For sale: Scuderia Parravano 1954 Ferrari 375 and 1955 750 Monza
Both Scuderia Parravano competition Ferraris are up for sale – but behind the great looks and performance lies a sinister tale of tax avoidance and possible mafia connections...
Be still my beating heart – both the 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti Spyder S/N 0538 M, one of 37 3.0-litre Monzas built, and the 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus Sutton Spyder are up for sale with Copley Motorcars. That’s an immense amount of racing pedigree on offer.
Boasting a rich automotive heritage, both Ferraris were delivered new to Scuderia Parravano and raced by a host of legends, including Carroll Shelby, Bob Drake, Jack McAftee and Dan Gurney.
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1954 375 Plus Sutton Spyder
Originally raced in Scaglietti trim by the legendary Jack McAfree, Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby, 0478 unceremoniously crashed out with Carroll Shelby behind the wheel at Palm Springs. Carroll famously told Will Edgar: ‘I drove that big 4.9 of Tony’s at Seattle and won, and drove it again at Palm Springs and crashed. That Ferrari turned into being one of the best. It was the lightest, fastest, Ferrari I ever knew.’
Graced with a new, bespoke body in 1956 by Hollywood-based Jack Sutton, who quickly garnished the nickname ‘America’s Scaglietti’, 0478 was then sold to privateer racing magnet Frank Arciero. Fledging driver Dan Gurney went on to multiple victories with the Ferrari – propelling it into the public spotlight.
Widely considered to be one of the original eight 375 Plus racers built, with that thumping 4.9-litre V12 engine under the bonnet, is 0478 AM the greatest 1950s racing icon? Well, there is another contender…
1955 750 Monza Scaglietti Spyder,
Quite possibly the most beautiful four-cylinder ever crafted, this is perhaps the only legitimate claim for a vehicle benefitting from accident damage. The one-off Scaglietti coachwork was fitted in late 1955, following an incident at the Targa Floria. Under the control of team racers Carroll Shelby and Gino Munaron, Gino left the track in a frenzy of tyre smoke; hugely disappointing for the pair, as Shelby had left Munaron to take over after gaining third place.
The Ferrari then came back to the USA wearing its unique paintwork and livery to be raced by Bob Drake at Palm Springs in April 1957, in what would sadly prove to be the very last race for Scuderia Parravano.
Little did Tony Parravano know then that this would be the last time any of his Scuderia Parravano stables’ many Ferraris and Maserati would be allowed to race, or even stay in his possession. It all went very wrong from there...
Who was Tony Parravano?
Construction magnate and boulevardier Tony Parravano was not only a petrolhead, but also close friends with Enzo Ferrari. Instrumental in launching the 1950s West Coast sports car racing craze, Parravano collected countless Ferraris direct from the factory – but he wasn’t alone in his passion.
Along with John Edgar and John von Neumann, Parravano created Scuderia Parravano (Team Parravano), hiring the very best drivers of the day to race in the greatest race cars ever seen.
However, the dream period didn’t last long; Scuderia Parravano ended after a dispute with the IRS. Tony hid numerous Ferraris away in Mexico, his remaining collection sold at auction by US Marshalls. All the cars have since been accounted for, with many taking part in various global Concours events.
Presumably laying low across the border, Tony was never seen again. Death and taxes – although many suspect both occurred fairly close together, with Tony's mafia connections.
While he may no longer be with us, his legend lives on with the two incredible racing Ferraris now for sale. Find out more about them here:
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