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  Ferrari 625 TRC

  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1957
Numbers built:2
Designed by:Pinin Farina
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 21, 2012
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFor the 1957 season, Ferrari offered customers just a single type of sports racer; the 500 TRC. Powered by a two-litre engine, it was to be the ultimate development of the four-cylinder sports racer that had originally debuted in 1953. Ferrari, meanwhile, were working on a three-litre V12 powered sports racer that would become available to customers in 1958.

The 500 TRC proved particularly popular on the American West Coast where it was raced in the SCCA National Sports Car Championship against Porsche 550s and Lotus Elevens. Instrumental in bringing many of these cars to North America was John von Neumann, who was Ferrari's distributor for California. He was a racer himself as well and used his connections to order two TRCs, powered by the 2.5 litre '625' engine.

Mechanically and visually, the two 625 TRCs were identical to the 17 other TRCs produced that year. The chassis was a straightforward tubular ladder frame, suspended by double wishbones at the front and a solid rear axle. Coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers were fitted on all four corners, as were massive, finned drum-brakes. As on most Ferrari sports racers of the day, a four-speed gearbox was used.

For 1957, the Pinin Farina styled and Scagilietti built body of the original 500 TR was modified slightly to comply with the new Appendix C regulations; hence the TRC type name. These changes included the adaption of a full-width and tall windscreen. Also mandatory from 1957 were functional doors on both sides of the car. Whereas the 500 TR featured small blisters to clear the tall engine's cam-covers, the TRC design sported a completely smooth engine cover.

Originally developed for the 1954 Grand Prix Ferraris, the 2.5 litre version of Aurelia Lampredi's 'four' boasted both a bigger bore and stroke. At 220 bhp, the larger engine produced an additional 30 bhp compared to the more commonly used two-litre unit. Ferrari fielded 2.5 litre engined 500 TRs, known as 625 LMs, at Le Mans in 1956 but these were all sold on with smaller engines, so Von Neumann's two 625 TRCs were very much unique.

Von Neumann raced both cars extensively and with considerable success, although one was quickly fitted with an even larger 860 Monza engine. While very powerful and torquey, Ferrari's four cylinder engines were notoriously vulnerable to over-revving and eventually most were swapped out for more forgiving units. This also happened to both 625 TRCs with Von Neumann fitting a V12 engine halfway through 1958 in the first to effectively create a 250 TR.

In new ownership both chassis were fitted with American V8s to extend their racing careers well into the 1960s. Today both 625 TRCs have been restored using 250 TR-specification three litre engines. For the value of the cars, this has hardly been an objection as one recently sold at auction for just over EUR 5 million.

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  Article Image gallery (31) Chassis (2) Specifications