This is the story of one of those Ferrari mysteries that lasted for years. This photo is of the Ferrari 250P which would win the June 15-16, 1963 Le Mans 24 hour race taken as the car exits Mulsanne Corner. The Ferrari was driven by Lorenzo Bandini and Ludovico Scarfiotti. For years this Le Mans winner was thought to be chassis number 0814, as presented on its Le Mans entry and as checked and inspected before the race. But 0814 had been damaged in practice for the 1000 km. race at the Nürburgring not long before Le Mans and was still being repaired. So Ferrari did what they had sometimes done in the past, and would do again in the future – make the car match the paperwork. Ferrari changed the chassis number of 0816 to 0814 and used the already inspected and stamped engine block out of 0814.
This same 250P, now back to its 0816 identity, then received a larger 3.3 liter V12 motor at the end of the season thereby becoming a 275P. In that guise it was entered for the Sebring 12 hour race on March 21, 1964 to be driven by Mike Parkes and Umberto Maglioli. It won again as seen here. It again replaced the car on the official entry form which had been listed as 0812.
But the charmed life of 0816 continued and its next race was again at Le Mans on June 21-22, 1964.
This second Le Mans race for 0816 would see it driven by Jean Guichet and Nino Vaccarella and it would again cross the finish line as the race winner.
For many years this 275P was in Pierre Bardinon’s famous Collection Mas du Clos in France. Following the death of Bardinon it was sold and its important history was determined by extensive research in the files of Ferrari.
Photos by Louis Klemantaski, Yves Debraine and the JJF archive ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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