1950’s America was a booming time, both socially and economically. Through the influence of a few international socialites, Ferrari was beginning to take root as one of the country’s most sought-out car brands. At the head of this luxury revolution was renowned playboy Porfirio Rubirosa – A Dominican diplomat and James Bond-esque extraordinaire. Although the man lead an interesting life, he drove a more interesting car: the 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider.
Rubirosa was notorious for racing his beloved Ferrari around the Californian streets with his famed lover Zsa Zsa Gabor riding shotgun. Rubirosa clearly understood the value of prestige via material wealth because the 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider was no ordinary Ferrari.
Only 12 were ever made in celebration of Ferrari’s Formula 1 championships in 1952 and 1953. As Rubirosa’s fame and wealth waned, the car moved on to famed sportscar dealer John van Neumann who exhibited the vehicle at a car show in Santa Barbara.
While at this particular exhibition, the 1954 Ferrari 500 Mondial Series I Spider would catch the eye of a young actor by the name of James Dean. Dean, who was showing off his Porsche Spyder at the time, became enchanted by the car and was photographed admiring its fine ingenuity.
The point of all this? Thanks to Bonhams auctions, you can now be the proud owner of a vehicle owned by one of history’s most adventurous playboys and coveted by one of Hollywood’s finest. The charming blue roadster won’t be cheap though. And rightfully so. If it’s any indication, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned in 2018 for over a million AUD.
The auction will take place on January 17th 2019, and will be sure to draw some attention. But if you’ve got $50 million plus to spend on a good time and a good story, then why not treat yourself to the best?
Check out the Bonham’s lot here.