1954 Ferrari 625 F1

For all the glitz and glamour, this is the sole reason for Ferrari's existence — winning at the top level of racing. Coming off back-to-back World Championships in 1952 and 1953 in the hands of the legendary Alberto Ascari, Ferrari developed the 625 monoposto in response to the FIA moving Formula Two to the top rung of motorsport. Based on the winning 500 F1, the 625 was upgraded with a 2.5-liter inline-four making 170 horsepower in a package weighing just over 1,200 pounds. Six factory team and five privateer, or 'starlet', 500s were built and later upgraded to the 625 standard. The one pictured here began as chassis no. 0208F, a 500 raced over 17 events in 1952 and 1953 by Belgian national team Ecurie Francorchamps. It was converted to 625 specification by the Ferrari factory in 1954, renumbered as chassis 0540, raced for seven more races, and then traded back to the factory for a 750 Monza. The car would race at a hill climb in 1964 before entering various private collections. In a single-owner collection for over 20 years, the car will go to auction at RM Sotheby's may event in Monaco.

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