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  Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spyder

  Article Image gallery (35) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (1)  
Click here to open the Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spyder gallery   
Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1953 - 1954
Numbers built:12 (In three series)
Designed by:Giovanni Michelotti for Vignale
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 31, 2008
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When a young man (10 y.o.)I lived with my parents in southern West Virginia. My Dad had rather exotic tastes in a lot of things, including cars. In 1958 he purchased a 250 MM Vignale Spyder of 1953 vintage. The front end of his car was somewhat more bulbous than the Spyder shown here. Living in the hills of West (By God)Virginia meant that Ferrari mechanics were rather rare and far between. So, my Father taught himself the intricacies of Ferrari maintenance; and did an admirable job. In 1959 my Dad and his friend traveled to Charleston, WVa to attend an SCCA driver's school - they both passed with my Dad in the Ferrari and his friend in his Bugeye Sprite. Since the only other vehicle we had was a 1958 VW Micro-Bus the idea of towing quickly went awry. My Dad, ever resourceful, found a wrecked Buick convertible that had basically the same dimensions as the profile of the Ferrari's windscreen profile. He then proceeded to fashion mounting brackets for his new found windshield. Once that was done, he fashioned his own fabric top. It seems to me that the frame was from an A-H 100, and he modified it and the canvas top to fit the Ferrari. After all the Dad's Ferrari had a covered headrest with cowling that blended back over the "trunk" area. Once this was done it was off to the races. My little brother and I would ride in the left passenger seat and Dad took us all to the races. I remember going to Danville with him. He took off his top and windshield, installed his racing screen and we started his heat. I can't remember how he did, but at least he finished. His best showing was at the old Malboro course. In 1959 Ferrari had released the new 250 TR to privateers. One of the first to receive them was the Distributor in NYC (I'm drawing a blank on the name.) That distributor had 2 1959 TRs at this race. When the heats were over and the final starting grid was set, 1st - Ferrari TR; 2nd - Ferrari TR; 3rd - Ferrari 250 MM Vignale Spyder (Driven by my Dad). It was an interesting race to watch. My Dad normally raced on short courses and he only had 2 sets of R/P. On this particular track, the main straight was somewhat longer than what he was used to; so by 1/2 way down the straight, he was redlined in 4th. And that's the way the race went. Dad would stay right with the TRs on the tight inside of the course; they'd come out of the last turn onto the main straight and the ole Man would sometime out drag a TR for half the straight; but then the TRs would walk away. (He topped out around 135 and the TRs over 165.) At the end of the race the first three places were the same as when it began: TR - 1st; TR - 2nd; 250 MM - 3rd. The old Man was on the podium and was handed a silver cup trophy. I don't know what happened to the cup, I'm sad to say - but Dad, thanks for the memories.

  Article Image gallery (35) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (1)