The very first 250 Testa Rossa is this car, chassis 0666TR, which is often labeled as the prototype. It was used to test various ideas and parts alongside another prototype, 0704TR, before the production was finalized starting with 0710TR in November of 1957.
Being the test mule for the series and a factory works car, 0666TR lived a tough and long life with different engines and bodies. It suffered a grueling crash at the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Jaguar D-Type of J.M.Brousseler who lost his life. Kessler’s Ferrari was sent burning into the barrier and was covered in dirt to try and quell the flames.
At the time of the crash, 0666TR was an ex-factory works car in the hands of privateers. Ferrari developed the car from their 315 and 335 Sport models, but with a smaller 3.0-liter V12. Built from various 250GT, 290MM, 335 and 500TR parts, the prototype raced four times for Ferrari in 1957 with no real results. In 1958 at the season opener in Argentina, 0666TR took an impressive second place behind the winning Ferrari of Phil Hill and Peter Collins. This was the car’s best result until the terrible crash at Le Mans in 1958.
0666TR was the second car to wear the purposeful pontoon body by Scaglietti & C. It was first fitted with a 500 TR body and was later converted after the second prototype was made. The remarkable ‘pontoon’ bodywork was designed under the leadership of Gian Carlo Guerra. They used a nose similar to the period F1 cars with cutaway fenders sometimes called sponsons. The idea was to expose the large brake drums to aid in cooling. While striking and exciting, this shape was unstable at high speeds. To fix the aerodynamics, Ferrari modified the design to feature bodywork that was a fully enclosed design for their own cars.
After the crash at Le Mans, Ferrari remanufactured 0666TR and sold it to Rod Carveth who campaigned it with little success in the 1959 season. After 1960 the car was permanently retired from racing and was in pretty poor condition and without an engine. In its second or third rebuild, the car was done up to concours standards for the 1988 Pebble beach Concours d’Elegance without the twin air inlets near the headlights which the car had in 1958.
After nearly 12 years of ownership the car was purchased by Jon Shirley who secured the original 0666 engine from Pete Lovely and had Butch Dennison restore the car back to its 1958 Le Mans configuration with its distinctive headlight scoops. It debuted, body-in-red, at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was later painted up with the #18 Le Mans livery.
Unequal A-Arms w/Coil Springs, Houdaille Shock Absorbers, Anti-Roll Bar
Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Houdaille Shock Absorbers, Trailing Arms
794 kg / 1750 lbs
2250 mm / 88.6 in
1307 mm / 51.5 in
1294 mm / 50.9 in
3959 mm / 155.9 in
1523 mm / 60.0 in
964 mm / 38.0 in
Type 525/B 4-Speed Manual
Ftchel & Sachs Single Dry Plate
~259.1 kph / 161.0 mph
0 – 60 mph
145 litres or 38.28 gal.
Auction & Sales Results
1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Prototipo 0666TR – The Original 250 TR Prototype Scuderia Ferrari, NART, Rod Carveth TR. Eight-Year International Racing History at Premier Venues. Driven by the Greatest Names in Motor Sport. Known, Continuous Ownership History from New. Multiple-Award-Winning Restoration by Dennison International. First in Class at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Presented in Stunning 1958 Le Mans NART Livery. Offered with Extensive Documentation, Race Engine and Spares. Documented by Ferrari Historian Marcel Massini. Fully Certified by Ferrari Classiche. Auction Source: 2011 Pebble Beach Auctions by Gooding & Company
Sources & Further Reading
Finn, Joel E. Testa Rossa V12, Newport Press: 1979.
Mallepelle, Paolo. ‘The Ferrari Sports Racer.’ Cavallino 42, Dec 1987.
Mangiamele, Guy. ‘250 Testa Rossa’. Cavallino 67, Feb 1992.
Pomeroy, Larence. ‘Succeeding a Champion.’ Motor, Apr 1958.
Prunet, Antione. Ferrari Sports Racing and Prototype Competition Cars, Haynes: 1983.