This car competed in only 1 race in Italy, adding to its remarkable condition. The famous actor William Holden later owned it and is 1 of only 12 made.
This car is one of the classic Pininfarina spiders, differing from the others because it has a fixed headrest like the four plus models built by the same carrozzeria. They sold it to the Roman dilettante Pietro Palmieri who had a class win in the September 26th Giornato dei Primati race at Castelfusano driven by Franco Meloni. By 1955 the car was in Los Angeles, owned by the racing stable of John Edgar, but it sold again, a year later, to actor William Holden. There are several pictures of Holden with the car including one in the famous1974 Ferrari Red Book, someone published long after Holden’s ownership. Ultimately Horace Jeffrey got the car in 1960, and he was subsequently the long-term owner of this vehicle which he cherished and cared for during the latter years of his life. He took it to Bonneville where he is seen in the 1960 soft back, Best Hotrods by Griffith Borgeson who reviews the Bonneville National Roundup with pictures of Jeffrey in this car proudly achieving 165 miles per hour.
Subsequently Jeffrey meticulously restored the car, paying great attention to every detail of Ferrari of originality. She was always in excellent condition having been in only one race and retaining all of its parts including the rare belly pan. There was not much for Jeffrey to improve on the car, mechanically and cosmetically, and after being fully satisfied, he enjoyed the 1988 and 1990 Mile Miglia Other than careful attention, its play time spent mainly at Ferrari National Concours such as those held in Washington DC, Grand Rapids Michigan, and Palm Beach Florida where he usually had a podium finish.
I always admired the car because of its originality and although it did not have a significant race history, there were few of the 12 Spiders made which had not suffered the ravages of time and racing. Perhaps only a third have their all-original components. Its graceful lines belie its hectoring shark-like frontage which snarls “Get out of my way”.
I knew of this great car but had no way to access the elusive Mr. Jeffrey. However, local world’s Ferrari expert, Bob Dusek, informed me of the car. His great respect in the Ferrari world transmitted credibility to the owner, and, with Bob as the internuncio, we crafted a deal. Bob Dusek was one of the first individuals to document Ferrari racecars to determine their originality, location, and particularly to make sense out of the serial numbering system to verify authenticity.
During his decades of collecting, he could gain the most provenancially pristine racers, being specifically cognizant of original bodies, serial numbers, engines, and all the important details which go to make a historically correct car. His criteria of authenticity have always driven and verified our own. I’m proud to say Bob is one of the initial four members of the Board of our Foundation, where he has served actively in so many ways.
After Jeffrey sold the car, it has had careful use. Its power, excellent braking, and superb handling considering the fact that its 4.5 liters generate 340 horsepower in a car weighing less than 2,000 pounds, all still suggest a potential handful. Yet after brief familiarization, the power is easily managed, and safe cornering is possible with care.