1956 Ferrari 290 MM Leads RM Sotheby’s Los Angeles Auction

By Paul Joseph

RM Sotheby’s has announced the addition of a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM with significant motorsport pedigree ahead of The Petersen Automotive Museum Auction in Los Angeles in early December.

Campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari for the 1956 and 1957 seasons, the Ferrari Classiche-certified racer was piloted by an amazing assortment of factory team drivers including Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins and later, Sir Stirling Moss, in some of the most prestigious race events in the world.

The consignment of the car follows RM Sotheby’s world record for the most valuable car ever sold at auction, set when a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $48.4 million in Monterey earlier this year.

The 290 MM was developed by Ferrari to contest the 1956 World Sports Car Championship and the Mille Miglia, hence the MM initials, and to reclaim dominance over past and present competitor—Mercedes-Benz—and its great domestic rival, Maserati.

Equipped with an all-new powertrain, composed of the Tipo 130 V-12, 3,490 cc engine, with highly developed cylinder heads, high-lift camshaft, bigger valves, twin spark plugs, 9:1 compression ratio and dry sump, coupled with the Tipo 520 transaxle, the 290 MM was the car to bring the manufacturer title back to Maranello for the third time.

Bodied by Scaglietti, the 290 MM is a truly impressive machine, and is estimated to achieve $22 million to $26 million at the Los Angeles sale.

“We’re delighted to bring this highly significant Ferrari 290 MM to our Los Angeles auction,” said Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Auction Manager, RM Sotheby’s Europe.

“The 290 MM is certainly one of the most important Ferraris to grace the halls of the renowned Petersen Automotive Museum and will be right at home in an auction set to present some of the most notable moments in motoring history across numerous categories.

“The car represents the golden age of the sports two-seater, having taken part in some of the most famous races ever held. Moreover, the sheer number of legendary drivers who have been at the helm of this car make it truly remarkable.”

The Ferrari 290 MM leads an anticipated 40 highly desirable automobiles set for the Petersen Museum sale, representing a cross-section of significant eras and categories in collectible cars.

By Paul Joseph