As a replacement to the 500 Mondial, the TR was Ferraris first Testa Rossa. Translated to ‘red head’ in Italian, this name and would go on the grace some of the best and highest achieving Ferraris. Later models included the 500 TRC, the V12 625 TRC and the well known 250 Testa Rossa.
The 500 TR picked up where the 500 Mondial left off. It was intended as a customer car to be raced against cars like the Maserati A6GCS and Jaguar D-Type.
Much of the engine design remained the same as that on the 500 Modial, but the chassis was entirely different. Ferrari moved the transmission up towards the engine, with a live axle type rear end. The move to a live axle seems a step backwards, but the simplicity of the suspension provided for increased reliability and adjusting.
The engine used in the 500 TR was the Lampredi-designed inline-4. After a brief period in fomula racing, the Inline-4 eventually made its way into sports cars, first appearing in the 500 Mondial.
The red example seen above was chassis 0650 MDTR. It was auctioned by Bonham & Brooks in 2001 with a selling price of 720,000 USD.