Here is Graham Hill in Count Giovanni Volpi’s Ferrari 250TRi/61 braking for Druids Corner on the Brands Hatch Circuit on December 26, 1961. A race meeting at Brands Hatch on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, was a tradition run by the British Racing & Sports Car Club under their then Secretary and famous race organizer Nick Syrett.
Count Volpi had his own racing team Scuderia SSS Republica di Venezia, called later Scuderia Serenissima, which eventually ran out of Formigine, a small town near Maranello on the road into Modena where the ATS cars would be produced. Volpi had purchased his Testa Rossa from Scuderia Ferrari after the end of the 1961 European sports car season and had it modified from its original high tail Le Mans configuration with a lowered tail and lower windshield as seen here.
Graham Hill had earlier in the month driven the Testa Rossa at Nassau, so it was natural that he had been asked to handle it again for the year-end Brands Hatch sports car race. Hill did the job in his usual excellent style, winning easily. Volpi continued to run his Testa Rossa throughout 1962 and 1963, including fitting a new Fantuzzi body and having Giotto Bizzarrini move the motor somewhat further rearward to improve the handling.
No longer competitive after the 1963 season, Volpi registered the Testa Rossa for the road and was sometimes seen with it in Monte Carlo and at events in Italy over subsequent years. It was offered for sale by Volpi in the used car section of the New York Times in the early 1980s, from which it was acquired by Ralph Lauren and where it is now part of his famous automobile collection.
Photos by Colin Waldeck ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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