At RM Sotheby’s final auction of the year, a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM sold for a whopping $22 million, becoming one of the top ten most valuable cars ever sold in the process. This particular car – chassis number 0628, is the fourth and final example ever built. The car originally started life as an 860 Monza which was powered by a 3.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The car received three engines over its motorsports campaign but thankfully had no aesthetic overhauls and the car still sports its original body.
With English duo, Peter Collins and Louis Klementaski behind the wheel, the car raced at Mille Miglia in which it competed as an official works car. It finished second overall. In that same year, it also came second in the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti as well as third in the Targa Florio.
The vehicle was later upgraded to its current 290 MM specification with a 3.5-liter V12 replacing the four cylinder unit. With the new powertrain in, the car went on to win a number of racing events around the world, including the the 12 Hours of Sebring, 1000 km Buenos Aires race and the 1957 Bahamas Speed Weeks. At the Memorial Race and Nassau Trophy Race in the Bahamas, the car was piloted by Sir Stirling Moss and stood victorious in both the races.
The vehicle was later sold into private ownership and has been in the possession of many individuals since then. Fast forward to 2011, the car underwent a full, concours-quality restoration by Ferrari Classiche to its 12 Hours of Sebring configuration of 1957. It was shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and was displayed at the Ferrari museums in Maranello and Modena in both 2016 and 2017.
While $22 million is an eye watering price, it is still not the highest paid for a 290 MM. That feat goes to a similar car piloted by El Maestro in the 1956 Mille Miglia which sold for $28 million at an RM auction. That is further dwarfed by the $48.4 million someone paid to get hold of the legendary 250 GTO this year.
Image courtesy: Robb Report