Scuderia Ferrari’s racing cars in the 1950s and 1960s are some of the most sought-after and significant cars in history. It is just discovered that the 1963 Ferrari 275 P is a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner. How could such a significant truth be hidden for so over 50 years?
The 1963 Ferrari 275 P
The 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. It is held annually near the town of Le Mans, France since 1923. To complete the race, the driver and the vehicle must have extreme endurance as it is held in June when the weather is very hot and ventilation is poor. The race starts in mid-afternoon and finishes the next day at the same hour it started.
24 Hour of Le Mans is an endurance race
It is universally known that the Ferrari 275 P chassis no. 0816 is one of the only four Scuderia Ferrari cars built to contest the World Sports Car Championship in 1963. From official records, we also know that 0816 won the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella. However, the fact that 0816 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans previously in 1963 has remained buried until Sotheby’s experts researched the history of the car.
24 Hours of Le Mans
The original entrant of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1963 was 0814. Unfortunately, it was severely damaged in a practice accident at the Nürburgring one month prior to Le Mans. Recently, factory documentation has confirmed that 0814 was still being repaired during Le Mans.Rather than submitting new paperwork for a replacement entry, Scuderia Ferrari simply sent 0816 to Le Mans under 0814’s identity, driven by Lodovico Scarfiotti and Lorenzo Bandini.
Following the car’s victory at Le Mans in 1963, 0816 was sent back to the Factory. It was prepared to be sent to the United States for a brief stint racing under Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) with Scuderia Ferrari factory driver John Surtees. The car was returned to Scuderia Ferrari at the end of 1963, and it was prepared for the 1964 racing season. Later that year, it won the Le Mans race once again.
The 1963 Ferrari 275 P 0816
In 1970, the 275 P was sold to collector Pierre Bardinon’s world-famous Mas du Clos Collection in France. It has remained there for the last 48 years. The 275 P is presented via RM Sotheby’s Private Sales division in highly original, never fully restored condition, retaining its matching-numbers engine, gearbox, and body.
As Scuderia Ferrari’s only double Le Mans winner, 0816 will be offered at a private sale of Sotheby's with price under request.