big bore Tipo 126C took advantage of its large 88mm bore (13.5 mm more than the 375 Plus) to accept huge valves which were fed from cavernous intake ports and three unique Weber 46 DCF two-barrel carburetors with magnesium alloy bodies. Ferrari’s engine designers carefully crafted a compromise between maximum power and a healthy and broad band of usable torque. Needless to say, with 380hp at 7000 rpm and a whopping 403 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm, the engineers successfully met their objective.
To rein in this impressive urge Ferrari developed gigantic drum brakes that were cleverly mounted clear of the tires, a placement that both reduced unsprung weight and exposed the aggressively vented brakes’ deeply finned aluminum drums to cooling air flow. The front drums project fully 2½” into the airstream while the rears are completely exposed, separated by an inch from the wheel’s inner edge and lavishly ducted for lots of fresh, cool air. The 410 Sports are the only Ferraris known to employ such radical efforts to keep their brakes cool. Ferrari provided huge fuel tanks with 195 liter (51.5 gallon) capacity, enough to complete even the longest high speed legs of the Carrera Panamericana without running dry.
The 24-plug Ferrari 410 Sports were bodied by Scaglietti, now firmly establishing itself as Ferrari’s competition coachbuilder. No longer barchettas in concept or execution, the 410 Sport Spiders’ bodywork shows the direction Ferrari sports racers would take for the coming years, establishing the style that would clothe the 290 MM, 860 Monza and Testa Rossa. Low and wide, Scaglietti’s 410 Sport Spider coachwork visually squats over its larger tires. Dominated by a broad oval radiator air intake flanked by covered headlights at the point of tapered elongated teardrop fenders, a vast engine cover extends over the top of the fenders to give reasonable access to the outside row of spark plugs. Intended to be driven single-handed, an aluminum panel covers the passenger’s seat area which also contains the dry sump oil tank. The 410 Sports were the first Ferrari sports racers created in this style, at once flowing and brutal, with a purity and originality that oftentimes characterizes the first execution of a new concept.
Ferrari’s carefully developed plans for the 410 Sports were, however, overtaken by circumstances. Seven lives were lost in the 1954 Carrera. Crowd control along the 1,908 mile route required some 19,000 soldiers from the Mexican Army and even then was less than successful. The 1955 Le Mans tragedy was the last straw and Mexican President Cortines ordered there would not be a 1955 Carrera Panamericana. But, like the Carrera Panamericana which in only five runnings established a legend, the Ferrari 410 Sport Spiders created for it would become legends,
The Scuderia Ferrari 24-plug 410 Sports were prepared as factory entries in the 1000km of Buenos Aires on January 29, 1956, the opening event of the 1956 Sports Car Championship schedule. Held on a composite circuit made up of long straights linked by a “parabolica” at one end and city streets at the other it was known as the Autódromo Municipal y Avenida General Pax. The race was 106 laps of the 9.476 km course for a total of 1004.5km and was described by some as similar to the daunting Avus circuit in Berlin. Driven by Peter Collins/Luigi Musso (0596 CM) and Juan Manuel Fangio/Eugenio Castelotti (0598 CM) the 410 Sports were split on the Buenos Aires front row by the Phil Hill/Olivier Gendebien Ferrari 857S. Scuderia Ferrari’s two 4.9 liter behemoths thundered off with Peter Collins eventually setting the fastest race lap of 102.5mph in 0596 CM before both the 410 Sports retired with transaxle failures. It was the 410 Sports’ first and last factory race; 0596 CM was sold to Swedish driver Sture Nottorp and 0598 went to US West Coast stalwart John Edgar.
Edgar put his 410 Sport in the quick hands of Carroll Shelby and the pairing went on to dominate the 1956 SCCA races it entered, winning virtually everywhere it appeared. With conscientious maintenance by Joe Landaker, who had joined Edgar’s equipe along with Shelby from Tony Parravano’s squad the 410 Sport was unbeatable except by misfortune. Misfortune’s ugly head, it seemed, was rarely raised.
An early quote of the colorful variety for which Shelby was famous created an inappropriate image for the 410 Sport. Shortly after winning in its first appearance, at Seattle’s Seafair raceway, Shelby delivered the famous line, “It’s a hog, but it goes” which titled an article in Ferrari Album #3 on the Edgar car’s history. Carroll Shelby’s real feelings about the 410 Sport were more measured, as recounted in Steve Dawson’s article in the same publication. Shelby’s more elaborate comments were, “The 4.9 was a big car…. It was the biggest and best car Ferrari ever made … in ’56 the 4.9 was the car of the year. It didn’t have any bad vices.” So much for “it’s a hog.”
It also was reliable. Mechanic Joe Landaker recalled, “We ordered spares with it and they flew in with the car. We had everything – gears, pistons, fuel pumps and distributors, stuff we though we would need. Nothing much ever went wrong with the car.” The transaxle failures which prematurely ended the 410 Sports’ factory racing careers at the 1000km of Buenos Aires were addressed by the factory before the 1956 Mille Miglia and never appeared in subsequent races
In 1957 John Edgar, miffed at perceived slights from Ferrari, bought the latest Maseratis as his front-line race cars and the 410 Sport took a back seat to them. This created an opportunity for up-and-coming drivers when Edgar’s team had time to prepare the 410 Sport.
Phil Hill drove the 410 Sport at the Spring ’57 Santa Barbara race, later remembering it for its power. Richie Ginther got a chance at Edgar’s 410 Sport in 1957 at Riverside, winning the first race at this legendary circuit: “My first time in it, I had tattooed in my mind RESPECT because the 4.9 had more power than anything I had ever sat in. It wasn’t frightening; I found it very manageable, understanding and very forgiving. It was a predictable car…. Quite frankly, I think it was easier to drive than a 750 Monza.”
Ginther drove Edgar’s 410 Sport again at Nassau in 1957, “Moss was there with the latest 4.5 Maser and he and I had a fantastic battle. He had disc brakes and could really do me bad on braking, but I had the power. .. Edgar just loved that: he thought that was Too Much! I finished second in that race.”
The 410 Sport’s potential was realized against the most intense competition of its time in US events where free-spending owners bought the finest sports racers the free-spirited talents in Italy could provide and put in their drivers’ seats heroes who would go on to win racing’s brightest honors. Edgar’s team never again enjoyed the success it had in 1956 and 1957 with the 410 Sport.
The car offered here, Ferrari 410 Sport 0596 CM, was modified by the factory with four distributors mounted at the back of the engine instead of its earlier front-mounted Marelli magnetos and was sold by Ferrari to Swedish driver Sture Nottorp with a Ferrari factory entry in the 1956 Mille Miglia. Nottorp’s 410 Sport was present in Brescia, pictured at the time with headrest fairings for both driver and co-driver, but never crossed the starting line. The details are lost in the mists of time and racing , h Nottorp thereafter firmly maintained that Ferrari sabotaged the car. The importance of race purses to Ferrari’s commercial survival in the Fifties (and the Mille Miglia was a very rich race) lends at least circumstantial support to Sture Nottorp’s contentionthe big 410 Sport as a seriousto the factory entries, 3½ liter 860 Monzas and 290 MMs which would be gobbled up by the 410 Sport, saw to it thattdid not start.
Nottorp’s disappointment was understandable but he entered the 410 Sport in the 1956 Swedish Sports Car Grand Prix on August 12 with co-driver Olle Andersson. Sweden was the final race of the five events in the 1956 Sports Car Championship which had begun so eventfully for the 410 Sport at Buenos Aires seven months before. The race was a stressful 153 laps of the 4.06 mile Rabelöv circuit, and of crucial importance as once again Ferrari and Maserati were tied for the Manufacturers Championship. Ferrari emerged victorious but only 14 cars finished of 27 starters. One of them was Nottorp and Andersson in seventh. 0596 CM contested other events in Scandanavia for the next year and in November 1957 Nottorp advertised 0596 CM for sale in Road & Track.
It was eventually acquired by Bill Danielson in the U.S. who entered it in several 1959 USAC road races in California driven by, among others, Tony Bettenhausen and Skip Hudson. After only a year’s racing Danielson advertised the 410 Sport again in late 1959 and then retired it where it remained in a state of suspended animation, exactly as it had raced, until it was acquired thirteen years later in 1972 by Pierre Bardinon’s renowned Mas du Clos museum. It remained there, still unrestored, for a further thirteen years. Subsequently part of three important Ferrari collections, 0596 CM is now offered by only its seventh individual owner from new in race ready condition, a pristine, complete and entirely original example of one of the most powerful front-engined Scuderia Ferrari sports racer ever built.
Every part of this truly awesome machine exudes muscle, perhaps more than any Ferrari before or since. The earlier 375 MM is lithe by comparison. The relatively ubiquitous 250 Testa Rossas are dainty when confronted with the authoritative 410 Sport. Scaglietti’s flowing lines are skillfully juxtaposed with an assortment of air intakes to feed the massive engine and brakes; access panels for the radiator and oil tank highlight that this is a purpose built race car. Immense brakes fill the Borrani wire wheels. Construction details like the intricate and finely detailed transaxle and brake castings show the artistry lavished upon it by Ferrari’s craftsmen. The giant hood, spilling over into the front fenders, leaves no doubt that the 24-plug 4.9 liter motor is its heart. Perhaps no other automobile is so brutish yet beautiful at the same time.
The 410 Sport’s sound is quite simply spectacular, a unique thundering rip. Other Ferraris’ voices may be described as ripping velvet but the 410 Sport’s V12 declares its potency with the vital sound of rending canvas that can be heard for miles.
On a recent test at Willow Springs, the 410 Sport delighted its drivers with its predictable and stable handling and brutal acceleration, pulling strongly from 2500 rpm and exploding above 4000 rpm. Strong brakes tame the awesome power and torque. Looking over the protruding hood and carburetor hood scoop the pavement disappears beneath the 410 Sport at a prodigious rate, instantly creating in the driver’s mind the realization that the great factory drivers Collins and Musso sat here and had the same spectacular visual, physical and aural experience.
The 410 Sport was simply the biggest hammer Ferrari had ever constructed, a monumental automobile that presaged such twisters as the Scarabs which would dominate unlimited sports car competition until the dawn of the mid-engined Can-Am age. The 410 Sport prevailed in the most competitive races in the world in 1956 and 1957, the US West Coast SCCA events, and introduced drivers who would become World Champions in sports cars and Formula One to the essence of power, handling, balance and performance. Even decades after driving it each of the racing legends who experienced the 410 Sport remember it vividly, a measure of the impression which its power and handling made upon them. To a man they describe the 410 Sport as a benign, predictable and tractable race car. In Carroll Shelby’s words, “It was The Brute of the brutes,” but if, as Shelby noted, the 410 Sport was “… a car that didn’t have any bad vices,” its good vices must have been its power and traction.
Ferrari 410 Sport 0596 CM will bring its new owner the thrill of a landmark Scaglietti body, 380hp and 400+ lb-ft of Ferrari V12 and a rock solid chassis designed for the rigors of the Carrera Panamericana. It will be an extremely competitive vintage race car, one which has rarely been seen and that will become even more competitive with further development. Its reliability has been proven time and again, along with its potency. 0596 CM additionally benefits from a light racing career apparently free of accidents and it has had a succession of careful, meticulous and sympathetic owners who have nurtured its originality until today it has a mellow patina that is a delight to behold.
In fact, 410 Sport 0596 CM is as it was in the 1950s – glimmering red paint on the gently patinated original panels. The marks of Scaglietti’s craftsmen have not been erased by restoration, instead 0596 CM looks as it did in the period photos, the product of artisans. It is rare that such an important sports racing car is so beautifully preserved. It is also completely original in its configuration, as confirmed by its Ferrari factory build sheets, even including the 46 DCF Weber carburetors that are unique to the 410 Sport. It still has the belly pans that enhanced its high speed aerodynamics and visible under the rear deck is the row of rivet holes where the passenger’s headrest fairing was attached for the 1956 Mille Miglia. The intricate construction and quality workmanship of its builders is still apparent, particularly in the complex frame construction which is visible beside the engine, under the cowl and inside the passenger’s compartment. It is, in fact, as original as a front line Ferrari race car ever gets and far more original than Ferrari sports racers costing much more.
Importantly, Ferrari 410 Sport 0596 CM has never been to the major Ferrari events, vintage races and concours d’elegance. Its new owner will have the opportunity to present this important and beautiful Ferrari for the first time to the most prominent and felicitous events, including the upcoming Ferrari Anniversary at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2004.
Ferrari 410 Sport 0596 CM is a landmark automobile that puts other Ferraris and their competitors from Maserati, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Porsche in the shade. It will be a welcome entry in concours, Ferrari events and an outstanding competitor in the Shell Ferrari/Maserati Historic Challenge, Mille Miglia Retro, California Mille or Monterey Historics. Even among the exceptional fields of these or similar events Ferrari 410 Sport Spider 0596 CM will be a standout participant.
This is the first time a 410 Sport has ever been offered at auction and RM Auctions is privileged to present what is in all probability a opportunity to acquire “The Brute of the brutes.”
[This exceptional Ferrari 410 Sport was sold for $3,822,500.]
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