Inspired by the mission of helping to make the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases become realities, the Ferrari Owners Group (FOG) and the Ferrari Owners Charitable Foundation (FOCF), are launching the Golden Gate Ferrari Festival, Saturday, September 10th, www.goldengateferrarifestival.com, in the civic heart of San Francisco to benefit Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area. As many as 400 pre-selected Ferraris, vintage and current models, including an award-winning 1955 Mondial Series II Scaglietti-bodied Spyder, one of only three remaining in existence, will be on display at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza Park, where the streets encircling the Park will be shut down to allow for public attendance to support the Foundation’s goal of raising $500,000 for the charity.
According to Joe Keon, FOCF founder, Ferrari is known to be one of the most powerful and recognized brands in the world today, connoting excitement, luxury and unparalleled performance – all feats that draw aspirational audiences of all ages and spheres of influence. “We are dedicated to using our own influence to build a program that will benefit those less fortunate while providing hope for the future.”
With an anticipated display of hundreds of these prized machines, including ultra-rare cars valued between $15million and $50million, the program is a tremendous opportunity for brand association as well as the ability for the public to engage in a rich heritage of racing and exclusivity not always easy to touch or behold in person.
The first registered vehicle for the limited entry field of 400 is the rare and pedigreed 1955 Ferrari 500
Mondial Series II Scaglietti Spyder, owned for the past 56 years by Rear Admiral Robert A. Phillips, USN (Ret.), and residing in the Northern California area. According to Phillips, this particular vehicle of Scuderia fame was ‘built to be a racecar, and born to be driven,’ – both acts he continues to ensure. With world championship lineage under its belt, including a World Championship win in the first Grand Prix of Venezuela, it remains only one of three 500 series Mondials to still utilize the unusual transmission of its original 2.0-liter 4-cylinder racing engine, spouting only 172hp. Some background can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpfJ1b-X7p4.
About Ferrari 500 Mondial Scaglietti Spyder (serial number 0556/0446 M)
This rare gem has been owned by Rear Admiral Robert A. Phillips, USN (Ret.) since 1960, when he purchased the ‘broken Ferrari race car’ for a mere $2,225 (equating to approximately $18,000 by today’s standards and currently valued at nearly $2 million). Admiral Phillips found the car with a seized differential, repaired the car himself and later performed a complete restoration taking a period of 8 years to complete. Phillips believes that even after 56 years, he himself is only a ‘temporary custodian,’ of this exceptional 4-cylinder beauty and his hope is that it never becomes a museum piece, but is always driven as it was meant to be.
Having won its class in the 1st Grand Prix of Venezuela in November 1955 driven by Harry Schell and Eugenio Castellotti, the Mondial was driven one month later by Porfirio Rubirosa to earn a class win in the Governor’s Trophy Race at Nassau, with Ebby Lunken matching that effort in the Nassau Trophy Race. Another class win was garnered at the March 1956 12 Hours of Sebring driven by Porfirio Rubirosa and Jim Pauley. International playboy and racer Porfirio Rubirosa, purchased the car in 1956, continuing to keep it on the race circuit.
This Ferrari was painted French Racing Blue for its original owner, Francois Picard, who took delivery in May of 1955. Phillips, who purchased the near ‘barn find’ five years later, began his complete restoration in 2000 and the work brought it back to its original condition. In August 2008 the Monidal won its class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was awarded the Enzo Ferrari Trophy for the Best Ferrari in the field, selected by son of Ferrari Founder Enzo Ferrari, Piero Ferrari and former CEO of Ferrari and former chief of Scuderia Ferrari, Jean Todt.