Art of the Automobile

21 November 2013

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Lot 105

Ferrari 180 Testa Rossa Children's Car

Sold for $126,500

  • A 250 Testa Rossa for the young enthusiast
  • Built in period and sold new by famed Luigi Chinetti Motors
  • One of only about five examples extant

Everything about the 250 Testa Rossa is flowing and sensuous, from the stylish and purposeful “pontoon-fendered” body to the rip-snorting notes emanating from the world-class, race-winning V-12 engine under the hood. Consider the results: the 250 Testa Rossa’s 1958 season included clinching the Constructor’s Title in the World Sportscar Championship that year, headlined by an overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it was driven by Olivier Gendebien and Phil Hill. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it is the sound and fury, signifying everything, and it has made the “Red Head” one of the most iconic and perpetually desirable sports-racing cars in the world.

Produced by Modena Ferrarina Italia, the car offered here has all of the character and good looks of the 250 Testa Rossa, but it is only a fraction of the size. Its lightweight body is powered by a capable 0.3-horsepower, 180-watt, 12-volt electric motor, which is surely enough power for a pint-sized Ferrarista. It was hand-assembled with handmade steel bodywork and the finest available drivetrain and chassis components, and it was exclusively distributed by Luigi Chinetti Motors, of New York, Ferrari’s sole importer to the United States at the time. Having Ferrarina’s product distributed by Chinetti, to the same customers who were buying race-ready Testa Rossas from the same showroom, was certainly the ultimate endorsement. It is believed that twenty-five 180 Testa Rossas were built, with fewer than five remaining worldwide.

The current owner acquired this 180 Testa Rossa in 1986, from the renowned Ferrari enthusiast and prolific collector Kirk F. White, who had it restored to his usual outstanding standards. White gave the car the same treatment that a full-grown Testa Rossa would receive, with only the best craftsmen—all of them masters at restoring automobiles—sourced to restore all components.

Few children’s cars were built to this standard, and fewer still received the blessing of such a figure as Luigi Chinetti.

This lot will be offered on a Bill of Sale.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alexander Weaver

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby's in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born ... read more

Annette Abaci

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Barney Ruprecht graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Administration. In ... read more

Dan Warrener

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a car specialist in May 2015. He is a lifelong automobile enthusiast and g... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Sotheby's in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and re... read more

Ian Kelleher

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Sotheby's in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in ... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 917 213 5672
Ontario, Canada

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a restoration shop as a teenag... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 260 927 9797
Indiana, United States

Kurt Forry joins Auctions America with more than a decade of experience on the North American auction scene and a well-rounded knowled... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his ho... read more

Peter Wallman

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a car specialist. A... read more