- Chassis #0069
- Offered In Remarkably Original Condition
- A Prototype Example
- Hand Built By Piero Drogo At Carrozzeria Sports Cars
- Ordered New By The Rockefeller Family
- Hand Beaten Aluminum Panels Over Wire Frame Construction
This car is currently located in: Philadelphia, PA
For the lucky children out there who have been fortunate enough to climb behind the wheel of these miniature vehicles, the feeling of freedom behind the wheel is learned early in life. Mashing the gas and sawing the wheel back and forth surely engrains in an impressionable child the many merits of motoring. These cars are a very important first step into the automotive world, and while many different kinds of these miniature amalgamations exist, few hold such a significant space in automotive history as this 1961 Ferrarini TR1 250, chassis number 0069.
M.S. Ferrarina Modena was founded by one of Enzo Ferrari’s most gifted and trusted employees, Enzo Monari. A mechanical wizard, Monari began his child’s car business after presenting a faithfully built pontoon fendered Testa Rossa miniature to the il Commendatore in the late 1950s. The boss was delighted with the little car and its impressive construction which included independent suspension and drum brakes. Monari’s wish to faithfully represent the wonderful details of the real cars in miniature had been rewarded with an official blessing to build more from the company he revered so much.
As such, a small production run of these little Ferrarina TR’s began, and over the course of this period, 25 were built. Famed U.S. Ferrari distributor, Luigi Chinetti sold these child’s cars out of his Manhattan showroom to his impressive clientele and further legitimized these cars as fully sanctioned Ferrari’s.
Monari’s second Ferrarina model would be an impressive leap forward from his original in terms of faithfully representing the full-sized car. Instead of pressed steel panels, the new body would be formed by hand-beaten aluminum panels over a wireframe, just like the real prancing horses. The TR1 250, as it was called, would be an honest miniature of the Le Mans winning TRI61 Ferrari of 1961. Most Spectacularly, Piero Drogo and his Carrozzeria Sports Cars firm were hired to assemble these handmade bodies. Once finished at the Drogo workshop, the coachwork would be sent back to Monari for final assembly. Once complete, the little car featured an electric motor, coil spring suspension, working headlamps, and even a horn.
The example presented here, #0069, is believed to be one of the only surviving examples. It is the prototype build of Monari’s second creation and is the only one to bear the badges of Mr. Drogo’s craftsmanship. Incredible photos from the period show the car within the Carrozzeria Sports Cars shop being assembled alongside other legendary Ferraris from the period.
Such a special car fittingly had an impressive place to call home originally after leaving Chinetti’s in New York. The Rockafeller family had ordered this very example back in the 1960s and maintained ownership over the car for many decades. Presumably receiving heavy use by the numerous children during this period, the Ferrarini was maintained by the family’s mechanic who would later affix chrome bumpers to the car. He would later keep the car for himself in an effort to restore it to better condition, but eventually, the vehicle left his care in original condition to a collector in Rhode Island. Then in 2019, the car was unearthed again to be offered to the public.
This Ferrarini is truly an impressive sight to behold. Its well-worn fenders and chipped paint reveal the aluminum coachwork so lovingly labored over by Italian craftsmen over half a century ago. Peeking under the hood reveals the impressive suspension setup with A-arms and spring towers retaining the original coils. While the body contains a number of blemishes, some of these elements further show the impressive history like the apparent holes in the front fenders cut to fit the bumpers installed by the Rockefellers.
With its unmatched history and authenticity, this child’s car is truly one of a kind. No other example wears the Drogo badge, and its status within the larger history of Ferrari makes it a must-have collectible for any real Tifosi. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase an exceptional piece of motoring memorabilia.